This drawing expresses the significance of the Sabbath as described in Jewish sources, and explores the relevance of sanctity in both time and space.
The seven day week is represented by seven circles, arranged so that the white circle symbolizes Shabbat, while the peripheral 6 circles (weekdays corresponding to the color spectrum achieved by diffracting white light) are arranged around it. The weekdays contain light and dark elements, indicating man’s choice between good and evil in order to rectify the world throughout the week, while Shabbat is pure light, a state of perfection that parallels that of the biblical Garden of Eden – a metaphorical “island in time”.
Just as in paradise man was not required to make any changes to his surroundings, so too on Shabbat man relents from consciously changing the world. 39 categories of activities were employed in order to construct the biblical Tabernacle (Mishkan), and it is these activities that we symbolically refrain from on Shabbat in order to instill sanctity in our weekly cycle of time. This is represented by the 39 black triangles.
The white cardioid emanating and returning to the central circle expresses the idea that Shabbat is the energy source of all blessing for the rest of the week, instilling an aspect of Shabbats’ essence in each day of the week.
The four corners depict the four metaphorical rivers that left the Garden of Eden, while the figures represent the Cherubs that guard the entrance to Paradise. Around the frame is the traditional song Shalom Aleichem – sung in Jewish homes on Friday evening before the Shabbat meal.