The Sabbath World is not merely riveting, wise and at times breathtakingly beautiful, it just might change your life.
—Jonathan Safran Foer
In personal terms, and without sanctimony, she explores the history of the Sabbath, its philosophical foundations, its consolations, its purposes, and, in doing so, writes a swift, penetrating book intent on shattering the habits of mindless workaholism.
—The New Yorker
The Sabbath World is destined to become a classic.
—Bruce Feiler, author of Walking the Bible and America’s Prophet
This is not a book merely for practitioners of Judaism — it is for anyone who is looking for transcendence within the confines of the time and the space that we have been granted. Also, as a bonus, The Sabbath World is gorgeously written.
—Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic
Many times while reading this book, I wished I had written it myself. … This is a story of impossibilities—and of why, in our hyper productive world, the impossible is exactly what we need.—Dara Horn, author of All Other Nights
Shulevitz is nothing if not ambivalent, and ambivalence is a sign of an interesting mind. … I suspect that I am not the only reader who will find her enlarged vision of the Sabbath as an idyll “wherein my spirit could safely wander” to be both riveting and moving.
—Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, The New York Times
As a swim back against the river of time, The Sabbath World is a wonderfully unusual, engaging trip. … She avoids pastoral sentimentalizing of the days of yore, but she is always clear-eyed about what we have given up.
—Mark Oppenheimer, The Jewish Forward
Judith Shulevitz has achieved something nearly impossible. She has written a book about the Sabbath that is truly singular. … The Sabbath World wears its erudition lightly. By which I mean that it never dumbs down material, but it does wrestle with complex substance in a disarmingly conversational tone.
—Samuel Freedman, Moment
There are really two parts to The Sabbath World. The first is Judith’s gorgeously written and researched exposition on the Sabbath as a day out of time, a commitment to community, a personal struggle with holiness, and a political and historical football in the evolution of both Judaism and Christianity. … The second part is Judith’s personal struggle—a wrestling match between obligation and disappointment and longing and boredom and, as a parent, the ever-present soccer question.
—Dahlia Lithwick, Slate
This is a book about longing — for home, holiness, ritual, love, food, drink, socializing, contemplating, above all longing for time to experience this fullness. … It’s an intense book and intensely engaging, one that as a reader I didn’t want to end. —Maud Lavin, The Chicago Tribune
This book will make you think differently about time, religion and your job. Read it on a Saturday or a Sunday or a weekday, but do read it.—AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
You might think we’ve had enough books on this topic in recent years, but you’d be wrong…A wise and winsome meditation.—Karl E. Johnson, Christianity Today
Shulevitz, a gifted essayist, is the kind of writer who wears her erudition lightly. This is also a book that cannily advertises its tendentiousness, its personal complications.
—Esther Schor, The New Republic
What a brilliant idea. Judith Shulevitz addresses the philosophical idea of the Sabbath from both a personal and a collective point of view. … The Sabbath offers a way to live outside of time—an act not just of renewal but of resistance in an obsessively over-scheduled and over-networked world.
— David Ulin, The Los Angeles Times
A thing of beauty … I was constantly charmed and surprised by “The Sabbath World,” and came away a little changed in my thinking. I can’t think of a greater compliment to pay a book. Highly recommended, especially in this frenzied, over-opinionated, and yes, sometimes overreligious age.
—Pamela Miller, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
This extended essay on commitment and discipline in our use of time will reward readers from any religious tradition.
—Thomas Baker, Commonweal
What a pleasure to find a book written with the head and the heart.
—Jonathan Rosen, author of The Talmud and the Internet
Digressions that delight, such as letter exchanges between the psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi, or depictions of Austro-Hungarian childhoods. Meditations on time, on clocks, on advertising, on drinking are all done with a merry spirit that can darken suddenly into a bone-chilling summary of a contemporary Holocaust context for Lamentations.
—Norma Rosen, Hadassah
Were I an artist, I would have illuminated [its] elegant prose in the manner of a medieval Book of Hours for a graphic midrash.
—Mary Boys, Dean at Union Theological Seminary, Slate
For many years, I’ve recommended Abraham Joshua Heschel’s classic work, “The Sabbath,” as an introduction to Judaism and to concepts of time. Shulevitz’s book is very different, more intimate and more wide-ranging.
—Sandee Brawarsky, The Jewish Week