Shabbat is a time for contracting, for drawing in the widespread arms and fingers of influence. It is a time to abdicate some of the enormous responsibility of the earth, to admit that the sun and moon will continue dancing across the sky whether or not we try to prod them on their way.

On Shabbat, the world becomes a geode. It sits and waits. Later, when we look into it, we might find just a few tattered shards of meaning. On a perfect, transcendent week though, the simple act of drawing back from mundane concerns might led to something entirely new—a glittering paradise that would never have been possible in a more densely packed world.

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