Ours is the generation that coined ‘24/7’ to describe continuous chronological time commitments. While time can be measured in empirically equal units, we all know that the shape of time is about quality not just quantity. Religious people measure out our lives in rhythms of relief and festival celebration, of re-creational holy-days.
Leviticus begins the recitation of fixed times, God-times, to be proclaimed as sacred, and the first of these is the weekly Sabbath. Work six days, but on the seventh, complete rest, a sacred occasion, doing no work. It’s not a long text – because it is so fundamentally a given, from the various versions of the Decalogue.
Passover is the next in priority order. The first month, based in the second temple period on a soli-lunar calendar of lunar months adjusted regularly between 29 and 30 day months, and adding 7 months in a 19 year cycle. The Sanhedrin had the final say on dates.
Let’s call it springtime – you know that Passover relates to Easter with different soli-lunar calculations.
Don’t let Passover offering on the first evening slip by too fast – that means slaughtering the paschal lambs at twilight. Imagine the traffic at the temple altar that evening! The texts are brief, as with Sabbath. Details are repeated elsewhere, Everybody knows the drill.
Then, you stick to unleavened bread for seven days. You don’t work on the first of the days or on the seventh of the days, like extra Sabbaths. This makes of Passover a week-long festivity.
What’s your highest hebdomadal routine of relief from 24/7? How do you celebrate it, and protect it? I’m not driving worship attendance as the summum bonum – but I do use absence as an opportunity to ask what you choose that is better! Most people claim it’s ‘family time’ – so from a Gods-eye view, it is?
What’s your biggest annual full week off from 24/7/365? How are you re-created, and how are those days holy, sacred, and not mundane? Huge industries of leisure and travel sell us the promise – from a Gods-eye view, how do your annual ‘week away’ choices compare to this?
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
2 Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: These are the appointed festivals of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations, my appointed festivals.
3 For six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work: it is a sabbath to the Lord throughout your settlements.
4 These are the appointed festivals of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall celebrate at the time appointed for them.
5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover-offering to the Lord,
6 and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations.
8 For seven days you shall present the Lord’s offerings by fire; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation: you shall not work at your occupations.