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‘SABBATH’ Reflects on Ancient Prescription’s Relevance in Modern World
Monday, October 30, 2023


Award-winning filmmaker Martin Doblmeier traveled coast to coast exploring the religious, secular, psychological and sociological implications of a weekly day of rest that’s known as the Sabbath.

He included his findings of about the spiritual practice that is rooted in the biblical story  of creation and examined how it relates to the stressed-out modern world in the two-hour documentary “SABBATH.”

A free screening of “Sabbath” will be held Thursday, Nov. 2, at Ketchum’s Community Library. It will be followed by facilitated small group discussions.

“Sabbath was originally established as a celebration of creation, new life, and the enjoyment of a pristine environment for humanity to flourish,” said Pastor Stephen McCandless of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hailey. “It was gifted to the entire human race as a time of restoration and empowerment to face the coming week. This documentary engages us in a fresh conversation of the history and value of the Sabbath rest.”

The film reviews the history of the Sabbath, including Sunday closing laws that prevented stores from operating on the Sabbath, or “Blue Laws” supported by the labor union movement that still exist in such towns as Bergen, N.J. It also looks at such things as the contemporary practice of a “tech-sabbath.”

“ ‘SABBATH’ isn’t simply a pious teaching. What’s at issue is the very meaning of life,” said Duke University professor Norman Wirzba.

"I believe that most of us are looking for permission to stop what seems like an endless workload,” said the Rev. John Moreland of Light on the Mountains Spiritual Center. “We long to take a breath and give ourselves permission to stop. This Sabbath film explores this longing in ways that speak to many whether they approach it from a religious/spiritual or secular perspective.”

The film is co-sponsored by the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Hailey, Light on the Mountains Center for Spiritual Living, the Sun Valley Seventh-Day Adventist Church and the Wood River Jewish Community.

It follows screenings of other films by Martin Doblmeier, including one on Lutheran pastor and anti-Nazi crusader Dietrich Bonhoeffer and another on Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Polish-American rabbi and Civil Rights activist.

“This noteworthy documentary addresses key teachings of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel —from Heschel’s marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to championing "Tikkun Olam"—Hebrew for repairing the world,” said Jeff Rose, CEO of Wood River Jewish Community. “In a valley where so many of us work hard, play big, and appreciate the environment and community in which we live, the Sabbath is a special day of rest and reflection in the Jewish community. This film is not to be missed.”




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