What Celebrities Say About Shabbat

JLI’s [Jewish Learning Institute's] new course, Oasis in Time; The Gift of Shabbat in a 24/7 World, which launched this spring, has received wide support from celebrities nation-wide. Paula Abdul, popular pop singer, dancer, choreographer and television personality, who lights Shabbos candles on Friday evening, said, “I encourage you to explore [the Mitzvah of Shabbat candles] this spring with JLI’s course…I know it will be a source of inspiration and help make your life brighter and the world around you a more peaceful place.” 

 Shabbos-observant actor and neuroscientist, Mayim Bialik, who first came into fame as the star of the 1990’s TV series, “Blossom,” wrote: “Shabbat is one of the greatest gifts of Judaism, and it can be appreciated on so many levels; each level building on the one before it to create a true harmony of spiritual, ethical, and personal growth every single week. Oasis in Time layers learning about the beauty of Shabbat in an intimate and comprehensive fashion. The wisdom contained has the potential to truly transform your life, your relationships, and your concept of purpose on this Earth. That's a mighty task, but it is easier than we think. I implore you to learn about Shabbat, put it into practice, and watch the miracles begin.” 
Oasis in Time has also been met with enthusiasm by Jewish sports celebrities, including professional boxer, Dimitry Salita, whose commitment to Shabbos observance is written into his contract and who made it known that “if anyone wants a whupping from me [on Saturday], they got to wait until after sundown.”

Former NFL Lineman and Super Bowl winner, Alan Shlomo Veingrad, who describes his discovery of Shabbos: “even the feeling of coming out of the tunnel at Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers--beautiful blue sky, the smell of beer and brats in the air--can't compare to the rush of Shabbat.” And retired professional basketball player, Tamir Goodman (a.k.a. the Jewish Jordan), who credits Shabbos for being “the backbone of [his] energy and…power throughout [his] basketball career.”

The course is also recommended by prominent university professors in the field of new media and digitalism who speak about the necessity of “unplugging.” Dr. Lynn Schofield Clark from the University of Denver said, “Communication technologies orient us to the urgent and the efficient rather than to the meaningful and the humane. The Oasis in Time program promises to provide a much-needed respite. Drawing upon ancient traditions, the immersive and contemplative experiences of this program can help us to develop the much-needed habits of mind and spirit necessary to address ourselves to these troubled times.”
Reprinted from Lubavitch.com/news New York 5/20/11

The Sabbath - Shabbat- is an ancient Jewish custom celebrating the day when God, having created the world, rested. It is the Fourth of the Ten Commandments: "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy."

Many Jewish thinkers have seen the observance of the Sabbath as the key to the survival of the Jewish people -  a means of recharging the spirit in the face of insurmountable odds and relentless persecution. It's been said: "More than the Jewish people have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jewish people."

Chaim Nahman Bialik, the great Hebrew poet, tells a beautiful story of how his family when cruelly deported from its home in a village in Tsarist Russia, found itself desolately and aimlessly wandering in a forest. Suddenly, his mother realized that it was Friday afternoon and as sunset was approaching, she immediately pulled out from somewhere two little candles, lit them, covered her face to recite the blessing over the Sabbath and all at once "we were back home again."  Between the stars flickering above and the Sabbath candles flickering below, they no longer felt uprooted and ashamed. While probably realizing subconsciously that the Sabbath was bound inevitably to come to an end, they were, for the time being, in a peaceful, serene home.