Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: SHABBOS Category:LIKRAS SHABBOS Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Fri, 03 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240 Parshas Vayakhel: Sridei Eish - Building Shabbos & Building A Bais HaMikdash

Parshas Vayakhel talks almost exculsively about building the Mishkan, however the first few pasukim are about the Mitzva of Shabbos. Chazal tell us that this teaches us that we are not allowed to build the mishkan on Shabbos. The Sridei Eish says there is another lesson that can be drawn from the parallel of the Mishkan and Shabbos.

Shabbos, says the Sridei Eish, is not the opposite of weekday, rather it is the culmination of the weekday. Before the world was created, Shabbos already existed. However in the creation Hashem made us a partner in Shabbos and this is the only kind of Shabbos He desired. Hashem made six work days that essentially are preparation for Shabbos. Friday night as we culminate our avodah of the week we say VaYichulu. and the gemara says that with this we become partners with Hashem in creation. If however our weekday is not geared towards building up Kedushas Shabbos, then Shabbos stands on its own not in accordance with Hashem's will for it in the creation.

Similarly, says the Sridei Eish, the pasuk tells us "V'Asu Li Mikdash V'Shacanti BiSocham", make Me a Mikdash and I will dwell among you. Hashem did not need a home but rather He needed us to "make" the Mishkan. The point was not to have a Mishkan but rather our effort in building it. It follows, says the Sridei Eish, that building a Miskan was not a one time Mitzva but a mitzva that continues even today despite that there is no Bais HaMikdash.

The fact that many Rishonim hold that the third Bais HaMikdash b"b will descend from Shamayim does not contradict this point, rather it proves it, says the Sridei Eish. In the Galus our mitzva of building a Bais HaMikdash does not mean building the structure. The true building of the Mikdash is through Torah and mitzvos. Chazal say that each generation that hasn't achieved its rebuilding, it is as if they destroyed it. And when the Bais HaMikdash finally descends complete from Heaven all the builders over the past 2000 years will share the credit for as much building as they did.

Chazal say that the Bais HaMikdash is a state of Shabbos. Whether in the galus or whether in the routine of the weekday we must realize that we are always working towards one goal, building the next Shabbos and at the same time the next Bais HaMikdash.

Mon, 12 Mar 2012 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Vayakhel: Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz - Other Shabossim Miss The Mark

"UBaYom Hashvi'i Yihiyeh Lachem Kodesh Shabbos...", on the seventh dayyou will have the holy day of Shabbos (Vayakhel 35:2). Shabbos is only for Klal Yisroel as we say in SHmoneh Esrei "V'Lo Nisato Hashem Elokeinu L'Goiyei Aratzos".

Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz points out in Yaaros D'vash that the mitzvos in the Torah are copied by the non-Jews in one form or another. Interestingly not a single religion keeps Shabbos. While Christians keep it on Sunday, the Muslims keep it on Friday.

It is no coincidence, says Rav Yehonoson, that no one chose to make their religion's Shabbos on Shabbos itself. Despite the fact that they all believe that Hashem created the world in six days and then rested, not a single one thought to do it after the six weekdays! Why? Because Hashem gave Shabbos as a special gift to us and would not let anyone take it away!

Wed, 23 Feb 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Chaim Zaitchek - A Real Shabbos Kiss Rav Chaim Zaitchek defines a kiss to be the strong love and yearning stirred up at the meeting of two things of the same root and source that were cut off from each other for a period of time.  The kiss is a comforting reconnection, and is the true expression of a strong bond.

This is the meaning of Tzaddikim leaving the world with Misas Neshika, or the kiss of death.  Their petira is the reconnection between their neshamos, their Cheilek Elokai MiMaal, and Hashem it's source. After a long sojourn on earth, their material existence drew a boundary between them and the ultimate deveikus in Hashem.

Rebbi Shimon bar Yocha,i in the Medrash, tells us that Shabbos complained to Hashem that every day has a companion except for her.  Hashem told Shabbos that Bnei Yisroel is her Ben Zug.  What does this mean?

Rav Chaim Zaitchek explains that Shabbos is a day of Hashraas HaShechina.  It is a day from Olam Haba which is purely spiritual.  It has no companion in material world where physical work is the order of the day. "Yom VaLeila Lo Yishbosu" day and night one must work, and a non-Jew who keeps Shabbos is Chayav Misa for disturbing the order of the world.  

Hashem tells Shabbos that she indeed has a companion in Bnei Yisroel, who have inside them a neshama, an otherworldly spirit that is purely spiritual.  Both Shabbos and Bnei Yisroel are cut from the same cloth, so to say; that of pure Ruchniyos.

