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 The Sabbath:

The Holiness of Time

[Picture]The 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. 

On this topic:

Creating Shabbat

Seven Shabbat traditions

How to: Words and deeds

Shabbat as a family 

Mishpacha participants on Shabbat


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.


The 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


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