Section: Shabbos   Category: Likras Shabbos
Radvaz - Your Very Own Personal Shabbos
When is Shabbos exactly?  The answer may seem obvious but it is not.  We know that Hashem rested on Shabbos Bereishis and every Shabbos since then and the heavens an earth take on special properties on this holy day.  Gehinom stops, the Shechina comes close, and many other changes occur.  The question is, since sundown varies from location to location, when do these changes take place and when should we keep Shabbos?

The Radvaz in his tshuvos (76) says while their is much confusion surrounding this question, he will express his opinion on the matter.  He says that Shabbos starts and ends with the individual.  Each one of us has a Bris a covenant with Hashem called Shabbos.  That Bris starts and ends depending on where we are at sundown on Friday night. 

He brings a number of rayos from the gemara.  One of them is the halacha that when someone is lost in the desert and does not remember when Shabbos is, he counts six days and on the seventh day makes Kiddush and Havdalah (the halacha regarding Melacha in this case is not within the scope of this article).  Another proof that he brings is the halacha that a goy who keeps shabbos is Chayav Misa.  This applies whether he keeps the day we call shabbos or any other day during the week that he designates as shabbos.

We see from here that on Shabbos Hashem truly calls out to each and every one of his children individually.  It is not a group experience.  It is Yichud between you and Hashem.  You cannot hide in the crowd.  You are in the spotlight every second of this once a week visit.  Your Shabbos should reflect the personal attention that Hashem is showing you.  Make it enjoyable for Him and He will make it enjoyable for you.