When we meet Shabbos each week we should react with the strong love and yearning stirred up at the meeting of two things of the same source that were cut off from each other.  We should embrace Shabbos with a kiss and be riled up with emotion.  That is, if we are truly from the same root.  Our enthusiasm for Shabbos is a true indication of our connection to our own Neshama.  

If we are cut off from our neshama then meeting Shabbos is like meeting someone from another part of the world, and it stirs up no feelings other than discomfort in remaining in its company.  However if we are connected with our Neshama, then Shabbos presents us with an exciting and emotional meeting with a long lost friend that we have waited a long time to see again. If we are connected to our neshama, we deeply embrace Shabbos and hope that it never goes away again.

Wed, 26 May 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Imrei Yosef of Spinka - Seudas Shabbos, Children, Life, & Sustenance Chazal tell us that through the Seudos of Shabbos, Hashem grants us with the three things everyone desires, Banai, Chayai, and Mezoni, children, life, and sustenance.  The Imrei Yosef explains the connection between these three things and the Shabbos meals.

We know that the three seudos of Shabbos are represent Avrohom, Yitzchok, and Yaakov.  The night meal is Yitzchok, the day meal is Avrohom and Seuda Shlishis is Yaakov.  We find that Avrohom davened for the life of Avimelech and his family when the plague hit them after Sara was taken to Avimelech's palace (Chayai).  Yitzchok the Torah tells us, sat opposite his wife and davened for children (Banai).  Yaakov on his way out to galus in Charan davened for food to eat and clothes to wear (Mezoni).

When a tzaddik davens, says the Imrei Yosef, he does not daven for himself alone but for all the future generations, especially the Avos HaOlam.  During our Shabbos meal that correspond to each of the Avos, Hashem answers their tefilos and grants us, their grandchildren, their wish.

Wed, 14 Apr 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Is The Food On Shabbos Really On The House? A wealthy man had two sons that lived in a far off town.  One of them was a rich businessman in the image of his father.  The other struggled to make ends meet and lived a life of poverty.

One day a letter arrived at the wealthy son's house.  Mazal Tov, the youngest brother was engaged and the father wanted his two sons to come to the wedding.  Please do not spare any expense in preparing yourself for the wedding.  In my honor buy yourself fine clothing and I will pay for it.

The son took his entire family and purchased for everyone the finest garments that anyone had to offer.  He ordered a fancy coach to take them all to the wedding.  On the morning of the Chasuna he quickly sent a message to his brother to hurry and bring his family quickly.

His brother hurriedly came running with his family asking for an explanation and wondering where they were going.  They were dressed in there tattered clothing and shoes full of holes.  "No time for questions just get into the coach and we will talk on the way", said his brother.  While they were on the way the rich brother told the poor brother about the wedding and apologized for not telling him sooner.

When word of the arriving coach reached the father, he went out to greet his boys together with the wedding procession and the entire band.  As the two sons disembarked people started whispering to each other, asking who was the pauper that came with the Mechutan's son?

The wedding and Sheva Brachos passed and it was time to return home.  "Go in peace" said the father as he bade his son good bye and thanked him for coming.  "But what about the money that I spent that you promised to reimburse?" asked the son.

I asked you to spend money in my honor.  You spent money, but it was clearly for your own honor.  Had you spent it in my honor you would never had disgraced me by having your brother and his family come dressed in tatters!

The Nimshal says the Dubno Maggid, "Loveh Alai V'Ani Porei'a". Hashem tells us to spend money to honor Shabbos and he will reimburse us.  We should by the finest delicacies for the Shabbos meals and should spare no expense to make the Shabbos beautiful.  If you truly do it for Hashem's honor it is not possible that you sit down to lavish Seudos while others in your neighborhood have nothing to eat.  If you do, remember, you are doing it at your own expense so spend wisely.

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 03:00:00 +0000
The Medicinal Powers Of Shabbos

Shabbos is the source of all bracha.   Shabbos is the source of both material and spiritual success for the upcoming week.  We do many things on Shabbos in order to ensure that we receive everything we need to get us through the next week.

Shabbos is also a healing source if tapped into the right way through keeping shabbos.  There are many stories documented of people going to gedolim for a bracha for refuah and coming out with the answer that Shabbos is the source of healing.  "Keep Shabbos properly" they were told and your physical ailments will go away.

The Tuvcha Yabi'u from Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein tells a story of a person who went to his Rebbe expecting a bracha for his paralyzing illness.  After giving it much thought and showing great distress for the person, the Rebbe encouraged his petitioner to keep Shabbos the way it ought to be kept.  He added this niceremez.  When the torah says that if you injure someone you must pay his lost wages and his medical expenses.  The pasuk says "Rak Shivto Yiten, V'Rapoh Yirapeh", referring to Sheves and Refuah.  The rebbe explained B'Derech Drush, "Rak Shivto Yiten", if only you would give "Shivto" or Shabbos, then "Rapoh Yirapeh", you will be granted a Refuah Sheleima.

