by Amos Smith
On the Sabbath the ancient Hebrews read Torah and rested from all physical work. The Hebrew notion of Sabbath made a profound impact on Western society. The two day “weekend” practiced by all industrialized countries has its roots in the Judaic Sabbath.
A sense of Sabbath reconnects us with the burning desires of our lives. It puts our lives in perspective, and helps us discern what we in truth want to do with our time. “What are my priorities?” “Am I happy?” “Are my choices in line with my faith?” “What am I on fire about?” “Do I take time to serve?” “Is my life caught up with numerous insignificant details?” “Why am I doing what I’m doing?” “What is my life’s mission?”
If we don’t take regular time to get perspective, we may get ensnared in numerous commitments out of sync with our core values. Sabbath time is the Mary part of the Mary and Martha story (Luke 10:38-42). Martha was busy, multitasking to make it all happen. Mary simply sat at Jesus’ feet, absorbed his words, and listened in stillness and rapture.
The essence of the fourth commandment (a sense of Sabbath) is just as important today as it was to the ancients. The commandment is, “Remember the Sabbath day, by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
 Cahill, The Gift of the Jews.