Two Astronauts and Two Kinds of Jewish Sacred Time

November 1, 2018 | Meir Soloveichik
About the author: Meir Soloveichik is the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York and director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University.

The Sabbath represents God’s decision to rest on the seventh day after creating the world; it therefore exists outside of history, Judaism’s other holy days, for their part, are rooted in the experiences of the Jewish people. Meir Soloveichik compares these two conceptions of sacred time by comparing two astronauts: Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon—the celestial body that determines the Jewish calendar, and that the ancient rabbis compared with the people of Israel—and Ilan Ramon, who famously celebrated Shabbat in outer space. (Video, 21 minutes.)


Read more on TIk: Tikvah

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register Already a subscriber? Sign in now