Tuesday, November 6, 2012


 English: The Sabbath Rest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: The Sabbath RestThere are words, which cause you to want to know more about them.  They sound musical when you speak them or look as if they are a complete story unto themselves - words like calliope, rutabaga, serendipity or peregrine.
The word “Sabbath” has intrigued me since I first heard it. You seldom hear this word, except in the context of religion. Where did it come from? What is the meaning? Why are we still using it today?
Sabbath comes from the Old English sabat - the seventh day of the week observed by the Jews of the day (about 950) as a day of rest; borrowed from Latin sabbatum, from Greek sabbaton, from Hebrew shabbath, from shabath he rested. Sabbath was applied to the first day of the week (Sunday) about 1410. The spelling with double b is first recorded about 1280, and with th, though recorded before 1382, did not become widespread before the 1500's. (Resource: The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, Robert Barnhart, Ed., 1995, HW Wilson Company-Harper Collins/New York)


Sabbath means, literally, "he rested." Rest...time off...time spent not working is so important to our health - mentally, physically, spiritually. When we have rest, we are able to discern our needs and the needs of others; we are able to open to the creative energies around us; we are able to imagine possibilities for change; we are able to heal.

As an interfaith ordinand, I have been looking at how to more fully observe the Sabbath as well as how to share this time with others. I found, as a member of ONE, that ONE.org has created an initiative to be observed on November 18, called ONE Sabbath.


ONE Sabbath is a way to link all paths to the task of ending poverty, disease and hunger.  ONE Sabbath can be part of a ministry of action, as well as a ministry of presence.  Bringing this information to our places of worship - to our faith communities - we can then be both a catalyst for change as well as a light shining in the darkness.
Together, we can make a difference in the world. Together we can end poverty, disease and illiteracy. Together, we can find rest...we can unite in ONE Sabbath.

Sabbath was written by Ord. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas.  She is an educator, writer and poet from Western Massachusetts.  
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