Mudhouse Sabbath


Lauren Winner grew up in an interfaith family. As a Columbia University undergraduate she converted to Orthodox Judaism, and then, just a few years later, she dreamt about Jesus and converted to Christianity. But as Winner started embracing Jesus, she also began missing the many rituals of Jewish life.

In her 2003 book Mudhouse Sabbath Winner writes about some of the Jewish rituals she thinks Christians might consider borrowing in order to deepen their own spiritual practice. Prayerlighting candlesfastingweddings, and burial rites, are top on Winner’s list. In some sense, Mudhouse Sabbath—named for the Virginia coffeeshop where Winner spends some Sundays contemplating two very different Sabbaths—is a paean to some of Judaism’s most compelling practices, from the perspective of someone who still seems to love the religion despite no longer practicing it.

Though it may feel odd to consider applying the best parts of Judaism to another religion, Winner’s musings might be able to infuse your life with a shot of spiritual espresso in case your own Jewish practice feels stale. And they’re all the more interesting when you know they’re coming from a believing Christian.

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