Sen. Joe Lieberman, an observant Jew, is working on a book about his faith and his dedication to setting aside the Sabbath as a day of rest.
The Howard Books imprint of Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that it plans an August release for “Gift of Rest,” in which Lieberman will describe the “profound benefit — including health, relational and even career advancement” — that observance of a day of rest can bring “for people of all religions.”
“I know some people will think it is unusual for a United States senator to write a book about a religious subject like the Sabbath, and no less unusual for a Jew to write about such a topic for an audience of Christians and other faiths as well as Jews,” he said in a statement provided to POLITICO. “I have done so because of all the Sabbath has meant to me as a person and as a senator. Its rest is a gift from God that I want to share with readers of all faiths and a gift I hope you will accept.”
Lieberman’s observance of the Jewish Sabbath from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday got plenty of media attention in 2000, when he was Al Gore’s running mate on the Democrats’ presidential ticket. He belongs to orthodox synagogues in Washington and Connecticut and refrains from using cars and electricity on the Sabbath.
When major votes have come before the Senate on Friday nights or Saturdays, Lieberman has walked from his home in Georgetown to Capitol Hill to cast his vote. He walked to the Hill during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999 and made the trek to pass the economic stimulus bill in 2009. “I try never to miss a vote because of my religious beliefs, practices,” Lieberman said at the time. “I have a responsibility to the community.”
Lieberman, a longtime Democrat who became an independent to win reelection in 2006, announced last month that he will not try for another term in 2012.
Howard Books began as a Christian publisher but has expanded its catalog to include other books on faith and religion. The book will be co-authored by David Klinghoffer, who has written about his path from reform to orthodox Judaism.