Excerpts – the Sabbath

“There is no equivalent for the word “thing” in biblical Hebrew… an indication of an unwarped view of the world, of not equating reality (derived from the Latin word res, thing) with thinghood.

It is, indeed, a unique occasion at which the distinguished word qadosh is used for the first time: in the Book of Genesis at the end of the story of creation. How extremely significant is the fact that it is applied to time: “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy (qadosh).” There is no reference in the record of creation to any object in space that would be endowed with the quality of holiness.

For where shall the likeness of God be found [in creation]? There is no quality that space has in common with the essence of God [the earth is his footstool]. There is not enough freedom on the top of the mountain; there is not enough glory in the silence of the sea. Yet the likeness of God can be found in time, which is eternity in disguise.

Six days a week we try to dominate the world, on the seventh day we try to dominate the self.

The real and the spiritual are one, like body and soul in a living man. It is for the law to clear the path; it is for the soul to sense the spirit.”

-Abraham Joshua Heschel


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One thought on “Excerpts – the Sabbath”

  1. Thank you Rabbi Heschel. I luxuriated in the presence of rest today. Without the Sabbath, I'd much more seldom get to taste heaven here on earth.
    – Stephen

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