“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”
If the truth be told, few of us have any real experience of “keeping the Sabbath.” And for so many of us, the Sabbath is a day for running errands, shopping and doing those things for which we didn’t have time during the previous days.
But the Sabbath is intended for something much more: One day each week when we turn away from the pressures that fill our lives; a day to reflect upon the most important aspects of our lives and to spend time with the people who are most dear to us. The Sabbath is intended to be a day when we regain a sense of awe and appreciation for the wonders that are inherent to life.
I suppose that what I’m saying could be summed up in the cliché to “stop and smell the roses.” And what does that mean other than to become calm and reflect upon the finer or more enjoyable aspects of life, especially when one has become overworked or overstressed. Yes, we tend to get so caught up in daily pressures and challenges that we pay too little attention to the things that matter most in life. And we have to use all of our inner strength to stop and smell the roses, or else what is all of that work for? Or, you might say, you have to stop and smell the roses or else what is life for?
The Torah commands us to rest on the Sabbath. And while that means something different to every person, we all surely understand the intent of this mitzvah. No, it’s not God who needs us to rest. It’s us as we do need at least one day each week to reflect upon the truest blessings of our lives