Thursday, May 29, 2008


When The Jews were in the desert, we're told - Bamidbar 2:17 - that "the way they rested (the order they camped in) was the way they moved (same formation)." Rabbi Twerski applies this statement broadly. The way they rested spilled over into the way they moved forward. If their rest was spiritual, then their moving forward was spiritual too.

This applies to us in regard to Shabbos; the way we rest is the way we move. The flavor of our rest carries over and colorizes the way we move into the week. If our Shabbos is a day of spiritual, not just physical rest, then we reap a spiritual surge into the week rather than mere physical momentum.

Shabbos is meant to spill over into our lives. It is a day of rest. Besides everything Shabbos also models for us the idea of a holy break. This is something that would serve anyone well on any day.

Taking a walk, playing or listening to music, exercising, reading, writing, conversing - these can all be sacred activities. The concept of leisure for leisure's sake is perhaps hard to rationalize in Judaism. The idea of down time that propels upwards is a different story. The concept of how we rest leading into how we move onward is right there in our tradition.

May we each be blessed with spiritual pauses that allow us to proceed with sanctity. G-d knows I need this kind of rest, this kind of movement.

Based On - Living Each Week

(For other essays of mine on bamidbar go to and within the blog's search engine look up bamidbar.)

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