The Sabbath Quotes.

1. "To gain control of the world of space is certainly one of our tasks. The danger begins when in gaining power in the realm of space we forfeit all aspirations in the realm of time. 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."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

2. "The Sabbath is the day on which we learn the art of surpassing civilization."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

3. "Gallantly, ceaselessly, quietly, man must fight for inner liberty to remain independent of the enslavement of the material world. Inner liberty depends upon being exempt from domination of things as well as from domination of people. There are many who have acquired a high degree of political and social liberty, but only very few are not enslaved to things. This is our constant problem—how to live with people and remain free, how to live with things and remain independent."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

4. "The solution of mankind’s most vexing problem will not be found in renouncing technical civilization, but in attaining some degree of independence of it."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

5. "Shabbat comes with its own holiness; we enter not simply a day, but an atmosphere. My father cites the Zohar: the Sabbath is the name of God. We are within the Sabbath rather than the Sabbath being within us. For my father, the question is how to perceive that holiness: not how much to observe, but how to observe. Strict adherence to the laws regulating Sabbath observance doesn’t suffice; the goal is creating the Sabbath as a foretaste of paradise. The Sabbath is a metaphor for paradise and a testimony to God’s presence; in our prayers, we anticipate a messianic era that will be a Sabbath, and each Shabbat prepares us for that experience: Unless one learns how to relish the taste of Sabbath … one will be unable to enjoy the taste of eternity in the world to come. It was on the seventh day that God gave the world a soul, and [the world’s] survival depends upon the holiness of the seventh day. The task, he writes, becomes how to convert time into eternity, how to fill our time with spirit: 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."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

6. "Zion is in ruins, Jerusalem lies in the dust. All week there is only hope of redemption. But when the Sabbath is entering the world, man is touched by a moment of actual redemption; as if for a moment the spirit of the Messiah moved over the face of the earth."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

7. "Labor is a blessing, toil is the misery of man."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

8. "The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments. In a religious experience, for example, it is not a thing that imposes itself on man but a spiritual presence. 5 What is retained in the soul is the moment of insight rather than the place where the act came to pass. A moment of insight is a fortune, transporting us beyond the confines of measured time."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

9. "The Sabbath is the presence of God in the world, open to the soul of man. God is not in things of space, but in moments of time."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

10. "The Sabbath is a reminder of the two worlds—this world and the world to come; it is an example of both worlds. For the Sabbath is joy, holiness, and rest; joy is part of this world; holiness and rest are something of the world to come.16"
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

  1.                                              Next Page

Browse By Letters