One of the more popular Sabbath activities is making love. Indeed, the Talmud tractate on marriage contracts states that the righteous couple should make love every Friday night. One practitioner told me that it is traditional among some sects to make love four times during the Sabbath. Hearing this, I respectfully inquired as to whether he and his wife did, in fact, faithfully keep this particular precept. "No, we make love only once. But," he added with a twinkle, "we hold a deep intention for the other three."
The God who made the Sabbath is not a cranky schoolmaster, always forbidding, coercing obedience, and watching sniveling subjects slinking about in cowardly compliance. The Sabbath commandment comes from a kind, wise teacher who does not like to see us suffer. Let me make it easier for you, God says. Some things at first may seem expedient, or important, or profitable--but in the end, they will bring you suffering. If you work all week and forget to rest, you will become brittle and hard, and lose precious nourishment and joy. Forgetting the Sabbath is like forgetting to unwrap the most beautiful gift under the tree.
If we forget to rest we will work too hard and forget our more tender mercies, forget those we love, forget our children and our natural wonder. God says: please don't. It is a waste of a tremendous gift I have given you. If you knew the value of your life, you would not waste a single breath. So I give you this commandment: Remember to rest. This is not a lifestyle suggestions, but a commandment--as important as not stealing, not murdering, or not lying. Remember to play and bless and make love and eat with those you love, and take comfort, easy and long, in this gift of sacred rest.
If you...call the Sabbbath a delight...then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth. ~Isaish 58:13-14