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Oasis in Time

Oasis in Time

The Gift of Shabbos in a 24/7 World

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What is the role of rest? Does it serve merely as a time to recharge and reenergize before we get back to work? Or can it play a more active role, allowing the work itself to mature in a way that is simply not possible while one is active?
More significantly, what does rest teach us about ourselves? Might rest be a way of freeing ourselves from defining ourselves by what we do, instead valuing ourselves for who we are?
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An ancient Talmudic adage states, “The one who prepares on Friday will eat on Shabbat.”
The quality of Shabbat is directly impacted by the degree to which on invests oneself in the preparations, engaging in cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing, and planning, so that the day itself is calm, peaceful, and enjoyable.

But planning and preparing are not only a means to an end. There is value in the preparation process itself, which makes
us more mindful and imbues our work itself with a spirit of transcendence.
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“Shabbat Shalom,” individuals wish one another a peaceful Shabbos. The rabbis enacted the practice of candle-lighting to prevent people from stumbling on one another and arguing. Spiritually, they not only prevent arguments, but they foster understanding and consideration between people — and inward meditation.
More than any other quality, Shabbat is a day of peace, both
inner peace and peace in relationships and in the world.
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Never has society found it harder to negotiate the concept of moderation
and healthy pleasure.
Shabbos is all about achieving balance: a spiritual day enhanced by physical pleasure such as fine clothing, and
exquisite food and wines. Shabbat allows us to experience joy without guilt, and sensuousness unmarred by the ills of
overindulgence.
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This lesson probes the specific nature of “work,” as defined in the Torah. The "Work" prohibited on Shabbos, is defined not as strenuous labor, but as creative and productive pursuits. Collectively, these endeavors represent ways in which we transform the world around us.

Shabbat is an opportunity to discover humility and perspective — and that the world can function without us. We need not always be in control. As we learn to nurture faith and trust, we find, against all intuitions, that our work becomes more focused and effective.
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If Shabbat is to have a positive effect on the rest of the week, then there must be a plan for healthy reentry into the “real world.”
The ceremony called Havdalah, that marks the end of Shabbat, includes wine to relax the spirit, spices to gladden the soul, and a multi-wicked candle to introduce the light of Shabbat into the darkness of the week. It allows the lessons of Shabbat to be synthesized and incorporated into the workweek itself.
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