“Six days work shall be done, but the seventh day is shabbat shabbaton (a Sabbath of strict rest).”

-Emor 23:3

The six working days are a preparation for the seventh day. Our sages compare the first six millennia of the world’s existence to the six working days of every week. They are a preparation, by means of Torah and mitzvot, for the seventh millennium, for the ultimate stage of the Messianic era which is referred to as “the day that is entirely Shabbat and repose for life everlasting.”

The Shabbat has two levels of holiness, indicated by the expression shabbat shabbaton. The term shabbat relates to cessation of work. Shabbaton, on the other hand, is an additional, more sublime level: the complete inner peace which transcends mere cessation from work. This level, too, derives from the six days of work, for it follows as a result from the “work” of one’s good deeds throughout the week.

The same applies to the redemption. The six millennia of service prepare not only for the first stage of the Messianic era (the passive level of shabbat which relates to “evil being subdued and ceasing its opposition to goodness”), but also its final stage of shabbaton-when the spirit of impurity will be “removed from the earth” (Zechariah 13:2) altogether and forever...

Thus, “Six days work shall be done” to prepare the world for the redemption-for the “seventh day”-the highest stage of shabbat shabbaton!