Remember the Sabbath?

By Judith Shulevitzliterary critic, author Ask Americans of a certain age about the Sabbath–Sunday if they’re Christian, Saturday if they’re … Continued

By Judith Shulevitz
literary critic, author

Ask Americans of a certain age about the Sabbath–Sunday if they’re Christian, Saturday if they’re Jewish–and the answers come in two flavors: nostalgic or appalled. The nostalgic grow wistful about quiet mornings and leisurely afternoons; they remember streets free of cars, sandlots full of kids, and dinners made special by family and slow-cooked foods (Sunday dinner, of course, was lunch). The appalled conjure up memories of long, dull days in which everything fun and interesting was either forbidden or not for sale, and time at church or synagogue passed about as quickly as it does at the dentist’s.

As a scholar I know puts it, there’s a light Sabbath and a dark Sabbath. The light Sabbath features community and festivity and what a famous professor of psychology once called “freedom from all slavery to the clock.” The dark Sabbath bristles with rules and regulations, and at the extreme, fanaticism. Think of Puritans putting people in stocks for Sabbath-breaking or ultra-ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem flinging dirty diapers at Sabbath violators, and you get the day of rest at its darkest. Americans may recall the light Sabbath with a certain fondness, at least if they hanker after a calmer way of life. But they are mostly thrilled that over the past 50 years we’ve done away with the dark, coercive one.

But what if I told you that we could have some of the light Sabbath back, if we’d accept just a little bit of the dark one? We could have something to which we’d probably say yes–namely, more time for self and family and neighborhood–and all we’d have to do is let ourselves be governed by a few nos, a few rules about not working at a pre-arranged time. Conversely, if we don’t accept a no or two, then the kind of time that used to be protected by the Sabbath–time during which everyone leaves the office or factory and turns to one another for entertainment and sustenance–is in danger of disappearing.

Am I calling for a return to blue laws? Not exactly, if by that you mean the laws that forbid us to buy liquor on Sunday, as well as (depending on the state) to wrestle, box, race cars, play bingo, or go oyster-fishing. What I am saying is that we could learn from the Sabbath how to protect our time against the two grand addictions of the age–work and the Internet. What we’d learn is the immense usefulness, to society, of a structured period of non-productivity, as well as the need to enforce that pause. Putting teeth into a neo-Sabbath might involve legislation–tougher laws restricting off-hours and weekend work, or compensating it at a higher rate. Or it might involve the voluntary revival of old customs, such as the list of non-activities recommended by the just-launched Sabbath Manifesto Project: “Avoid technology.” “Get outside.” “Drink wine.”

The problem many Americans have with the Sabbath is that it smacks of religiosity. If the Sabbath is a strictly clerical institution, then any laws that help us to keep it breach the wall between church and state, right? Wrong. A mere half-century ago, in 1961, the Supreme Court upheld Sunday-closing laws on the grounds that they did not violate the constitutional rule against state sponsorship of religion. Justice Felix Frankfurter argued that though the Sabbath was first taught in the Bible, the American Sunday had evolved into a secular institution, a civic good, “a cultural asset of importance: a release from the daily grind, a preserve of mental peace, an opportunity for self-disposition.”

Let’s update Frankfurter for the iPhone generation. Let’s say that, like him, we stripped the Sabbath of its religious trappings. We’d probably call what was left a social technology. We’d see this 21st-century Sabbath as a sort of giant software program, a way of coordinating a large group of people so that they could spend their non-work time together if they wanted to, or by themselves if they didn’t. What happens when we do that? Conversations, friendships, hobbies, affinity groups, neighborhood associations, charities–in a word, civil society. What happens when we don’t? The question is what doesn’t happen. The answer is, at least some of the good things listed above, because people are too busy working–and have too many different days off–to get together to make those things happen.

Nonsense! I hear the iPhone generation replying. You’ve forgotten about the miracle of real technology! Social networks have made it possible to be together even if we don’t share the same space and time. We no longer need a Sabbath, or any other religious anachronisms, to synchronize us. We can create our affinity groups without Sunday-closing laws or labor legislation, thank you very much.

