Tsimtsum and the Sabbath
In the 2012 movie Life of Pi, a cargo ship named Tsimtsum sinks at a pivotal point in the plot. In real life, tsim tsum is a Hebrew word associated with the divine process of Creation. Tsim tsum is a contraction which results in a birth. In the movie, a shipwrecked boy is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. The seven-day Creation is similar.
Creation required tsim tsum, a contraction which leads to discovery. Prior to Creation, there was only the infinite light of the Creator. The Almighty had to restrict His infinite light to create something less than His light. He constricted His light just enough to make room for the fallible universe, Planet Earth, and us. This was tsim tsum.
He completed Creation by establishing a Sabbath day of rest which would enthrone Him. How might the world discover this concept of entering a throne room to rest? Consider how the workers in their fields labor for six days every week. Then comes the Sabbath when they are invited to the palace to rest with the King.
On the seventh day, workers hang up dirty clothes, scrub away the residue of labor, clean their fingernails, polish their language, and refine their manners to meet with the King. The Sabbath whisks them away from labor, and ushers them into His sacred space.
The air is charged with holiness on the Sabbath. This is a day for prayer, introspection, generosity, humility, and Torah study. On this day even ordinary workers enter a sacred place. The Sabbath is not time, but a space for them. It is the throne room of the King where our prayers enthrone Him.
Published January 16, 2018