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THE SABBATH by Abraham Joshua Heschel. p. 3 Yet to have more does not mean to be more. The power we attain in the world of space terminates abruptly at. The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel In contrast, Heschel posits that Judaism, and especially the Sabbath isn’t about that space at all, but it is about time. By Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Reprinted with permission from The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man, published Shabbat as a Reminder of Creation.

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Return to Book Page. The Sabbath Quotes Showing of The danger begins when in gaining power in the realm of space we forfeit all aspirations in the realm of time. There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord. Life goes wrong when the control of space, the acquisition of things of space, becomes our sole concern. Its Meaning for Modern Man. There are many who have acquired a high degree of political and social liberty, but only very few are not enslaved to things.

This is our constant problem—how to live with people and remain free, how to live with things and remain independent.

The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel | Jewish Book Month Events

My father cites the Zohar: We are within the Sabbath rather than the Sabbath being within us. For my father, the question is how to perceive that holiness: The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else.

All week there is only hope of redemption. But when the Sabbath is entering the world, man is touched by a moment of actual redemption; as if for a moment the spirit of the Messiah moved over the face of the earth. Of the gods it must have a visible image; where there is no image, there is no god.


The Sabbath Quotes

The reverence for the sacred image, for the sacred monument or place, is not only indigenous to most hescel, it has even been retained by men of all ages, all nations, pious, superstitious or even antireligious; they all continue to pay homage to banners and flags, to national shrines, to monuments erected to kings or heroes.

Everywhere the desecration of holy shrines is considered a sacrilege, and the shrine may become so important that the idea swbbath stands for is consigned to oblivion.

The memorial becomes an aid to amnesia; the means stultify the end. For things of space are at the mercy of man. Though too sacred to be polluted, they are not too sacred to be exploited. To retain the holy, to perpetuate the presence of god, his image is fashioned. Yet a god who can be fashioned, a god who can be confined, is but a shadow of man. All week we think: The spirit is too far away, and we succumb to spiritual absenteeism, or at best we pray: Send us a little of Thy spirit.

On the Sabbath the spirit hexchel and pleads: In a religious experience, hesxhel example, it is not a thing that imposes itself on man but a spiritual presence. A moment of insight is a fortune, transporting us beyond jeschel confines of measured time.

For the Sabbath is joy, holiness, and rest; joy is part of this world; holiness and rest are something of the world to come. He must go away from the screech of dissonant days, from the nervousness and fury of acquisitiveness and the betrayal in embezzling his own life.

He must say farewell to manual work and learn to understand that the world abrahma already been created and will survive without the help of man. Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed anraham eternity planted in the soul. Six days a week we seek to dominate the world, on the seventh day we try to dominate the self.

Our intention here is not to deprecate the world of space. Time and space are interrelated. To overlook either of them is to be partially blind.


We must not forget that it is not a thing that lends significance to a moment; it is the moment that lends significance to things.

For the pious person, my father once wrote, it is a privilege to die. It is a triumph frequently achieved by sacrificing an abrahan ingredient of existence, namely, time.

In technical civilization, we expend time to gain space. To enhance our power in the world of space is our main objective. Yet to have more does not mean to be more. The power we attain in the world of space terminates abruptly at the borderline of time. But time is the heart of existence. Even religions are frequently dominated by the notion that the deity resides in hesschel, within particular localities like mountains, forests, trees or stones, which are, therefore, singled out as holy places; the deity is bound to a particular land; holiness a quality associated with things of space, and the primary heechel is: Where is the god?

There is much enthusiasm for the idea that God is present in the universe, but that idea is taken to mean His presence in space rather than in time, in nature rather than in history; as sabbatb He were a thing, not a spirit. Thus the essence of the Sabbath is completely detached from the world of space.

Abraham Joshua Heschel

The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to ssbbath mystery of creation; from the world of creation to hschel creation of the world. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.