Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Sabbath Contract between Jew and G-d
(Exodus 31, 16-17) - part 2

That it is not a trifling matter to desecrate the Sabbath we learn from:

כי ששת ימים עשה ה' את השמים ואת הארץ
"For as a hexadiemer did
G-d make the heavens and the earth."

The Almighty made all heaven and the earth as a hexadiemer, a "six-dayer"; That is, as a creation which operates only on the basis of six days of work followed by the Sabbath as a rest day. It is not written "ששה ימים", which would be the correct way of expressing six days, but "ששת ימים" - in combinative form, with a hyphen - a grammatic construction that means a "six-dayer". The entire world is, so to say, a "sixer". It receives and transmits its G-d-given powers in hexadiemeric measure. It has received the power to exist six thousand years. The earth can give forth its produce six years consecutively and then must be allowed to rest one year; For if this schedule according to which it was created is not lived up to, then its ability to produce the right type and quality of fruit is impaired.

Man also is created hexamerically, his powers adjusted to the measure of six days' work and one day of rest. If he should labor five days and rest on the sixth, he would not be working sufficiently and he would in time be overcome by lassitude or neurasthenia. If he should work seven days and rest on the eighth, it would be too much for him and he would eventually become weak from overwork. He can only be normal and completely healthy when he works according to the schedule of his Creator - six days, resting on the seventh.

The entire machinery of nature, of heaven and earth, is adjusted by G-d so that everything should work six days and rest on the seventh. Only those who work in harmony with the G-d-created machinery are normal both in their work, spiritual or material, and in their accomplishments. Anything that is effectuated on the day of rest, the World-Sabbath which, according to our sages, is the fountain of blessings for the week, can have no survival; For it lacks the blessings of the nature-machine. Nature rested on that day. She did not infuse her secret powers into that which man did or made on this day without her consent. It will therefore not keep. Its maker will not enjoy the ultimate benefit thereof. The money that one amasses through working on the Sabbath will, in the end, go to waste. It cannot under any circumstances bring him either success or good fortune, for it was taken without the divine blessing of abundance in nature which, being then at rest, did not pour forth its bounteous benediction upon the monies that the rest-disturber graspingly attempted to acquire.

It is therefore not merely a question of so many days of work and one day of rest, but actually a matter of working on the correct work-days, and resting on the true-Sabbath day. One must work when the nature-machinery works, specifically from Sunday to Friday, and rest on Saturday. If, however, one works from Monday through Saturday and rests on Sunday, or if one rests on any other day of the week and works on Saturday, it means having worked on the day when nature rested. The penalty for this is, as above stated, that the work has no power of survival, nor to provide any genuine benefit.

Therefore many nations, after long years of continuously working on Saturday, have vanished completely. They had, in a certain degree, lived abnormally. They ate food produced during the Sabbath, which somehow harmed them. They amassed wealth created on nature's G-d-given rest day, which was foredoomed to perish.The cumulative effect of it all was that these nations finally disappeared completely. Some of them, indeed, worked only six days a week and rested one day. But it availed them little. They had worked on the day when all nature rested, on the Sabbath, therefore the fact that they rested on another day did not help them.

Nature's true day of rest, when she operates only to the extent necessary for the world's continuation, but does not produce anything which has the power of survival, is the Sabbath instituted by G-d, the day about which it is written:

וביום השביעי שבת וינפש
"And on the seventh day He desisted and became rested."

Nature does not work when G-d, its creator, does not work, and this is on the Jewish Sabbath-day. It is obviously illogical to say that after G-d created the world in six days He "rested" on the seventh. What then did He do on the eighth day, and the ninth, and all the days since? Did He then return to his factory to create more worlds, heavens and earths? The true interpretation is as above indicated. G-d created the world as a hexadiemer, that it should work for six days, during which, with His constant cooperation, it can produce all things and endue them with power, while on the Seventh day it should operate only as though with unmeshed gears, without beneficent effect upon newly made things, merely to continue what is already in being. This is the reason for "וינפש" - a word in the passive tense. It means that He became rested. He arranged that nature should cause Him to become rested, for ever since creation, nature, by His power, works six days but rests on the Sabbath, thus causing Him also to rest, since she does not draw any substance from G-d, and does not impart any.

That which nature must furnish on the Sabbath in order to maintain the world, is imparted in sufficient degree on Friday, as the Manna came in double-portion on Friday. But on the Sabbath day itself nature is non-beneficent, for it does receive the requisite power from the Creator, who is, thereby, caused by her to "become rested".

The essence of the idea that G-d created the world in six days, is surely not because it had to take Him that much time to do it. G-d could have created the world just as easily in six seconds, or, as the Zohar puts it, with a thought. But He apportioned the work over six days, commanded the world to develop into fulsomeness over all of six days, in order to set the hexameric standard of work forever both for the world and for man; That it, too, should be a "six-dayer"; That during every six day period, while G-d continues to endue nature with the force that enables her to work, man should work in harmony with her, and that he should rest when all nature rests.

It is very difficult for some people to conceive that a profit made on the Sabbath is worthless. Yet this is paralleled by the fact that many other gains have no substance and never bring good fortune. For example, dowry that is taken from an unwilling giver, an inheritance from a remote relative, and stolen money are never lucky and can never be long maintained. Various reasons and explanations are offered for this often observed phenomenon, but the only true reason is that such gains lack the divine beneficence which is given only with the natural gain to those who rightfully earned it. In another's hands it melts away like snow.

Whatever opinion one may hold, profits made on the Sabbath can under no circumstances be for long retained. They are made without the cooperation of nature, without her approval. Therefore they must sooner or later vanish like smoke. Oftentimes these profits actually cause injury, disease, or pain, depending upon how easily or with how much difficulty a person is destined to be dispossessed of them.

"And the children of Israel shall observe the Sabbath." The Jew must observe the G-dly, hexadiemeric world-system. For not observing the Shmitah, the Sabbatic year of the soil, the Jews lost their own land and even in exile they have not been permitted again to till the soil [written in 1941]. For not observing the Sabbath day, the Jew loses his good fortune generally so that even if he acquires money it brings him more harm than good. Proof of this is seen in the fact that the great assimilants, despite their economic success, either give their money away to some sort of a "Haman", or else they sink it into the guts of other peoples; So that in any event their money falls into the hands of strangers.

The Sabbath keeps the Jew when the Jew keeps the Sabbath. But whenever the Sabbath lies broken, there the Jew can have no good fortune. To attempt to circumvent G-d means only to deceive oneself.
Did you see Part 1?

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