Imagine that you are living your life on the rim of a spinning wheel. Round and round it turns, faster and faster. Making headway is difficult, even in the direction that your world is turning; trying to advance against the spin takes a superhuman effort, and only a very few brave people attempt this. At times, it is all one can do to just hang on for dear life.

One day you discover that as you move inward, away from the circumference of the wheel and towards its center, the revolutions become calmer. You wonder at this: physically, you're on the same piece of whirling matter; so why has the world slowed down? But so it is. One day you reach the wheel's very center. You are now at rest. This is the point on which the entire disk spins; yet it is utterly motionless, an island of repose in a sea of turmoil.

That innermost point of our world — say the Chassidic masters — that axis upon which our self, our soul and its outlying personas all turn, is Shabbat.