To them, I say two things. The first is that whatever our technological selves may have become, we remain creatures of flesh embedded in space and time, and we need each other in the world, not just online. In fact, I’d go even further and say that the online networks we love so much make it all the more essential that we study the Sabbath closely. It is because the Internet is spaceless and timeless, because its networks make no concession to exhaustion or edginess or the craving for solitude, that we have to develop a counter-machinery that helps us turn it off.

And the second thing I’d say is that we shouldn’t run scared from the ecclesiastical associations that cling to the Sabbath like earth to roots. Religion is the source of most forms of transcendence in our mostly very mundane lives, whether or not we now pray or believe. Religion has given us storytelling, poetry, music, art, and theater; it has occasioned the founding of universities; it has been responsible for great advances in architecture. There’s no reason not to let religion lend us one of its most powerful social ideas–the Sabbath–as well.

Judith Shulevitz, a literary critic and a former columnist for the New York Times and Slate, is author of the new book “The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time” (Random House). Her work has also appeared in the New Republic and the New Yorker.

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  • RickFromAtlanta

    I grew up as a Conservative Jew in New England. But I never really lived life until I started keeping Shabbas and experiencing the total relaxation and rejuvination of Shabbas. I own a business. Life was hectic. We started keeping Shabbas a number of years ago. There is no way to put it into words. When person knows that they simply cannot drive, or work, use a phone, or watch TV, there is very little else to do, other than relax with G-d and family. I love walking to Shul with my boys. We talk along the way about life, and the Torah Parsha of the week. We love the warmth and love on the Orthodox community and how each family helps and cares about every other family. It is now 5pm, and I honestly cannot wait to go home to unwind and spend a very special time with my family and friends. It is the best part of my week and my life. The rewards of becoming Orthodox have been incredible. We have gained a clear understanding of each person’s special role in this world, and our special relationship with our Creator. And now it’s my honor to enjoy it for the next 24 hours. I hope you find the peace that we have found. Good Shabbas.

  • YEAL9

    Taking a day of vacation/rest is in general a good way to revitalize. Any day will do and god has nothing to do with said day. I like Tuesday’s.

  • nahumkorda

    To pitch shabat as a better alternative to Facebook is something I find absurd. What is next? – Kosher food as a healthier lifestyle? It does not matter any more weather you actually believe? Religion is now “storytelling, poetry, music, art, and theater”? Shabat has now nothing to do with one God, creation of the world and redemption? – These are all scientifically “proven” non-existent. So, now shabat is a “social technology”? Absurd and ridiculous.

  • Utahreb

    I have worked with those whose religions state that they should go to church on Sunday – no working on that day, either. But nowhere in the Bible do I find it stated that one HAS to be inside four walls to worship.In a Catholic-run charity group the nun (yes, the full habit and she was a sweetheart and older) asked me if I went to church. When I said “No – I do my praying when I am on my knees working in the garden” she replied “I hope you do a LOT of gardening!”.In Utah, where the Mormon group leaders forbid work on Sundays and for years most stores were closed, I always wondered why they held Steve Young, the NFL quarterback, up as a perfect example of what the young Mormon men should be – after all, he played football for money every Sunday and doesn’t that qualify as a job and work? Little double standard there.

  • wings100

    The Biblical Sabbath is the seventh day of the week and it is NOT the “Jewish Sabbath.” It was instituted during the first week on earth when creation took place, when God spoke the world into existence. (Genesis 2:2-3)Was there a Jew in existence then? NO. The Hebrew nation did not exist until Abraham came on the scene, probably about a thousand years later.Moreover, the Biblical account is explicit that God sanctified and made holy the SEVENTH DAY of the week, the Sabbath day of rest.What is the implication if you are a Christian — a true believer of God’s Word and a follower of Jesus Christ?1. Do you believe in ALL of the Ten Commandments (not just nine and conveniently ignoring the Fourth)? Jesus did.2. Do you observe the true Sabbath, which according to the Ten Commandments is on the seventh day? Jesus did.It’s time to quit all this wishy-washy foolishness of stigmatizing the Biblical Sabbath as the “Jewish Sabbath” that Christians can ignore. Or, the hemming and hawing and coming up with superlatives and nuances to word craft your way out of plain and clear “thus saith the Lord” from the Bible that you claim to believe. Nowhere in the entire Bible is there a foundation or excuse for this outright defiance against one of God’s commandments. Not once was there a transfer of solemnity from the seventh day of the week to the first day of the week by Jesus Christ Himself. Somebody must’ve forgotten to tell the Jews, who have kept the seventh day Sabbath from time immemorial…NOT. His Jewish condemners were hanging on His every word so that they could use them against Him. It never happened.As important as the Sabbath was and is to God and to the Jews then and now, there would have been an unequivocal proclamation by Him and Him alone that all of a sudden the seventh day Sabbath is now the first, with trumpets blaring and Israel’s world and worldview turned upside down, with a tremendous controversy reverberating across the then known world — and it would’ve been written all over the Bible by the New Testament writers. THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING. Absent of that, this was a man-made act committed by haughty, arrogant, presumptuous people who thought they had the prerogative held only by God to make the first day holy instead of the seventh.

