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Time and Space

"We must not forget that it is not a thing that lends significance to a moment; it is a moment that lends significance to things."

In his 1951 book, The Sabbath, Abraham Joshua Heschel  lays out the two worlds in which humans operate, space and time.

Neither space nor time is "bad" in Heschel's thinking.  But when we think of reality as only be the world of space, then "reality to us is thinghood" and "the result of our thinginess is our blindness to all reality that fails to identify itself as a thing."  Stop and think about whether or not this is true in the way you live.  Is there "poetry" in your life or only "prose?"  Is there beauty or only utility?  Is there sharing or only acquiring?

Those things that are often most important to us are not "things" in the sense we can touch or see or smell them.  It is true about love, about happiness or contentment, or even something like family.  Yet our lives are often built around the tangible things of the world, even other people, who we all to often interact with as "things" and nothing more.  When we do this, Heschel is saying, we are missing out on an important dimension to our relationships and an important dimension to reality itself.

- Rabbi Aaron Benson

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