Cathedral of Time
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once wrote that, for Jews, the Shabbat days are “our great cathedrals.” While followers of other traditions built great edifices out of stone and brick, the Jewish community made putting aside time for reflection and rejuvenation as our greatest achievement.
Especially in these days of Covid-19, I find time to be fleeting. Days roll into one another. It is not uncommon for my husband David and I to look at one another and ask, “Is it Thursday or Friday?” And, I am surprised at how busy I am, and how little I feel like I am doing.
Does anybody else have a similar feeling?
I find that Jewish tradition often has an answer. One of the beautiful things about belonging to the Jewish people is having centuries and centuries of experience to draw upon. Perhaps, emphasizing Shabbat is an answer to building structure into days and weeks of the pandemic.
Our worlds have become smaller through the pandemic. We are all spending much more time at home and far less time out in the community, let alone traveling. Space, therefore, has less consequence. The beautiful synagogue, church, and mosque spaces in our community are sitting vacant. Perhaps, in this time when space has less meaning, Shabbat can help bring us together. In the words of Rabbi Heschel, “the meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space.”
Tonight, at 6 pm, we are going to have a Beth Chai Shabbat service. It will be on Zoom and led by Susan-Lisa and me. It would be wonderful to have the community gather together for it. It will lively, full of song and not too long (we know time is precious!). I hope you can join us.