What was the first holy object in the history of the world?
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (adapted)
What was the first holy object in the history of the world? Was it a mountain? Was it an altar? When history began, there was only one holiness in the world, holiness in time: “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy.” There is no reference in the record of creation to any object in space that would be endowed with the quality of holiness.
The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.