  • jrsposter

    On the question of which is the seventh day of the week, it is not at all clear whether it is Saturday or Sunday. The French use a calendar in which Monday is the first day of the week and Sunday is the seventh.

  • wings100

    I’ll tell you how you know what the seventh day of the week is. CAVEAT: You must believe in the Bible.Jesus died on Good Friday, as universally referred to by Christians everywhere. (Friday is referred to in the Bible as “preparation day,” used to finish up secular activities so that all of that would be complete before the approaching Sabbath.) The women closest to Jesus put off going to the tomb to bring fragrances to anoint the body of Christ because of the Sabbath coming on and they did not want to desecrate it (it was that holy to them, again, the closest people possible to Jesus, who arguably loved Him the most out of anyone) by “working” on the Sabbath. In essence, Jesus rested in the tomb on Sabbath, the seventh day. Then, and only then, after the Sabbath ended, did He rise up from the dead on the FIRST day of the week, what almost every Christian in the world now refer to as Easter Sunday, the day of His resurrection. (Matt. 27:55-Matt. 28:8)By the way, the French can do what they want with the work week. That’s man-made. God’s seven day cycle continues on no matter what man may choose to do.Many languages use the word “Sabbath” as the word for Saturday, for example Spanish — Sabado. Many more do.

  • wings100

    Also, please don’t miss the point: Ask a Jew what the seventh day of the week is! God dealt with them as a nation and spoke to them DIRECTLY through their prophets (e.g. Abraham, Moses, etc.). Read the story about the manna, how it had to be collected prior to the Sabbath and how God provided a double-portion on the sixth day to make up not getting any on Sabbath. It’s the only day they know as the Sabbath since Abraham through today.Ironically, it’s also the only commandment that starts with “Remember…” but is the most forgotten or ignored.

  • Emmetrope

    The Beatles wrote about an eight day week. The seven day week is odd.

  • wings100

    And in a moment of much needed levity, Emmetrobe comes along… OK, the Beatles as guides in what we should all do. LOL! 😉

  • wings100

    The New York Times is not exactly the frame of reference for Bible-believing Christians. Nor is it the “United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, founded in 1913 consisting of approximately 700 affiliated synagogues.” Nor is it David Wolpe. And don’t you worry, you have plenty of company who would say the Bible or parts or many parts of it is a myth. That’s your problem, not mine.My dialogue is with people who believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible — and what each say. Not with some secular humanists. Because, guess what — you don’t care what I have to say and I certainly don’t care what you have to say. Fortunately, we both can choose to believe what we are convinced to believe. You go with the New York Times, I’ll go with the Bible. 🙂

  • dragondancer1814

    I grew up loathing Sundays for one reason: Sunday school. Even as a kid, I knew Christianity was the wrong religion for me, and I found being stuck in a dim church basement classroom listening to religious lessons that I didn’t agree with when I’d have rather been outside playing to be the worst form of torture.Even now, I find Sundays to be a major drag because there’s nothing to do in the small town I live in if you’re not a churchgoer. All the restaurants are closed, there are very few yard sales going on (one of the weekend activities around here), and even the channels on TV around here consist mostly of “church TV.” Not to mention that being a stay-at-home mom, there’s no such thing as a day off for me, even on the Sabbath! Housework NEVER ends!I always found the idea of a day of rest to be a bit strange anyway. Goddess knows Mother Earth never takes a day off from growing things, and certainly the animals don’t take a day off from their activities either! If that makes me sound irreverent, so be it. Oh, and Utahreb, your comment reminds me of the time we had a family of Baptists from the local conservative megachurch in the county come to our door. Among their questions that they asked was whether or not I went to church (yes), and when they asked me where I went to church (we were out in the front yard at the time) I replied, “You’re standing in it!” Logical enough answer for a Wiccan; every time we’re outside, we’re in our church! You can’t confine Her within walls, and I definitely wouldn’t want to!And Yeal9, I agree…since when does the Sabbath have to be the “day off?” Mine (few though they may be) are whenever my husband takes over the household tasks and gives me some much-needed “me time!”

