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News Highlights Tradition Journal Names
Stop, Look, Listen
“New and Noteworthy”

By Hebrew College
challah and wine

So much of our experience of Shabbat in the modern world involves focusing on cutting ourselves off from technology—in this new book, Nehemia Polen invites us to encounter Shabbat anew by considering how the day of rest allows us to time and space to reconnect spiritually, not just disconnect electronically. Combining deep readings of classical texts with practical spiritual and meditative practices, Polen offers lifelong Sabbath observers and those new to observance to get at the bedrock experience of what Shabbat offers modern people who may need it more than ever.

polen book coverTradition journal selects Hebrew College Professor of Jewish Thought Rabbi Nehemia Polen‘s new book Stop, Look, Listen: Celebrating Shabbos Through a Spiritual Lens as a “New Noteworthy Book.”

Polen’s book was published by Maggid Books on April 1, 2022.

“Shabbos beckons us to sacred space as well as sacred time, in three stages: Stop, Look, Listen,” continues Polen. “First, Stop: on Friday afternoon we call a halt to business as usual and arrive at a destination, mindfully inhabiting a specific locale, creating an embodied community of trust and intimacy…Of particular importance for our society, Shabbos’s Stop proclaims a technology interregnum, a declaration of freedom from communication devices that promise convenience and connection but often deliver entrapment and estrangement. Instead of the slogan ‘move fast and break things,’ Shabbos invites us to move slowly and savor things,” writes Polen.


Rabbi Nehemia Polen

This work reintroduces Shabbos to those who have grown up with the holy seventh day, as well as to newcomers who wish to gain access to the power of this most venerable of Judaism’s traditions. It provides fresh, innovative readings of core biblical and talmudic passages, as well as guidance for expressions such as blessing, melody, storytelling, prayer, listening, and silence. What is the core of Shabbos experience? How can we immerse ourselves in the sublime delight that this day offers in a way that totally surpasses the immediacy of flickering screens? These are some of the questions that this book seeks to explore.

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