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Sabbath is time set apart from our normal workaday routine. We daily parcel
out time in a juggling act, trying to figure out how to accomplish the most
in the least amount of time.
The Sabbath is a time when we stop thinking in terms of goals and shift
our consciousness to perceive the expansiveness of time and the world around
us. During the week we think about the world in terms of its use; on the Sabbath
we think of the world in terms of its essence.
Imagine a Forest...
Imagine yourself walking through it...
Think of some possible ways you could experience the forest:
- As a logger. You look around and imagine how much wood you could
cut down, seeing the trees in terms of personal profit.
- Tired and bored. You think to yourself: This forest goes on forever!
I am sick of hiking. Will this ever end?
- Lost. With the light darkening you begin to feel terrified. The
shadows of the trees appear to twist and extend. The mysterious noises of
the forest grow more ominous by the moment. Your experience of the immense
power around you is negative.
- Happy and relaxed. When you arrive at the forest the light may just
be deepening into twilight and slanting through the trees to create dappled
magic on the ground. Struck by the beauty and the holiness of the forest,
you accept it -- not requiring it to be smaller or less of a maze than it
is. You enter a moment that feels truly magical, awash in the music all around
you. Your awareness may be heightened and you feel an abundance of blessing.
For the moment, you have the sense of feeling complete.
Bring this consciousness into your home
This last is the notion behind Shabbat. It is a day of completeness, of abundance,
and of satisfying rest. The kind of relaxation in which one is parked in front
of the television and becomes a sedated "couch potato" is the very opposite
of the deep Sabbath rest that is a restorative to the soul. Rather than dulling
the spirit, this rest replenishes.
Shabbat is a twenty-five hour period -- amounting to one-seventh of our lives
-- dedicated to rejoicing, spending time with family and friends, eating good
food, to prayer, song, study, and sleep.
Sabbath is more than a day -- it begins 18 minutes before sundown, and
ends 42 minutes after, when the sky is fully dark.|
Next: Creating Shabbat