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If You're Not Working, Can You Take A Break?

Posted on 10/12/2012 @ 08:11 PM

If you’re not working, can you take a break?

During the Havdallah blessings that close Shabbat, we say המבדיל בין קודש לחול - Hamavdil bein kodesh l’chol. We distinguish between time that is kadosh (holy), and time which is chol (commonplace). In thinking about any Shabbat practice, this phrase is always forefront in my mind. Shabbat is created explicitly to give us a break from the rest of our lives. Our workweeks, our meetings, our daily responsibilities – all have a different context as we separate from them for 25 hours and celebrate that break.

During the High Holy Days, it’s easy to miss that distinction for Shabbat. There are so many days where regular life is suspended, when we’re already celebrating, learning, feasting and resting, that Shabbat’s uniqueness gets lost. I actually really look forward to the end of the holidays, as it marks Shabbat’s return to its rightful place. We will finally have a full week of work and school. We will finally be back to a place where we can look forward to Shabbat for all it is supposed to be. Shabbat without the work-week just doesn’t have the same distinction.

And really, if you’re not working – can you take a break?

(this Shabbat message was led by Aleeza Lubin, DJE, Midwest Hub)

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