I like the concept of a built-in rest period; something Shabbat does for us weekly. A rest between the work week and the holy. In this week the Torah portion addresses rest for us and rest for the land too.
The people would work the fields for six years. In the seventh year, the land was to have a Sabbath of complete rest. During this period the people weren’t to sow their fields, prune their vineyards, or reap the after growth.
The earth needed this separation too. It was given the time to reclaim itself from over planting and harvest.
Thus the land could rejuvenate and become renewed for future planting. And like the land, the people were also given a rest.
Every seven years the early Israelites had the opportunity to escape the yearly toil of planting and gathering the harvest. I think this was a brilliant concept that took into account the needed rest of the laborer and earth combined.
Just think of how many opportunities the ancient people had to relax during that full and complete year of no planting. I am positive they took that year as a vacation to reunite with loved ones and rekindle old friendships.
Maybe they sat around the fire longer and soaked up the company around them. Or, perhaps they just caught up on well-earned sleep.
Barring the fact that their labor had subsided , I bet they were able to bring clarity to their faith and relationships. I am sure after back-breaking work year after year, this well deserved rest built into their system was a delicacy.
After all, the Sabbath should be about rest. It should be a separation from the mundane to the privilege of holiness. Something of a task anymore as we face constant business and schedules that demand our time and energy.
Know you are commanded to cease from work. Find out what it would be like to enjoy the nothingness.
Focus your energy on renewal instead of organized chaos. Allow the built-in rest to reenergize your spiritual and physical being.
Try to cancel your Saturday appointment. Go for a walk. Decline lunch with friends. Take a brief moment this Sabbath to stay home and read or nap on the couch.
Find in your own ritual that the rest on Shabbat is something far greater than you or me. I believe this built-in rest is overdue, if not explicitly needed.
Go ahead and snooze, you can’t lose!