THE HOLINESS OF HOME
IT is impossible to describe to those who have not experienced it, the feeling of holy joy which is diffused throughout the humblest Hebrew home by the solemn repetition of acts which in themselves may be regarded as mere customs, without vital connexion with the souls of men.
And the particular institution in which it is embodied most characteristically is that of the Sabbath. I do not know how it has come about that a ‘Judaic Sabbath’ means a day of austere gloom.
As a matter of fact, it is the one bright spot in the Jewish life. All is joy and good-humour in the Jewish home on the Friday night, when Sabbath ‘comes in’. I would attribute a good deal of the difference between the Jewish and the Christian Sabbath to the seemingly mechanical difference that the former begins and ends at an hour when its advent or exit can be solemnized by ceremonial.
It is, indeed, to the Sabbath primarily, and the other home ceremonials which embody the Hebraic conception of the Holiness of the Home, that we can trace the remarkable persistence of the Jewish race through the ages.
JOSEPH JACOBS, 1889.
THE patriarchal feeling still lingers about his hearth. A man, however fallen, who loves his home, is not wholly lost. The trumpet of Sinai still sounds in the Hebrew ear.
Excerpt From A Book of Jewish Thoughts By Dr. J H. Hertz