Even God Makes Time for Leisure: Rabbinic Narratives About God’s Work, Play, and Rest Schedule
Part of the series, “Six Days Shall You Labor”: Perspectives on Work in Jewish Text and Tradition
Genesis 2:2-3 announces that, after working hard to create the world and humanity over the course of six days, God took a day off to celebrate the Sabbath. Other passages in the Bible build upon God’s day of rest to mandate that all created beings rest, and that heads of households ensure that everyone under their control be allowed to rest on the seventh day. Divine time, we learn, alternates between periods of creative work and deliberate rest. But what does God’s work entail, how does God manage divine time, does God make time for leisure, and does God have a schedule?
In this class, we will examine rabbinic sources that ask these very questions, and probe the answers they give to understand how the ancient rabbis imagined God to work, rest, care for others, and enjoy leisure time. Ultimately, we will contemplate how these sources encourage us to examine our own professional and personal commitments and align how we organize and use our work and leisure time with our values, so that we spend our time thoughtfully in the creation of a meaningful life and a just world.
With Dr. Sarit Kattan Gribetz, JTS fellow and assistant professor of Classical Judaism, Fordham University.
ABOUT THE SERIES
Many of us spend more time at work than anywhere else over the course of our lives—but are we defined by what we do? In this text-based series, JTS scholars will explore ideas about the meaning of work and rest in Jewish tradition, Jewish social movements around work, as well as the roles that gender, geography, and shifting economic and social circumstances have played in Jews’ professional paths and our understandings of the meaning and value of work.