To Stop Running Around

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Every week it seems to me that we need Shabbat more than the previous week. With so many highly emotional events, dramas and storms, together with an uninterrupted flow of information, it’s hard to believe that only six days have passed since last Shabbat. In this week’s Torah portion, next to the splitting of the Red Sea and the Song of the Sea, a single mitzva appears: "Let no one leave his place on the seventh day". Such a simple, ingenious instruction: to stay in one place. To stop running around. Not to conquer the world, but to conquer ourselves. All week long we are running between the parking lot and the mall, between the car and the elevator. Even when we are sitting in one place, our minds can be somewhere else. It’s possible to be sitting in a classroom or a car and yet be wandering between numerous worlds simultaneously thanks to a small cellular device. In cyberspace we can be everywhere but therefore we are actually nowhere. Once a week, Shabbat calls upon us to be in one place for 25 hours straight and also to have our thoughts stay with us in one place.

Shabbat shalom.

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