The Sabbath, excerpts

Here are the passages I marked while reading The Sabbath, which I finally finished today at the library.


“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.” Pg. 1

“There is happiness in the love of labor, there is misery in the love of gain. Many hearts and pitchers are broken at the fountain of profit.” Pg. 1

“The mythical mind would expect that, after heaven and earth have been established, God would create a holy place – a holy mountain or a holy spring – whereupon a sanctuary is to be established. Yet it seems as if to the bible it is holiness in time, the Sabbath, which comes first.” Pg. 9

“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.” Pg. 10

“…the Sabbath is not an occasion for diversion or frivolity; not a day to shoot fireworks or to turn somersaults, but an opportunity to mend out tattered lives; to collect rather than to dissipate time. Labor without dignity is the cause of misery; rest without spirit the source of depravity.” Pg. 18

“[The Sabbath] is a day of the soul as well as of the body; comfort and pleasure are integral parts of the Sabbath observance. Man in his entirety, all his faculties must share its blessing.” Pg. 19

“The seventh day is like a palace in time with a kingdom for all. It is not a date but an atmosphere… The primary awareness is one of our being within the Sabbath rather than of the Sabbath being within us.” Pg. 21

“‘What was created on the seventh day? Tranquility, serenity, peace, and repose.”‘ Pg. 23

“For the Sabbath is a day of harmony and peace, peace between man and man, peace within man, and peace with all things. On the seventh day man has no right to tamper with God’s world, to change the state of physical things.” Pg. 31.

“‘Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work (Exodus 20:8).’ Is it possible for a human being to do all his work in six days? Does not our work always remain incomplete? What the verse means to convey is: Rest on the Sabbath as if all your work were done. Another interpretation: Rest even from the thought of labor.”
A pious man once took a stroll in his vineyard on the Sabbath. He saw a breach in the fence, and then determined to mend it when the Sabbath would be over. At the expiration of the Sabbath he decided: since the thought of repairing the fence occurred to me on the Sabbath I shall never repair it.” Pg. 32

“The [Sabbath] was a living presence, and when it arrived they felt as if a guest had come to see them. And, surely, a guest who comes to pay a call in friendship or respect must be given welcome.” Pg. 53

“What is the Sabbath? Spirit in the form of time.” Pg. 75

“We usually think that the earth is our mother, that time is money and profit our mate. The seventh day is a reminder that God is our father, that time is life and the spirit our mate.” Pg. 76

“‘The Sabbath is all holiness.’ Nothing is essentially required save a soul to receive more soul. For the Sabbath ‘maintains all souls.”‘ Pg. 82

“All our life should be a pilgrimage to the seventh day; the thought and appreciation of what this day may bring to us should be ever present in our minds.” Pg. 89

“Everyone will admit that the Grand Canyon is more awe-inspiring than a trench. Everyone knows the difference between a worm and an eagle. But how many of us have a similar sense of discretion for the diversity of time?” Pg. 96

“Things perish within time; time itself does not change. We should not speak of the flow or passage of time but of the flow or passage of space through time. It is not time that dies; it is the human body which dies in time.” Pg. 97

“Every one of us occupies a portion of space. He takes it up exclusively. The portion of space which my body occupies is taken up by myself in exclusion of anyone else. Yet, no one possesses time. There is no moment which I possess exclusively. This very moment belongs to all living men as it belongs to me. We share time, we own space. Through my ownership of space, I am a rival of all other beings; through my living in time, I am a contemporary of all other beings. We pass through time, we occupy space. We easily succumb to the illusion that the world of space is for our sake, for man’s sake. In regard to time, we are immune to such an illusion.” Pg. 99

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