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15 November 2011

Book Review The Sabbath

The SabbathThe Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thoughtful book about the importance of the Sabbath because it is about "time" not about "space." 

"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." 

"We must conquer space in order to sanctify time.  All week long we are called upon to sanctify life through employing things of space.  On the Sabbath it is given us to share in the holiness that is in the heart of time."

Though this is a Jewish text, it isn't only for Jews;  folks of all stripes can get something out of Heschel's thoughtful, if sometimes scattered, disorganized, and repetitive, prose:

"Technical civilization is man's triumph over space.  Yet time remains impervious.  We can overcome distance but can neither recapture the past nor dig out the future.  Man transcends space, and time transcends man."

"Every one of us occupies a portion of space.  He takes it up exclusively.  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."

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