Knowing How to Stop

We are used to moving forward in the race of life, to work and accumulate possessions, constantly getting updated and updating others. This week’s Portion breaks this mechanism twice: first, with the commandment of Shemitah. A man works for six consecutive years, but in the seventh, he has to stop. He must let go, release control, and rest. The second time in which the incessant race stops is with the commandment of the Shabbat. Once a week man is required to reset the system and recharge himself, to disconnect himself from external noises in order to connect to the inner realm. Rabbi Kook writes that we must “shake ourselves of the usual commotion of life.” When he wrote it, the commotion of life was horse and carriage. Today it is much bigger.

Kind David defines this secret: “Let be, and know that I am God”, he says in the Book of Psalms. This is a recommendation to stop the insistent control of reality from time to time. It is precisely the letting go that can give us more peace and confidence.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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