Is it possible to let go?
In the story of Creation, God ceases work at the beginning of the seventh day and blesses the seventh day by instituting rest. In essence, Shabbat begins.
Sforno, the Italian commentator on the Torah wonders how one would be able to determine this exact moment: the end of sixth and beginning of the seventh day. He cites Bereshit Rabbah which says that the instance Shabbat begins is as thin as a hair’s breadth.
Meaning, the span between work and respite is very small, almost impossible to feel or see.
It also means that it is easy to let work overtake our needed Sabbath. Just one email on vacation has the potential to ruin the remainder of a needed break. An unnecessary phone call or task that slips by taints the moments that follow. The question is: Is it ever possible to really let go? Will we let Shabbat gift us God’s intended blessings? A time in which we breathe, mentally and physically turn off the stress of the week, and renew ourselves for further creation of this broken world.
How do we protect that fine line, the sanctity of Shabbat, without letting the anxiety of the other six days seep right through?
Perhaps, the magic of the fine line is magnified in the lighting of the Shabbat candles. Shabbat begins with a flicker of flames, reminding us that we too shine brightly when given the time to stand still.
Stand still. Let Shabbat wash over you. Let go. Shine bright.