Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath was originally published in 1951.
The Sabbath, is a short book, focusing on the holiness of the seventh day and man within space and time. It shines light on a biblical worldview of creating, resting, and eternity. Heschel contrasts time and space, showing that space is what man tries to conquer while sacrificing time, whereas Scripture is more concerned with time than space, with history rather than geography. Time is eternal even though we break up time within our minds. Man transcends space and time transcends man. Culture is drowning within space while time is a lifeboat, a place of rest. Time, especially time set a apart to celebrate and worship God, allows us the independence of space and things, therefore, the Sabbath becomes a truce in all conflicts. Sabbath is spirit in the form of time. A world without time would be a world without God.
Heschell uses the imagery of the Sabbath as a bride and people in preparation for its wedding day. The celebration of the Sabbath is a foreshadowing of the eternal wedding feast. The seventh day is a glimpse of heaven in the here and now. It is the presence of God in the world, the bride that enters the hupah. It is a sign of the resurrection and the world to come. We must live as if the fate of all time depends on a single moment.
“We cannot solve the problem of time through the conquest of space, through pyramids or fame. We can only solve the problem of time through sanctification of time. To men alone time is elusive; to men with God time is eternity in disguise.”
Let me know what you think of the book.
If you haven’t read it yet, go get it.