“An Oasis in Time” by Benji Levy— Seven Thoughts for the Seventh Day

Levy, Benji. “An Oasis in Time”, Maggid, 2020.

Seven Thoughts for the Seventh Day

Amos Lassen

According to the Hebrew Bible, we are commanded to rest on the seventh day commemorating the day when the earth was complete and the concept of rest was created. When we think of rest today, we usually think of turning everything off but the rest we look with Shabbat is different—rather than being a kind of passive activity, it is active. For Shabbat, we channel “a different kind of energy”, a kind of rest that leads to “rejuvenation”, an intentional rest. We rest by taking part in life and enjoying our relationships, friends and moments that give meanings to our lives. This kind of rest leads us to the feeling of restoration and there are many ways to do this as we learn from Rabbi Benji Levy in his “An Oasis in Time: Seven Thought for the Seventh Day”. Through this we see Shabbat as “an expression of personal liberty, a spiritual encounter, an opportunity for connection, and a protest against injustice, as an anchor to our past and a window into the future.”

Rabbi Levy shares “his profound insights into the multifaceted nature of Shabbat.” We get a Shabbat that is filled with meaning and see it as both personal and private, a day that gives us not only relaxation but a recalibration of our lives. While the seventh day becomes individual and personal, it remains universal as we gain perspectives on who we are and our relationship with spirituality. Through observing Shabbat, we see the Jewish relationship to humankind and humanity and how we fit into the “universalist side of our religious worldview and enjoins us to become involved in social justice that is authentic and inclusive.” We also come to understand that Shabbat is “at the heart of two ideas that constitute Judaism’s most important intellectual contributions to human civilization, monotheism and messianism.”

The seven thoughts include:

1.“Shabbat and Self”

2. “Shabbat and the Soul”

3. Shabbat and the Other

4.. “Shabbat and Social Justice”

5.“Shabbat and our Humanity”

6..“Shabbat and the Jewish Revolution”

7.“Shabbat and the Messiah”

 

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