Keep the Shabbat for it is holy unto you…..because in six days G-d made heaven and earth: and on the seventh day He abstained from work and rested. (Exodus 31: 14-17)
I stop and rest on Shabbat because if I don’t stop, then I mistakenly think that my life is my business, instead of G-d’s business; I think I’m “self- employed.” Imagine I’m working in a company and the company closes on Saturday, but I decide to go in to work anyway. Why?
The Torah attitude is that the human being is an agent for G-d, and because of this the human being can actually become an angel (malach) by accepting to do G-d’s creative work (malacha).
In other words, G-d created a world full of opportunities for creativity and He appointed me His agent to complete His creative work. If I’m all by myself, and I’m just a sole proprietor, it’s no big deal. But when I feel like I’m part of a huge corporation, and we’re all working for the Boss, that’s different. And if the Boss closes the business on Saturday but I go into work just the same, then I am confusing myself by thinking that I don’t need to follow his schedule, his rules, that this is my business and I do not work for anyone greater than me.
When I don’t work on Shabbat I remind myself that I’m really working for G-d, for the Absolute Good. During the week I am empowered with the power-of-attorney to work on G-d’s behalf. I represent divinity in what I do in this world. This is a tremendous honor. G-d has entrusted me to do His job. He could have done it Himself if He wanted to, but He lovingly wanted me to do it so that I could be part of creation and contribute creatively. Yet somehow I could get confused and forget who I’m working for. If that happens then I have fallen into a very egotistical illusion that I work for myself, and that this creative work is my own, and that this world is mine and nobody else’s business.
When you celebrate Shabbat you remind yourself, “This world is G-d’s business, and I just work here.” That’s why Shabbat is the source of all blessings and peace.