February 24, 2011
Mormons and Jews Celebrate the Sabbath Across America and Canada—March 4, 2011
“And he commanded them that they should observe the sabbath day, and keep it holy, and also every day they should give thanks to the Lord their God.” – Mosiah 18:23 [Book of Mormon]
Many thanks to fellow LDS-Jewish blogger Christa Woodall for reminding me of the upcoming Shabbat Across America, the annual promotion of Sabbath observance sponsored by the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP). On Friday, March 4, tens of thousands of Jews will usher in the Sabbath together with worship, food, and friendship in synagogues and homes throughout the country. I have written before about the importance of the Sabbath day in both the Jewish and Mormon traditions, and can’t think of a better opportunity to promote friendship between our peoples.
To my Jewish readers: please invite an LDS friend or family to accompany you to Sabbath services and to dinner if possible. This is a wonderful opportunity to show them how meaningful Jewish traditions are to you and your family. If you have children, your Mormon friends will have an opportunity to experience a very spiritual moment when you bless them at the table.
To my Mormon readers: if you don’t have a Jewish friend to accompany to services, consult the NJOP’s website to see which area congregations are participating in the program. If you would like to experience a Sabbath dinner, call the synagogue. Often there are families that volunteer to host out-of-town visitors for Sabbath meals, and they may have room for you. Be sure to arrive in time to see the children blessed. You may want to reciprocate by inviting your Jewish friend to a Monday evening Family Home Evening.
My podcast interview on LDS-Jewish relations is available on the LDS Church’s official radio station: http://feeds.lds.org/WhyIBelieve
Rabbi Arnold Rachlis, Dr. Armand Mauss, and Brett Holbrooke will conduct an LDS-Jewish dialogue at University Synagogue in Irvine, CA on Friday, March 11 @ 8:00 p.m.
Thousand Oaks Stake Director of Public Affairs Larry Bagby and I will be making a presentation on LDS beliefs at Adat Elohim on March 16 @ 7:30 p.m.
I will be speaking at the San Antonio (TX) West Stake’s Education Weekend on April 15 and 16.