  • ztcb41

    …”We are a great nation because of the Living God of Israel who ha become our God! He saved us through two major world wars, he founded us as a great nation, and he led us through a terrible Civil War by electing Abraham Lincoln to be President of the great country that committed a great sin/slavery. I shall ever be grateful to the Living God for founding America, making the earth, and allowing us to see it, live on it and rule it. American’s need God, as much as we need the air we breath, and today/Sunday I gave thanks at Church, because that’s where the Living God is, and that’s where you find Peace, Love, and HOPE!…”Let your hope make you glad.” “Be patient in times of trouble, “AND NEVER STOP PRAYING.”—ROmans 12:12

  • schmeddles

    Just a little input — Sabbath existed before Judaism. And Sabbath to the early Christians was Saturday, not Sunday. The ‘solemnity’ of Sabbath was ‘transferred’ to Sunday by the Catholic church, not made sacred by God. The wonderful Scotts did not let the seventh-day Sabbath die away in their nation until the 1500’s. True — Jews keep Sabbath, but by history Sunday is Catholic, not Christian. The Bible Sabbath would be the Christian Sabbath — a superlative blessing.

  • shewholives

    jews murder and maim Palestinians on SATURDAY as the rest of the week and have been doing for for over sixty years.

  • wings100

    DragonDancer1814: That’s your reality, but to many–and I think it’s the point of the article–the Sabbath is in fact a day off…or, more precisely, A DAY OF (rest). As designed by God, it is a time to just STOP what we have been doing at 100 MPH in the preceding six days to just relax, enjoy, and yes, have some spiritual time with God and with fellow believers. Your god as a Wiccan is “mother earth,” but we believe in God as the creator of heaven and earth. It is a time set aside for the purpose of acknowledging Him and reflecting on His redemptive and creative acts. It’s a great day to be out in nature, which I’m sure as a Wiccan, you enjoy, too. If approached and observed as designed, it can truly be a time of respite from the stress and craziness of this world. (And yes, that includes laundry, shopping, running here, there, and everywhere. Why do that to yourself? You have all day Sunday to do all that, plus the other 6 overscheduled days and nights…LOL!)

  • spidermean2

    The Sabbath Day is one of the most misunderstood commandment. Jesus Christ was acting the true essence of the commandment when he healed the sick on Sabbath day. Healing the sick, helping the needy and giving rest to the overworked is what the Sabbath Day is all about. The Sabbath Day implies that God is a God of Mercy and doing things to show mercy on that day or even the whole week is the essence of that commandment.Stupidity is self destructive and therefore in their stupidity they killed the “man” who showed mercy by healing the sick. They tried to kill Him for the stupid reason that he alledgely broke the Sabbath law. The reality is He didn’t broke it but actually fulfilled it.

  • rcubedkc

    This has really brought the religious loons out in full force. Tell ya what. You want any sort of laws written and enforced for whatever you call sabbath, you should think of moving to israel, Iran or Afghanistan.All three countries are ready made asylums and you won’t have the problem of a revolution on your hands.

