Why Do So Few Jews Observe Shabbat?

The problem is not that Shabbat is irrelevant, but that it is too relevant.

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The Sabbath words yield no new worlds, not because people do not listen to the answer that the Sabbath gives in the way they listen to the answer of Passover. It is that they do not ask the question that the Sabbath answers, while they do find urgent the question settled by Passover. The Sabbath in its depths addresses a profound human problem. The Sabbath confronts civilization and concerns the world at large, not the Jews alone. When people wish to take up this problem, they will enter the sacred disciplines of the Sabbath as commonly as they join the Passover banquet.

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Jacob Neusner

Professor Jacob Neusner is the senior fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology and a full-time professor at Bard College. He has published more than 800 books and innumerable articles. His publications range from the scholarly and academic to the popular and journalistic.