I'm just walking in from my cousin's wedding. (Thanks, simchas by you too). The evening was great, mashke flowed like the proverbial, uninhibited joy all round, and even my kids held off from kvetching for most of the evening.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the pre-eminent American Halachic authority, once arrived at a golden wedding celebration. One of the partygoers, who'd clearly had too much to drink, or chutzpah, and probably both, expressed surprise that the rabbi could find room in his demanding schedule to attend such a comparatively minor event. Rejoicing at a wedding is a mitzvah, as is attending at a Bris, Bar Mitzva or other ceremonial occasion. Of what religious significance, however, is a 50th anniversary party?

Rabbi Moshe replied: We celebrate a wedding to signify the potential of that which is to come. In real life the tale is only just beginning. This event, commemorating a shared life full of true yiddishe nachas, with real accomplishments to point to, is the culmination of their wedding and the justification for the happiness and joy of 50 years ago.

I remind myself of this story because I have been thinking this week of the difference between process and results; the potential versus the actualized. The first words of this week's Torah reading tell of the commandment to observe the Shabbat:

Six days work shall be done... and the seventh day shall be holy, total relaxation for G‑d. (Exodus 35:1)

You've got to work to live. Paying the mortgage, school fees, and food bills on time demands income. Though G‑d, were He to so desire, could provide us with all our needs without exertion, He set up a different system. Thus working during the "six days" is just as much a divinely ordained necessity as resting on the seventh.

The workaholics among us confuse the means with the method. The verse states work shall be done — the passive voice. Becoming so totally devoted to one's job, such that one's work is one's total preoccupation and obsession, is totally unhealthy and an affront to the system. You may have to work, but let it be done. Keep your aspirations and focus on your real purpose, exemplified by Shabbat, a day when the cares and worries of the week can take back stage to delighting in one's family and religion.

Achieve this and the Torah guarantees you total relaxation. When all one's cares and aspirations are on money making and business, then, even when resting, the repose is not replete, as one's mind is still whirling with all the worries which rob one of true equanimity. Only the person who can accentuate the result at the expense of the process, who realizes that the successful outcome is the true goal, can truly relax and celebrate, conscious of a job well done and thus, justification for the entire journey.