The first mention of the concept of holiness in the Torah is related to the concept of time, the Shabbat. Genesis 2:3. Thus, very early in the Torah, Judaism establishes and demonstrates that holiness in time is very significant in Judaism and is holier than another concept, the holiness of place. Most other religions do have a concept of holiness of place, as does Judaism, which designates many physical areas as holy Mishnah, Keilim 1:6-9, the land of Israel, the City of Jerusalem, and the area of the Holy Temple. And yet, time is holier than all of these. That is why the holiest Jewish place, the Temple or Tabernacle, could not be constructed on the Sabbath [this verse], based on the juxtaposition of Shabbat laws in the middle of laws about the Tabernacle's construction and its mention again later on Exodus 35:1-3, as well as their connection and a reference in one verse Leviticus 19:32 to both types of holiness. This demonstrates the superiority of holy time to holy place in Judaism. Why is this so? What makes holiness of time a "higher" holiness then holiness of space? Holiness of place is limited to a specific area. Once a person leaves that holy area, it no longer engulfs the person. The holiness of time, like the Shabbat and Festivals, is all around an individual, and he or she cannot escape it. That is, holiness of time totally envelops an individual. In addition, holiness of time is a more spiritual concept than holiness of place. Time is less tangible than place and cannot be seen (only the effects of time can be seen). Therefore, time is closer to the unseen spirituality of G-d than any physical hallowed site. There is a further advantage of holy time for the Jew. While different places separate Jews all over the earth, the holiness of time, such as on Shabbat, unites and unifies the entire Jewish people on the planet, as all Jews, though unseen to each other, are able to celebrate Shabbat together (for most of the day), despite all other separations.
VIEW EXCERPT DETAILS