Rediscovering Rest in a Relentless World
Reflections on The Sabbath and Rest
The Chains of Our Creation:
All around me, I see the chains we've unknowingly forged. Startup founders are entrapped in a never-ending cycle, chasing their next funding round. Colleagues at Google fall victim to that next promotion cycle, but the question looms… for what?
Over the past 2-3 years writing broadly about health, I’ve realized I need to constantly remind myself: “it’s okay to rest”.
The price is often high. Many are so wrapped up in their work and busyness that they neglect their health, relationships, and inner peace. In our quest for “progress”, we've become ensnared by the very innovations we championed.
As Abraham Joshua Heschel put it in The Sabbath,
Yet our victories have come to resemble defeats. In spite of our triumphs, we have fallen victims to the work of our hands; it is as if the forces we had conquered have conquered us.
It's a sentiment that rings true more than ever. In a world of constant mimesis, we’re prone to be enslaved by things. Our obsession with material gains blinds us from the more profound treasures of life.
If not to value things, then what to value?
Sabbath: The Antidote
Judaism offers an age-old remedy: The Sabbath.
When I think about “The Sabbath”, my mind fondly travels back to the warmth of my childhood friend, AJ Sacks’ home. Those pre-teen Friday Shabbat evenings were marked by afternoon basketball games, exploring early 2000’s YouTube clips, and playing manhunt together with friends. Before the sun went down, we’d shower and get dressed up.
Those Fridays were pure magic, culminating tradition, family, and rest. Time paused, allowing us to truly savor each moment.
This sanctification of time is special in Judaism.
Some religions build great cathedrals or temples, but Judaism constructs the Sabbath as an architecture of time
It represents a mindset shift. It isn't about ceasing work but about embracing a different kind of work—one that prioritizes the soul.
Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else. Six days a week we seek to dominate the world, on the seventh day we try to dominate the self.
This is the essence of the Sabbath. We’re urged to "turn from the world of creation to the creation of the world."
It's a call to rekindle our relationship with time, to sanctify it, to rediscover the joy of being.
When I first visited Israel, this sacred pause came alive in a more profound way. Streets quieted, shops closed, and a palpable serenity took over. This temporary disconnect from technology on the kibbutz allowed me to find joy in the simplest of moments. I had longer conversations with friends because I had nowhere to be, nothing to do…
To me, The Sabbath isn’t just a day; it's a mindset. It challenges my western narrative that equates busyness with importance. It whispers the age-old wisdom that true fulfillment isn't found in constant doing but in intentional being.
I yearn to bring the essence of the Sabbath into my life in San Francisco, to carve out a sanctuary of time amidst the chaos. Not just as a religious ritual, but as a lifeline to what truly matters.
Embrace the Sacred Pause
The Sabbath offers a universal lesson to anybody, regardless of their religious affiliations. So I challenge you: in our relentless world, find a space for your Sabbath.
Whether a few hours or an entire day, make time to disconnect, to reflect, to be. Because in these sacred pauses, we don’t just find rest - we find ourselves.
Thanks for reading Saks' Snacks! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.