Sabbath Truth - Sunrise over Mountains
The Sabbath Blog

Sabbath on Wall Street?

Sabbath on Wall Street?

When one thinks of Wall Street, one thinks of … what? Power-hungry, money-grubbing Masters of the Universe, like Gordon Gekko of the movie Wall Street fame, who infamously uttered “Greed is good.” Or one thinks of Ponzi scheme criminal Bernard L. Madoff, who, before being carted off to face 150 years in prison, bilked investors of 64.5 billion (yes, billion!) dollars.

What one does not usually think of is the Sabbath, a day of rest, a day of prayer, a day to put aside worldly pursuits—and to seek spiritual ones instead. And yet, of all places, The Wall Street Journal in May ran an article called “What We’ve Lost in Rejecting the Sabbath.” 

That’s a title you would expect from Christianity Today or The Christian Century—but The Wall Street Journal?

Yup. Amid a publication that usually runs stories about billionaires like Elon Musk or Bill Gates, or the most profitable hedge funds, or the price of oil’s impact on stock portfolios, this article talked about how important a day of rest is for the human body and soul. Indeed, the gist of the piece is that we’re hurting ourselves by not having the Sabbath; and because of that, it seemed to argue, we ought to inject the “good old days” of Sunday laws back into society, prohibiting the opening of businesses for that one day each week in order to give the masses a “Sabbath” rest, whether they want it or not.


Sunday-Closing Laws

And historically, most didn’t want it. In the United States, the only remaining Sunday blue law was abolished in 2019 in North Dakota. People wanted to shop, to work, to do whatever they chose to. It also created hardship for Sabbath-keepers who couldn’t make ends meet resting on Saturday and being forced not to work Sunday.

And yet, interestingly enough, the article proceeds to talk about just how damaging living without a Sabbath can be.

“Across the West today, however, the drive toward maximal market liberty has squeezed out the liberty of the Sabbath. We have banished it in the name of ‘choice.’ And some choice we have: Working-class families are denied even a half-day of rest together, yet we are puzzled by astronomical divorce rates, abysmally low rates of family formation, alienation and drug abuse. We have cashiered the Sabbath for algorithmic human-resources scheduling—computer code designed to minimize labor costs, regardless of the impact on families and communities.”

Legislation or no legislation, “a world without the Sabbath,” the article said, “is a world without soul.” Again, this is The Wall Street Journal. Written by Iranian-born Sohrab Ahmari, the piece followed the career of Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Jewish writer born in Poland, who, having gone to Germany in the 1930s to study, found himself in the midst of the Nazi regime.

Fortunately, Rabbi Heschel was able to get to America, where he had a great and long career. One of his most famous books, The Sabbath, is considered a classic defense of the beauty and need of the seventh-day Sabbath.

Ahmari then wrote about how seriously in the West, including the United States, a day of rest, mostly Sunday, had been taken and often enforced by law. It was referred to by “leading American statesmen and clergy in the post-revolutionary period” as the “Sabbath.” He then describes a short history of what is labeled “the American Sabbath,” that is, Sunday, and what the results are of not having one today.

“For professionals,” wrote Ahmari, “the Sabbath’s demise means barrages of emails to be answered during sleepless nights spent by the ghostly blue glow of the smartphone. For other workers, the Sabbath’s defeat means missed children’s baseball games, lunches wolfed down on impossibly short breaks and bladders relieved in bottles in the vast warehouses of endless consumer choice.”

His sentiments strongly echo an article in The New York Times Magazine titled “Wealthy, Successful, and Miserable,” in which one guy, who earned more than 1.2 million a year, said, “I feel like I’m wasting my life. When I die, is anyone going to care that I earned an extra percentage point of return? My work feels totally meaningless.”

This blog recently covered other similar articles ending in the same single conclusion: People are overworked and stressed out—and they need rest!

In a day and age when we are super-wired through our digital devices, people are feeling the need for a day off, a sabbath, more urgently than ever.


Eternity in Our Hearts

An Iranian, following the life of a Jewish author, is writing in The Wall Street Journal—the epitome of high finance and cut-throat capitalism—about the need for taking a sabbath. And it seems that more and more people are open to the idea. That’s something, is it not?

As this idea of “sabbath” shifts ever more visibly into our collective perspective, we are reminded of Bible prophecy, which foretells that the last days of this world will lead up to a mandated day of rest—and that the specific day of rest is what will matter. While Ahmari’s article does not seem to make a distinction between this day, the Bible most definitely does.

For a truth-filled explanation of the Bible’s Sabbath day, try our free article “Who Changed the Sabbath?” 

By keeping God’s Sabbath, people certainly can get a weekly glimpse beyond the paycheck. God has always meant the Sabbath to do that, to point us to the life He desires and still is able to give to us. Said Christ, “The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). “He has put eternity in [our] hearts” (Ecclesiastes 3:11); and the Sabbath is part of that “eternity,” “a perpetual covenant” (Exodus 31:16) that remains with us for all time (Isaiah 66:22, 23).

Comments
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy. Click here to read it.