Stop Look and Listen: Celebrating Shabbos Through a Spiritual Lens by Nehemia Polen
Stop. Look. Listen. The three stages of a full day of uninterrupted practice, tied to the natural cycle of the sun’s setting, rising, and setting again. This stunning and inspiring work reintroduces Shabbos to those who have grown up with the holy seventh day, as well as to newcomers who wish to gain access to the power of this most venerable of Judaism’s traditions. It provides fresh, innovative readings of core biblical and talmudic passages, as well as guidance for expressions such as melody, storytelling, prayer, listening, and silence. Going beyond merely taking a “day of rest” from technology, we are here invited to explore Shabbos’s interior landscape, to overcome restlessness, to check the urge to accumulate, to move beyond self-cultivation to self-transcendence. On Shabbos we can find a different way of inhabiting the world: appreciation without grasping, perceiving without attempting to incorporate into the self, coming into place and lingering intently. Shabbos enables us to feel hibbat hakodesh – the sweet, precious embrace of the sacred. A textured landscape of indescribable beauty, Shabbos is the greatest, most noble gift we can give to the world, to our communities, to ourselves, and to God.
Year first published: 2022