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SabbathReview - Sabbath
Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest
by Wayne Muller
Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1999
Review by Wyndham Perring
Jul 31st 2001 (Volume 5, Issue 31)

A distant relative of mine recently asked me to read and comment on the draft of a book she had recently finished. I agreed to do so with the proviso that she would have to cope with any criticism. Reviewing is an occupation that demands total honesty. Reviewing should protect the public at large from wading through badly written, boring or stupid stories. On the other band the blessings and joy of a wonderful read need to be passed on to everyone.

My distant relative's book was horrendous, fit only to be rewritten in total.

Wayne Muller's book is one of joy and blessings.

The theme is that we ­ western civilization ­ have lost our way. That our values are suspect. That we should observe the Sabbath, stop for this day, to the benefit of ourselves, our families and society.

The depth of research and the passion with which Muller expounds his views is crystal clear and he pulls his reader into a philosophy of life that is extremely moving and convincing.

Even the most hardened and cynical of us cannot but be influenced by the strength of his teachings. I use the word teachings, deliberately because Muller presents genuine and convincing facts to create deep thought; deep enough to cause one to stop and think about ones own attitudes.

I would have no hesitation in suggesting that you go out and buy this book. It may well change your life or at least heighten the quality of your lifestyle.

However, I do have a recommendation. This is because Muller seems to lose track when in page 109 he descends into a sort of liberal, shallow-thinking flower-power child. He accuses a military air force pilot of murdering innocent children by dropping his bombs on the target, following orders. He contrasts this action to the woman who walks two miles to get water for her family, tending the soil and looking after the sick and infirm. Muller ironically notes that her action to be does not contribute significantly to The Gross Domestic Product, whilst, he notes again with irony, the Pilot has done a "good thing" and provided a boost to the economy.

Compared to the brilliance of the previous pages Muller does himself no good by putting forward a suggestion that all members of the armed services are murderers. So avoid pages 107 to 114.

The book ends at page 153, as far as I am concerned. After this, to page 239, Muller repeats himself with endless examples of human behavior which is tedious. With nothing new to say he should have stopped. My recommendation is to skip pages 107 to 114 and at page 153 put the book down and pour yourself a drink.

Nevertheless, I do strongly feel that the book is really worth reading, thinking about, and acting upon.

Wyndham Perring lives in Stratford-upon-Avon, Britain. He has no intention of retiring.


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