Palaces in Time
1 א

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.

The Sabbath, p. 3

2 ב

The mind’s preoccupation with things of space affects, to this day, all activities of man. Even religions are frequently dominated by the notion that the deity resides in space, within particular localities like mountains, forests, trees or stones, which are, therefore, singled out as holy places; the deity is bound to a particular land; holiness a quality associated with things of space, and the primary question is: Where is the god? There is much enthusiasm for the idea that God is present in the universe, but that idea is taken to mean His presence in space rather than in time, in nature rather than in history; as if God were a thing, not a spirit.

The Sabbath, p. 4

3 ג

Judaism is a religion of time aiming at the sanctification of time. Unlike the space-minded man to whom time is unvaried, iterative, homogeneous, to whom all hours are alike, qualitiless, empty shells, the Bible sense the diversified character of time. There are no two hours alike. Every hour is unique and the only one given at the moment, exclusive and endlessly precious.

Judaism teaches us to be attached to holiness in time, to be attached to sacred events, to learn how to consecrate sanctuaries that emerge from the magnificent stream of a year. The Sabbaths are our great cathedrals; and our Holy of Holies is a shrine that neither the Romans nor the Germans were able to burn; a shrine that even apostasy cannot easily obliterate: the Day of Atonement. According to the ancient rabbis, it is not the observance of the Day of Atonement which, but the Day itself, the "essence of the Day," which, with man's repentance, atones for the sinse of man.

Jewish ritual may be characterized as the art of significant forms in time, as architecture of time.

The Sabbath, p. 8

4 ד

He who wants to enter the holiness of the day must first lay down the profanity of clattering commerce, of being yoked to toil. He must go away from the screech of dissonant days, from the nervousness and fury of acquisitiveness and the betrayal in embezzling his own life. He must say farewell to manual work and learn to understand that the world has already been created and will survive without the help of man. Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else. Six days a week we seek to dominate the world, on the seventh day we try to dominate the self.

The Sabbath, p. 13

5 ה

...the Sabbath is not dedicated exclusively to spiritual goals. It is a day of the soul as well as of the body; comfort and pleasure are an integral part of the Sabbath observance. Man in his entirety, all his faculties must share its blessing.

The Sabbath, p. 19

6 ו

Man may forfeit his sense of the ineffable. To be alive is a commonplace; the sense of radical amazement is gone; the world is familiar, and familiarity does not breed exaltation or even appreciation. Deprived of the ability to praise, modern man is forced to look for entertainment; entertainment is becoming compulsory.

The man of our time is losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating, he seeks to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state–it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle. Entertainment is a diversion, a distraction of the attention of the mind from the preoccupations of daily living. Celebration a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one's actions.

Celebration is an act of expressing respect or reverence for that which one needs or honors. In modern usage, the term suggests demonstrations, often public demonstrations, of joy and festivity, such as singing, shouting, speechmaking, feasting, and the like. Yet what I mean is not outward ceremony and public demonstration, but rather inward appreciation, lending spiritual form to everyday acts. Its essence is to call attention to the sublime or solemn aspects of living, to rise above the confines of consumption.

To celebrate is to share in a greater joy, to participate in an eternal drama. In acts of consumption the intention is to please our own selves; in acts of celebration the intention is to extol God, the spirit, the source of blessing.

Who Is Man? (1965), p. 116-117