Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Workaholism as Slavery

The more technology develops, the more time we spend working. There is no respite. We email, call, text and work on the road, at home, maybe even in the bathroom. We work longer hours than previous generations, and work seems to encroach upon all areas of life. It takes a toll on our bodies; our mental and emotional states are also vastly affected. The pace of today’s world also limits our ability to tune out of the mundane, put on hold our worldly pressures and concern, and open up to a higher consciousness. We also lose out spiritually.

In our parashah, Moses pleads with the people to listen to him. Alas, people are not listening to Moses: “They did not listen to him [Moses] due to being short of breath, impatient, and due to hard work”. Inevitably, the more we are immersed by this world, the less room we have to enter an otherworldly mode of being.

Shabbat is the most powerful antidote we have, against this mode of inner slavery to the dictates and exigencies of the global market place. Shabbat is an invitation to be emancipated, at least one day a week, from the tyranny of our work load, which consumes our entire being throughout the bulk of the week. Shabbat is freedom. Freedom to sing, to pray, to be, to love, to put the temporary on hold, and to embrace the timeless and the priceless: family, friends, community, prayer, song, love, God.

                                    Wishing you a day of freedom and inner joy,

Tal Sessler

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