  • greenstheman

    WINGS100, to your reply”Was there a Jew in existence then? NO. The Hebrew nation did not exist until Abraham came on the scene, probably about a thousand years later.”If I’m not mistaken, the hebrew line goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. That is the reason they are included in the Torah.Constantine was the one who changed the Christian Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday and mixed some pagan practices along with Christian customs.regards,GTM

  • wings100

    OK, who or where anywhere here has anyone said anything about having a law to enforce Sabbath-keeping? As a Sabbath-keeper, I oppose that totally and completely. ANY religious practice should be under the dictates of one’s conscience, ALL VOLUNTARY by no means BY FORCE.That’s what the Sunday blue laws are about. Back in the 1600’s and prior is was under the penalty of death. Vicious and sick.Now, coming in here and calling people who are posting religious comments about a religious article in the religion section of a newspaper and name-calling people doing so, “loons” — don’t you feel a little out of place? Just a little ridiculous on your part…

  • wings100

    GTM, I believe the answer to your question is that everyone (you, me, and the Jews) trace our lineage back to Adam. But Abraham was the father of the Hebrew nation; their lineage as a people generated from his progeny.

  • ladyliberty1

    Beautifully written. As a Christian, we always kept Sunday as a day of worship. Sunday is the first day of the week and Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord. Worship is something that manifests outwardly what one feels inwardly. If it is just an external display, it is ritual. Nothing wrong with rituals, but true worship is a response of the heart/spirit to the Spirit of the Lord. So, when one sings or reads aloud Psalms, it is a verbal expression of thanksgiving and praise: it may or may not be an expression of the heart. When people of like faith come together in a particular place (church, synagogue) there is a fellowship that takes place with others with the lifting up of praise and adoration to God, our Maker. It is a wonderful expression of love that unites us with God and with one another. I have joined in worship with others on Sunday for most of my life. The past couple of years, we have not been part of a congregation, and the weekly gathering has not been a part of our routine. It is strange how there is no real definition to time without the break with rest of the week’s activity. Genesis says, “God rested on the seventh day” – God is Spirit and doesn’t get tired. He set a pattern for man to follow. It is good for us to have patterns that include a time to rest and reflect and give thanks and praise to God. He doesn’t need our praise, but we NEED to give it. Of course, this should be something that we do from the heart, daily, but gathering with others once a week is good for the unity of like-minded believers. Romans 14:5 says, “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.”Love cannot be legislated, so a law to require Sabbath keeping isn’t in accordance with love. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy,” (Holy means separated to God) was for our benefit. We NEED to give thanks, to praise God for His goodness and mercy. We NEED to reflect on His attributes, to appreciate His generosity in creation. And, the added benefit of spending time with our families increases the joy. Yes, I miss spending time with others worshipping God. Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within.” In my spirit, I worship Him as I think on His majesty in creation, and as I go about my daily routine, I remember His many kindnesses to me.

  • gmoore40

    There are “Christians” who observe the Jewish Sabbath… Quite a few, in fact. Have you ever heard of “Seventh-day Adventists?”They are Christians too…

  • rcubedkc

    LOONS100 said,don’t you feel a little out of place?Uh, no.

  • estela1130

    Little children…love one another…

  • rcubedkc

    LOONS100 said: “OK, who or where anywhere here has anyone said anything about having a law to enforce Sabbath-keeping?”Judith Shulevitz, the author of the article said “Quote” “What we’d learn is the immense usefulness, to society, of a structured period of non-productivity, as well as the need to enforce that pause. Putting teeth into a neo-Sabbath might involve legislation–tougher laws restricting off-hours and weekend work, or compensating it at a higher rate.”Understand what the article is about now, LOON?

  • wings100

    LadyLiberty: Questions for you.1. You say “Genesis says, ‘God rested on the seventh day,” but you stopped too soon. The rest of it says “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” God does not need rest but are you disputing that the Bible said that He did? There are many things God does not need to do, but He did them for an example. You even said that yourself. And that’s a total distraction. The fact is is that He did blessed and sanctified the seventh and no other day. It’s there. You can’t take it out.2. Not only does Genesis talk about the Sabbath, the Sabbath theme is throughout the entire Bible. Including Exodus 20, the Ten Commandments. Have you heard that God’s Laws are not grievous? They let you know what sin is. Sin destroys (don’t you want to know what they are – such as do not kill, do not steal, honor your father and your mother, etc.).3. Speaking of the Ten Commandments, what do you think of them? They’re not the Ten Suggestions or the Ten Recommendations. Should people just ignore them? People obey almost all of them without complaint — but they’re allergic to the Fourth. Funny, it’s the one that acknowledges His creatorship.4. You also bring up Romans 14:5. Does that say to disregard the Bible Sabbath? No. It’s tell you not to shove anything down anybody’s throat. In other words, that’s about judging, not about coming up with your own Sabbath day that you can pick and choose at your own whim.5. You go on about about how love is not to be legislated. Of course it isn’t. If you mean keeping the Sabbath is a law — in context of the Ten Commandments, yes they are part of it; the Fourth. But what are you or we to do with it? Do you know that part of love is obedience? Can you truly love your spouse but be disobedient to the marriage contract and go run around on him or her? Can you love God but don’t do what He asks of you? That the problem with imbalance. All love, and all grace. No obedience. No accountability. I don’t think so.Obeying God is not doing so in order TO be saved, but because you ARE saved. That’s the real difference.Following God, following Jesus…those terms mean you do what they teach by faith, trust, and yes, LOVE. That’s not “legalism” — the famous red herring by Sunday apologists.

