52 holidays a year


I once worked for a Jew, who was quite orthodox and serious about his beliefs.

There are two sorts of orthodox Jews, I believe. There are those who outwardly are obviously Jews, and quite extravagant in their observations. Then there are those who you may not even recognize as a Jew unless you knew what you were looking for. They quietly observe their religion as a family tradition that has been passed down since time immemorial, not a collection of writings by rabbis and scholars, an academic exercise.

This friend heard I went to church on Sunday. He said he doesn’t go to church on Sunday, since he is a Jew. I said something to the effect of “So you go to church on Saturday?” He laughed. “No, Saturday is a holiday! We get 52 of them a year.”

Indeed, the root of the word “holiday” is “Holy Day”. The Sabbath, whether you observe it on Saturday or Sunday, is the most Holy of days of the week.

It is a day to rest from your labors. The Jews say if you can take a day off a week from your work, you own your job. But if you can’t, then the job owns you. I ask you: Do you eat to work, or do you work to eat? Do you work for time with your family, or do you spend time with your family so you can go back to work? Do you look forward to Monday or Saturday? Put your priorities in order: Good food and family are way more important than money and work.

It is a day to remember God, and show God that you remember him. God doesn’t get offended except with those that don’t obey his commandments and don’t acknowledge Him. As long as you are trying to do both of those things, you’ll always be on his good side.

It is a day to remind yourself that you are a covenant people. Whether Christian of Jew, God has made certain promise to you, contingent on you keeping certain promises to him. The Sabbath is that day where you get to review the covenant and renew it.

It is a day to remember the creation of the earth. God set aside one day out of seven to rest, to enjoy what he had done. The Sabbath is a day of enjoying the fruits of your labors.

It is a day to render to God your sacrifices. To Christians, God doesn’t demand the slaughter of animals anymore. Instead, he wants a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He wants you to visit the widows and the fatherless, the sick and poor, to show yourself to your own family.

No matter how you observe the Sabbath, we can always do better celebrating this Holy Day. Even if you aren’t religious, it is good to take some time to get your bearings and to enjoy your family and your blessings.

2 Responses to “52 holidays a year”

  1. Jason Gardner Says:

    For fun….

    Monday = Moon’s day.
    Tuesday = Tīw’s Day (God of single combat in Norse Mythology).
    Wednesday = Woden’s Day (A.k.a Odin’s day)
    Thursday = Thor’s Day.
    Friday = Frigg’s (or Frija’s) Day (Wife of Odin)
    Saturday = Saturn’s Day.
    Sunday = Sun’s Day.

    So we celebrate four Germanic Gods, one Roman God, one moon and the Sun!

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