According to Tikkun editor Michael Lerner, "Shabbat is the quintessential Jewish observance and one of the most important contributions the Jews have to offer the larger world." In the introduction to this collection of essays, Dov Peretz Elkins describes this holy day as "a gateway to Jewish living." He believes that when we keep Shabbat, we bring dignity to our lives, impose a template of meaning, heal the psyche, bring the family closer together, and help redeem society.

Abraham Joshua Heschel proclaimed Shabbat to be "God's sanctuary in time." Harold M. Schulweis sees it as a protest against our addiction to work whereas Harvey Cox talks about it as a day for doing nothing. Several essays emphasize that this practice brings Jews closer to the past and their ancestors. Ismar Schorsch lifts up Shabbat as an ideal time to ponder our stewardship of "this cosmic oasis." One of the best essays, by Alan S. Green, salutes this day of rest and recreation as a perfect occasion for unhurried sex between husband and wife.