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The Sabbath (1951)

Tekijä: Abraham Joshua Heschel

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JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,7052110,467 (4.3)3
Elegant, passionate, and filled with the love of God's creation, Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Sabbath has been hailed as a classic of Jewish spirituality ever since its original publication-and has been read by thousands of people seeking meaning in modern life. In this brief yet profound meditation on the meaning of the Seventh Day, Heschel introduced the idea of an "architecture of holiness" that appears not in space but in time. Judaism, he argues, is a religion of time: it finds meaning not in space and the material things that fill it but in time and the eternity that imbues it, so that "the Sabbaths are our great cathedrals."… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 21) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I'm not religious and don't believe in a literal god, heaven, or hell. I am curious about Judaism (and other spiritual paths) because of the traditions and philosophies. Some books help with this journey and some derail it, but rarely does a book feel holy (not in that way). This book, short as it was, feels like one that I'll read many times, each time gleaning something new ( )
  bookonion | Mar 10, 2024 |
It's like a long love poem written to and for the sabbath. ( )
  Moshepit20 | Nov 2, 2023 |
Heschel's Sabbath sounds much nicer than my personal experience of it; but that's my problem, not his.

Some quotes:
"[The Sabbath] is a reality we meet rather than an empty span of time which we choose to set aside for comfort or recuperation." [p. 59]
"This is the task of men: to conquer space and sanctify time." [p. 101]
  raizel | Aug 23, 2023 |
In the aftermath of the holocaust we cannot avoid returning to the fundamental question: "How is it possible to be in the world"

Why is this era different from all prior eras? The text of this work tasks itself with answering the (implied) Four Questions. The answer to the First, "How is it (still) possible to be in the world," appears in the form of a justification of existence in Place and Time. The response, though appearing to derive directly from the Pentateuch and subsequent commentaries, is modern in the sense that it seems to possess an awareness of the doctrine of the immanence of the Body of the Savior. Repudiating Kierkegaard's retreat into the pure facticity of the Incarnation of Christ, Heschel's Immanence consists of an infinite retreat into Time itself. From this perspective, the Incarnation is made ridiculous (sacrilegious), for then it would not have been enough for G-d to bring the Decalogue into existence but the Lord of Hosts would have been insecure to need repeat this declaration a second time. And a second insistence is non-trivial. The doubt of Moses' redoubled-declaration to the Israelites which consisted of the Word and (repetition) striking of the stone (twice) is used as justification for exclusion from the land of promise. Furthermore, the insistence on the incarnation as a futile repetition undermines SK's "ultimate" religious irony by substituting a greater one (already the response was: "more ironic had he not been recognized at all"). Now the irony in the Incarnation of Christ is that He has come into existence in the first place, as if arriving at a party helplessly overdressed (in a body). (This pratfall is why already in John the crucifixion at Calvary is re-conceived as a Sacrifice)

In the same sense that Kierkegaard remains among the most modern Lutherans by retreating from most all contentious criteria and abiding in the immanence of the incarnation, Heschel's meaning of the Sabbath is already a retreat from all material promise (the 'dust of the earth' too reminiscent of ashes), and dismisses symbol/object to abide in the infinite retreat of Time.

how is it possible to be in the world:
"Is it possible for a man to plow at the time of plowing, sow at the time of sowing, harvest at the time of harvesting, thresh at the time of threshing, and winnow at the time of winnowing—what is to become of Torah?”
retreat from symbol/object:
"The sense of holiness in time is expressed in the manner in which the Sabbath is celebrated. No ritual object is required for keeping the seventh day, unlike most festivals on which such objects are essential to their observance, as, for example, unleavened bread, Shofar, Lulab and Etrog or the Tabernacle. On that day [..] symbols are superfluous: the Sabbath is itself the symbol.
Immanence in time:
"Creation, we are taught, is not an act that happened once upon a time, once and for ever. The act of bringing the world into existence is a continuous process. God called the world into being, and that call goes on. There is this present moment because God is present. Every instant is an act of creation. A moment is not a terminal but a flash, a signal of Beginning. Time is perpetual innovation, a synonym for continuous creation. Time is God’s gift to the world of space. [...] For where shall the likeness of God be found? There is no quality that space has in common with the essence of God. [...] The likeness of God can be found in time, which is eternity in disguise. [...] That the Sabbath and eternity are one—or of the same essence—is an ancient idea. —The Sabbath is an example of the world to come.“

