We Rehearse Utopia

“On Shabbat we rehearse utopia, or what Judaism came later to call the messianic age. One day in seven, all hierarchies of power are suspended. There are no masters and slaves, employers and employees. Even domestic animals cannot be made to work. We are not allowed to exercise control over other forms of life, or even forces of nature. On Shabbat, within the covenantal society, all are equal and all are free. It is the supreme antithesis of Egypt. What a stroke of genius it was to introduce a foretaste of the future into the present, to remind us constantly of our ultimate destination and to be strengthened by it regularly on the way.”

Covenant and Conversation: Exodus, p. 17