In the art of Japanese flower arrangements, space is left around each of the flowers in order to properly appreciate the beauty of every flower. The empty space is considered just as important as each flower in achieving the overall effect.

Our lives are often cluttered with so much “doing,” we tend to forget the need for the empty space of “being.” We live in a time when many of us feel obsessed with work, whether we actually work outside the home or not.

What role should “doing” play in our life? And as a society are we just far too obsessed with work?

Shabbat is that special day of the week when we close our cell phones and computer screens and focus on an entirely different dimension of reality: “being.”

Six days shall work be done. But the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a calling of holiness; you shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to G‑d in all your dwellings ... (Leviticus 23:3).

Shabbat reminds us to put our work life in its proper perspective. It is a day focused on our intimate relationship with G‑d. On this day, we refrain from earning a living, allowing us to put the rest of our work week into perspective.

The holy day of Shabbat helps us to understand that though we need to exert real effort to earn our livelihood, ultimately our work is only a means and a channel for divine blessing and sustenance. We create the channels for our livelihood, but the blessings come from Above.

Once the great Chassidic master, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, saw a man running breathlessly through the marketplace.

“Why are you running?” He asked.

“What do you mean? I am hurrying in pursuit of my livelihood!”

“But why do you believe that your livelihood is in front of you, that you are running to catch up with it? Perhaps it is behind you, and you are running away from it!”

The Shabbat provides a space in our lives to stop, appreciate and internalize, so we can recognize our Source.