Depending upon software version, you can disable the data services. Options | Mobile Network gives you the option to turn data on, off, or off while roaming. You might also use the profile manager to simply disable alerts for emails. I believe there's a built in profile for "phone only" that will only beep and/or vibrate if there's a phone call.
You can set the firewall on your phone under security settings to block emails, it's probably the closest you'll get to disabling them temporarily without deleting them if you wanna keep the regular data services.
Unfortunately, what you want cannot currently be done. You can turn off all data services, but that disables web and personal e-mail also. You can hide your inbox, but you will still see the work e-mails piling in.
I would LOVE it if blackberry would provide a soft key that simply TURNS OFF WORK EMAIL for those of us who occassionally want to be out of touch (while on vacation or such), while still having the rest of our data funtionality. I would pay someone for such an application. I believe that many others would as well.
If you're using BIS, just go into your account and set up a filter that doesn't send e-mails to your work address to your BB. When you come back from vacation, remove the filter. If you're on an Exchange server, turn off wireless reconciliation.