Section: Shabbos   Category: Likras Shabbos
Let The Grandfather Babysit This Shabbos
Have you ever been to job interview with a boss who doesn't know much about Shabbos but thinks he does? The conversation would go something like this.

Boss: You are Jewish so I am assuming you don't work on Saturday.
Prospective Employee: Correct. I am glad to hear that you understand that before my saying so.
Boss: But of course if we really need you for an emergency you can be available, right?
PE: No I am sorry I cannot.
Boss: No you don't understand. I am talking about a really important emergency that is critical to our business.
PE: I understand that, but I cannot work on Saturday under any circumstances.
Boss: What about if I call you personally for some vital information I need from you, just for a minute.
PE: I am sorry but I cannot do anything for you on my Shabbos no matter how important. On Saturday you will need to understand that I simply do not exist.

I will share with you my opinion of how this story relates to us every Shabbos. Read further cautiously and before reacting I suggest each of us speak to qualified Rov to get a full understanding. I bring up this point because I think it is worthwhile to know, and important to deal with in whatever way your Rov advises you.

Rav Moshe Cordevero in his classic sefer Tomer Devorah expounds on the Middos of Hashem which we must emulate. In the first two perakim he explains the Midda of Kesser. Kesser is pure Rachamim and love without a the slightest trace of Din. Kesser sees and hears only good and has no connection to evil or Chait. After this elaborate explanation he writes that this Midda is used in conjunction with other Middos that include Din depending on the time and place.

Shabbos, says the Tomer Devora, is a time of Kesser, pure Kesser. It is not a time for anger, even justified anger. It is a time when Kesser reigns alone and even the Holy Middos of Din rest and do not have any influence. Certainly not our Middah of Din which is often a mixture of L'Shem Shamayim and human emotion.

So you are sitting at the Shabbos table and one of your children behaves inappropriately, what do you do? It is Shabbos so your hands are tied from getting angry or dispensing Middas HaDin. But what if he or she is not stopping can you discipline them just to get things under control. Not on Shabbos. But this going to affect the other children and you just need to nip it before it rages out of control. No. Anger and Din do not exist on Shabbos. What about Chinuch? Try smiling at the kid and hope it works. Maybe their utter shock over your bizarre and uncharacteristic reaction will be enough to get them to stop. In any event, the same Hashem who brings us Parnassa despite the fact that we don't work on Shabbos, can also give us Siyata Dishmaya to raise our children to be upstanding Bnei Torah without Ka'as on Shabbos. In this generation we have learned the hard way that raising children takes great Siyata Dishmaya.

I have no doubt that many of you may think I have totally lost it and maybe I have. I do not profess with certainty that I understand what exactly the Tomer Devora had in mind when writing this. Keep in mind though that the Chazal tell us that we should run away from 100 gates of heter if there is a danger that one gate is issur. Many of us do not "hit" our children, although that is a very valuable tool of Chinuch. We are scared that this tool since we do not know how to use properly, and we avoid it altogether. Maybe we should use this same logic with Din on Shabbos. Ask about this, try it, and please share your research with us. Enjoy your Shabbos and your newfound Menucha. Let your Father in heaven deal with his grandchildren this Shabbos. You can train them the other six days.