Sabbath - at Highmoor Hall
Notes from a day exploring the theme of Shabbat
at the Spring, Highmoor Hall, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon UK
Thursday 11 May 2000, 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sabbath is a revolutionary idea. The Greeks and Romans were rather bemused by the Jewish Sabbath - Saneca said it was because the Jews were lazy!
I want to start with a quote from the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks:
The great Hassidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, was once looking out of his window watching the crowds of people rushing as they wend about their business. He leaned out and asked one of them, `Why are you rushing?' The man replied, `I'm running to work to make a living.' `Are you sure', asked the rabbi, `that your livelihood is running away from you and you have to rush to catch it up. Perhaps it's rushing toward you and all you have to do is stand still and let it catch up with you.'
The message is that we can all over do work. We can work so hard that we forget why we work. The Jewish concept of Sabbath is that we don't live in order to work, but that we work in order to live. We don't observe Sabbath to gain the strength to work the rest of the week (secular idea). But we work the rest of the week in order to stand still and rest on the Sabbath.
The following sources were used in preparing this work.
1. Glinert, L., The Joys of Hebrew (Oxford University Press: New York, 1992), p.202.
2. Sacks, J., Faith in the Future (Darton, Longman and Todd: London, 1995), p.134.
3. Sanders, E.P., Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah (SCM Press: London and Trinity Press International: Philadelphia, 1990), p.8-9.
4. Flusser, D. Jesus (The Magnes Press: The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1998), p.62.
5. Neot Kedumim, The Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel, Trail A (Neot Kedumim: Israel,1992), 27-33.
6. Soncino Talmud, CD Rom Edition