"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
Reflection by Lillian Daniel
Tomorrow, on Saturday, November 17, a group of religion scholars will walk two miles from their hotel to the convention center in Chicago for the joint meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature. They could have stayed at the Hyatt hotel across the street from the convention center. But upon hearing that the workers had called for a boycott of their own employer, these academics chose to stay elsewhere.
Here in Chicago, at the enormous joint convention, people have been wrestling with the logistics of staying at hotels miles away from the convention center all week long. By asking others to experience inconvenience or hardship, the hotel workers have asked the community to bear their struggles with them. And many religious scholars have joined them, so that they will not walk alone.
But for a group of Sabbath-observing Jews there are more complicated implications for this Saturday. They will not be able to take the shuttle bus from the downtown hotels to the convention center and still observe the Sabbath. But because they believe that the commandment to observe the Sabbath was the first worker's rights law, they made a plan to walk the two miles tomorrow together, as a sign of their support for the workers and as a way to remember the Sabbath.
And in another act of solidarity, a multi-faith group of scholars is planning to join the trek to the convention center alongside their Sabbath-observing colleagues so that they will not walk alone.
We give you thanks, Creator of us all, that we do not walk alone. Amen.
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