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Study and Theory/

Yehoshua Heschel

The Meaning of Shabbat 2

From ‘The Meaning of Shabbat to Man Nowadays’

The seventh day is like a day of cease fire in the cruel battle man wages for existence. A day of respite from all of his personal and social confrontations, a day of peace between man and his fellowman - man and nature, and man with himself. On this day, preoccupation with monetary matters is considered the desecration of the sacred. On this day man declares that he is not dependent on what has become the chief idol in our world. On the seventh day man detaches himself from this anxiety...

In the stormy ocean of time and labor - there are islands of silence, and man has the power of arriving at a safe shore and at restoring his dignity, such an island is the seventh day…

Thereupon, Shabbat is more than respite from the existential struggle, more than a cessation of work. It is a profound and conscious harmony between man and the world.

Love for everything and participation in a spirit that unites the sublime with the mundane. All that is exalted and elevated in the world unites with the creator. This is Shabbat, the genuine bliss of the universe”.

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