Summer is Here – Plan Your Dream Vacation

  • The best preparation for vacation is hard work.  Vacation is the reward for hard work.
  • There are a wide variety of vacation ideas to choose from.  For planning your dream vacation it may be important to get help from a travel guide.
  • Work is not all of life.

The summer is coming up shortly vacation time.

A vacation is a leave of absence from a regular occupation which is often used to take a specific trip for the purpose of relaxation, renewal, healing and pleasure. It is different than a day off.  It gives a greater opportunity to rest and renew yourself for the future.

There are a wide variety of vacation ideas to choose from.  For planning your dream vacation it may be important to get help from a travel guide.

The best preparation for vacation is hard work.  Vacation is the reward for hard work. The Bible teaches “six days you should work and the seventh day you should rest.”  The Jewish people take these words literally but these words have a universal meaning.

The Jewish people each week sanctify the Sabbath on the seventh day of rest.  It is not really for them a vacation because the day is filled with activities three times a day lengthy prayers, morning and afternoon study sessions. The vacation of the Sabbath for the Jewish people comes at the time of eating three healthy and delicious meals, an evening meal, a morning meal and late afternoon meal each meal is sanctified by reciting a special prayer and blessing called the Kiddush on a glass of wine. Jewish religion encourages to make these meals special with all types of foods especially fish, chicken and meat with desert.

Vacation described as a leave of absence from regular occupation is more connected to the eighth day than the seventh day.  The seventh day is part of the week but is singled out as a day of rest.  The seventh day to Jews is like a day off to Americans Saturday and Sunday. The concept of the eighth day is a day which is long and wide without any limits. During vacation the goal is to forget for several moments the reality and to live in a dream.  The seventh day is also for this purpose but only when joined with the eighth day does it reach its full potential complete day of rest.

Circumcision of a baby on the eighth day.

It was once that Jews rested on the seventh day, Christians on the eighth day, Muslims on the sixth day.  The seventh day is singled out in the Torah as a day of rest for Jews only.  Gentiles are not obligated to keep the Sabbath on the seventh day with all it restrictions of doing work.  The Sabbath is sanctified through resting from 39 types of work which was done in the holy temple to include washing garments, cooking, dyeing, building, kindling a fire etc.  The keeping of the Sabbath was given to the Jewish people as a commandment which is the Sabbath of the seventh day.  The Sabbath of the eighth day is universal; it comes as a gift complete and perfect peace united together with freedom.  The Jewish people connect with the Sabbath of the seventh day which is considered a gift from God but since it is a commandment it is not completely united with freedom like the Sabbath of the eighth day.  Interesting to know that the eighth day in Judaism is singled out as the day of circumcision of a new born baby.  The Muslims do not circumcise on the eighth day like Jews but have received the custom of circumcision from Abraham like the Jews. Circumcision is not pleasant; it hurts the baby cries so much more so when Muslims circumcise at the age of thirteen.  Jews and Islamics have sacrificed in this world the pleasure of the eighth day.

A vacation is for a period of time. It may even be called sometimes a leave of absence, leaving the reality of hard work and toil. Vacation does not come as often as Sabbath a weekly holiday.   The seventh day called Shabbat by the Jews is for only one day which passes and returns again at the end of every week. Even the three holidays each year are no longer than one week also a commandment in the Torah also called Sabbath. The eighth day is an extended vacation, sometimes called retirement.  The culmination of the seventh day and the eighth day comes in the afterlife. There are people in their eighties that are still working.  They don’t want to retire. Teachers have the summers off but often find other jobs during the summer. This world God created principally for work like it says in Job, “man to toil is born.”

A vacation comes as a gift.  It is an extended period of time for rest and relaxation.  The sages the righteous God fearing men of Israel may have the opportunity to take a vacation but refuse the privilege. The righteous saints of Israel and the way of the Torah is not to seek the gift of freedom which is called the eighth day but to be satisfied with the gift of God of the seventh day even though it does not include in it complete freedom.  They don’t want a vacation in this world. They have faith that at the end of their lives and at the time of the resurrection all Jews will receive an extended vacation in the afterlife. The gift of freedom which comes with the Sabbath on the eighth day may come with great joy and happiness but according to Judaism it is permitted but not obligated. The Lubavitcher Rebbe the leader of the Chabad movement for forty years never took a vacation.

Many Orthodox Jews even spiritual leaders Grand Rabbis take vacations.  They go on vacations in hotels and even on cruises besides vacations to Israel. Today is advertised for Orthodox Jews Kosher vacations. Today through Chassidism which is derived from the teachings of the Zohar, the Book of Splendor has been added to Judaism the light of the eighth day.  As part of the revelation of the eighth day in Judaism has come a revolution of Chassidic music.  Song is connected to freedom and joy.

The best vacations come after hard work.  Work is not all of life. The Jews were commanded to rest from work of the seventh day because work is only a part of life. The main reward for hard work serving God and mankind comes on the eighth day in the afterlife.  The whole world are singing today about the eight day.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.
http://www.worldunitypeace.org

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