This address is interwoven with an answer to the second question, which accompanies any immanence in a given place and time: "What is to be done?" Heschel's response appears less eloquent here, vacillating between stoicism and critical theory on the basis of an underlying distrust/misgiving. Heschel appears to desire to approach the vision of a 'solution' with undeserved credence, though this reveals a function of the Sabbath conceived as a shard of eternity in the Benjaminian sense.
[A] day on which we use no money, a day of armistice in the economic struggle with our fellow men and the forces of nature—is there any institution that holds out a greater hope for man’s progress than the Sabbath? [...] Nothing is as hard to suppress as the will to be a slave to one’s own pettiness. Gallantly, ceaselessly, quietly, man must fight for inner liberty. 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. [...] 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.
Against "would you not pull a sheep out of a pit on the Sabbath":
"The glorification of the day, the insistence upon strict observance, did not, however, lead the rabbis to a deification of the law. “The Sabbath is given unto you, not you unto the Sabbath.” The ancient rabbis knew that excessive piety may endanger the fulfilment of the essence of the law. “There is nothing more important, according to the Torah, than to preserve human life … Even when there is the slightest possibility that a life may be at stake one may disregard every prohibition of the law.” One must sacrifice mitzvot for the sake of man rather than sacrifice man “for the sake of mitzvot.""
--> and then, curiously, going even further in the opposite direction
A pious man once took a stroll in his vineyard on the Sabbath. He saw a breach in the fence, and then determined to mend it when the Sabbath would be over. At the expiration of the Sabbath he decided: since the thought of repairing the fence occurred to me on the Sabbath I shall never repair it.
retreat from a concept of holiness prior to historical consideration ("no natural history but historical nature"):
"There is no mention of a sacred place in the Ten Commandments. On the contrary, following the event at Sinai, Moses is told: “In every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come unto thee and bless thee” (Exodus 20:24). The awareness that sanctity is not bound to a particular place made possible the rise of the synagogue. The temple was only in Jerusalem, while the synagogue was in every village. There are fixed times, but no fixed place of prayer."
[...] Holiness in space, in nature, was known in other religions. New in the teaching of Judaism was that the idea of holiness was gradually shifted from space to time, from the realm of nature to the realm of history, from things to events. The physical world became divested of any inherent sanctity. There were no naturally sacred plants or animals any more. To be sacred, a thing had to be consecrated by a conscious act of man. The quality of holiness is not in the grain of matter. It is a preciousness bestowed upon things by an act of consecration and persisting in relation to God. [...] In the Bible, no thing, no place on earth, is holy by itself."
Though the implication is that it would be possible to construct an Un-holy site in this manner as well. Are the sites of the camps condemned? (Horror to consider that they would not be, yet perhaps greater horror to consider that they would...)


QUOTES
Indeed, the splendor of the day is expressed in terms of abstentions, just as the mystery of God is more adequately conveyed via negationis, in the categories of negative theology which claims that we can never say what He is, we can only say what He is not.
When today we wish to bring a word into special prominence we either underline it or print it in italics. In ancient literature, emphasis is expressed through direct repetition (epizeuxis), by repeating a word without any intervening words. The Bible, for example, says: “Justice, Justice shalt thou follow” (Deuteronomy 16:20); “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people” (Isaiah 40:1). Of all the Ten Commandments, only one is proclaimed twice, the last one: “Thou shalt not covet … Thou shalt not covet.”

perhaps there is yet more to this short volume, however this reviewer neglects the remainder of the four questions (incompetence) ( )
  Joe.Olipo | Jun 4, 2023 |
This is a great little book from the Jewish perspective on Sabbath. Highly applicable to followers of Christ needing to find rest.
  JourneyPC | Sep 26, 2022 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 21) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (2 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Abraham Joshua Heschelensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Heschel, SusannahJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Schor, IlyaKuvittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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Technical civilization is a man's conquest of space.
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The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate thime rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world. (p. 10)

This is our constant problem--how to live with people and remain free, how to live with things and remain independent P.89
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (3)

Elegant, passionate, and filled with the love of God's creation, Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Sabbath has been hailed as a classic of Jewish spirituality ever since its original publication-and has been read by thousands of people seeking meaning in modern life. In this brief yet profound meditation on the meaning of the Seventh Day, Heschel introduced the idea of an "architecture of holiness" that appears not in space but in time. Judaism, he argues, is a religion of time: it finds meaning not in space and the material things that fill it but in time and the eternity that imbues it, so that "the Sabbaths are our great cathedrals."

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