  • wings100

    rcubedkc — I am not above saying I missed that in the article. I totally and completely disagree with that. I am 100% against any sort of legislation to dictate anything in matters of religion. I respect peoples’ freedom of or from religion.I was referring to the comments section. Now quit acting like a 5 year old.

  • rcubedkc

    I was referring to the comments section. Now quit acting like a 5 year old.And I was referring to the article. It seems to me an adult that still believes in fairies and gods is acting more like a 5 year old than anyone. So take a look inside.On a personal level, I don’t give a tinkers damn what anyone believes in. I do however object in the strongest of terms to the entire point of this article, that LAWS be written and enforced to shove someone else’s beliefs down the throats of the rest of us.

  • wings100

    rcubedkc — I take that back about 5 year olds. You’re giving them a bad name. They don’t know enough and are not vicious enough [in other words, are still innocent enough not] to disparage and disrepect people of faith like you are doing here.I agree with your other comments.

  • rcubedkc

    Well, that’s what freedom of speech is all about isn’t it?

  • wings100

    rcubedkc — True. Which is why it’s OK if your say what you want to say and I say what I want to say.For the record, I don’t believe in fairies or gods. I believe in the one God of the Bible. But, touché. (Everyone believes in something, even if that something is nothing. And “nothing” usually means they believe in themselves — which is OK by me…to each his own.) 🙂

  • rcubedkc

    WINGS100,Agreed

  • ladyliberty1

    Wings100,There remains a sabbath rest for the people of God. Jesus is our sabbath rest. We rest in Him. It’s late. Have a good evening – er, rest.

  • rohitcuny

    The Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh also recommends a day of mindfulness and rest.

  • wings100

    Lady Liberty — I hear people say that to “get off the hook,” but sorry, it’s so nebulous and abstract, vis-à-vis the discussion we’re having. Of course, we are are invited to “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” but where in that is it saying that Sunday has replaced the seventh day as the Sabbath?Anyway, it is late — have a wonderful week.

  • Jerusalimight

    Making a Sabbath without God is like drinking no-alcohol beer. Why do it.

  • WmarkW

    The Sabbath ceases to have significance when everyday life reached such a high quality that there was no reason to need a break from it.

  • US-conscience

    did you know that when America was founded they didnt know whether to give Sundays off ( for the Christians ) or the sabbath ( saturday ) off for the Jewishians, so…thats where we came up with the two day weekend ( sat & sun ).I think its a marvelous thing ( the two day weekend ) – Personally, I rest on Saturday and on Sunday I worship the God who gave us the day of rest. two day weekends – one of the best idea’s america ever had !

  • hohandy

    “did you know that when America was founded they didnt know whether to give Sundays off ( for the Christians ) or the sabbath ( saturday ) off for the Jewishians, so…thats where we came up with the two day weekend ( sat & sun ).”Are you really that spectacularly – and offensively (Jewishians?) ignorant? Up until the 20th century the 6 day workweek was the norm. You can thank the legacy of Labor unions for getting the 2-day weekend and the 8 hour workday – none of this was put in place by benign politicos to accomodate Americans religious beliefs. Your ignorance as well as your need to show it off is staggering.

  • YEAL9

    Taking a day of vacation/rest is in general a good way to revitalize. Any day will do and god has nothing to do with said day. I like Tuesdays and Thursdays. Typically great days to play golf since everyone else is “sabbathing”.