Jewish experience of time is three-dimensional; past and future address to them in the fleeting moment of the present. Of course, like us, they live in the so-called present, but it can envelop a Jew person only if it is interlocked with the other two dimensions. The retrospective mood is one of the major motifs of their time apprehension, and so is the glance that they cast at the “not yet,” at the expected and fervently desired or hated. Retrospection, in the sense of reliving and reincarnating, and anticipation, which gives rise to a new world, both constitute the central motifs of their unique time experience.
They see the distances separating the ages and millennia as not so pronounced as in general history. Thus, Genesis, the Here and Now and the promised Messianic Era coming in the Future are in a way interconnected in a single big picture going on simultaneously in the Jewish mind.
The Nomadic Desert Mind fascinates; its perception of time is circular, it goes back and comes further. Perhaps, it has to do with living in the desert. In the desert space is infinitely vast; there are no borders, no distinctions. In ancient times, they didn’t know what a minute is, what a second is; a watch with its continuous “tic” ‘tack” is a European invention. That is why the “whole” time of creation is experienced in only one week in the Genesis account. And that is why God, YHVH means the Eternal One: He Was, He Is, He Will Be.