The power of Shabbos!!

Wed, 11 Nov 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Shabbos's Sweat Instead Of Tears “The sweat from the exertion of preparing for Shabbos has the same attribute as tears of regret – it wipes away all the aveiros one performed during the week.  The harder one exerts himself on preparing for Shabbos, the more he gains." (Shaarai Teshuvah 250:2)

Shabbos is intrinsically connected to teshuvah.  The goal of teshuvah is not only to regret our sins – but to regain our closeness to Hashem, which was lost through our aveiros.  Shabbos is the ultimate vehicle of drawing close to Hashem, and therefore contains the inherent power of teshuvah.  This is why a Korban Chaatas is not brought on Shabbos (Rambam)    The Chidah writes that the letters in v’Shabbos also spells out V’shavta – You will return.  We return to our Souce on Shabbos - the power of teshuva is inherent in Shabbos.   
Rav Chiya bar Abba (Shabbos 118a) says that anyone who keeps Shabbos properly, will be forgiven for all his sins.  This statement may explain the behavior of Adam before the first Shabbos of the world. The Midrash says (Berashis Rabba 22;28) that after Kayin was punished, he met Adam Harishon who inquired what his judgment had been.  Kayin told Adam that he had done teshuvah and appeased Hashem.  Adam answered that he had not been aware of the power of teshuvah.  He then immediately began reciting, “Mizmor shir leyom Hashabbos.” (Tehillim 92:1)  A song about Shabbos is a fitting ode for teshuvah. 

Thu, 22 Oct 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Shabbos, The White Light That Shines So Bright In Parshas Emor the pasuk says "Eileh Moadei Hashem", these are the Yomim Tovim of Hashem (Emor 23:4).  But before talking about Yom Tov the Torah interrupts with Shabbos.  Rashi says this teaches us that if someone keeps all the Yomim Tovim it is as if he kept Shabbos.  The Maharal MiPrague explains that there are seven days of Yom Tov mentioned in the parsha (two Pesach, Shavuos, Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, Succos, and Shmini Atzeres).  These seven days are only a fraction of the entire Shevisa, or rest.  Combined they equal Shabbos which is on the seventh day.   

What exactly the Maharal means by Shevisa, is something that you should speak to Maharal experts about.  But the general concept, which is found in many places is that while each day of Yom Tov possesses a special kedusha, Shabbos has it all wrapped in one.  While we wait a whole year for Zman Cheiruseinu of Pesach, Kabalas HaTorah on Shavuos, the glory of Hashem's coronation on Rosh HaShana, the tshuva of Yom Kippur, and the simcha of Succos, we often overlook the incredible power of Shabbos.

Why don't we feel it or appreciate it?  Why do we wait a whole year for something we can get every Shabbos.  Maybe we can compare this to white light.  It appears to us as colorless but in truth it is the combination of all the colors of the spectrum.  Why don't we see the beautiful colors?  Described this way we can understand.  White is the perception which is evoked by light that stimulates all three types of color sensitive cone cells in the human eye in nearly equal amount and with high brightness compared to the surroundings.

Similarly Shabbos is an overpowering dose of all the gifts that we are given during the year.  The combination simply blinds us.  Unless our perception is super sensitive, it is too powerful for us to separate the various qualities and make sense of it.

While we may not be able to taste a single individual component until it is isolated on its special day, this Shabbos at least  recognize that it is there.  Look at it like the Mun in the Midbar.  We can't taste all the flavors at once but we appreciate the fact that it is all in there, and whatever flavor we choose at the moment we can have.  Through the kindness of Hashem we have plenty of Shabbosim.  Appreciate them, treasure them, and most importantly take advantage of them like you would a Yom Tov.

Wed, 06 May 2009 03:00:00 +0000
The Tchebiner Rov Has A Little Visitor Shabbos is a day of Oneg. The Heichal HaShabbos quotes the Vilna Gaon as saying the on Shabbos there is a Mitzva to have Oneg with food and drink and there is a mitzva to learn Torah.  It is better to learn more than to eat and drink more since you will become accustomed to the eating and drinking.

Shabbos is a special time for learning as we leave the hustle and bustle of our week behind us.  Many Gedolim stayed up learning all Friday night.  The Maharsham would learn the entire Masechtos Shabbos and Eiruvin each Shabbos and make a siyum at Melava Malka.  The excitement of Shabbos was so great for them that they couldn't sleep.

Rav Sholom Schwadron tells the story of the Tchebiner Rov who used to test the neighborhood boys of Shaarei Chesed each week on what they learned that week.  One week a boy came knocking on the Tchebiner Rov's door to be tested.  There was no answer.  He kept on knocking until the Rov himself came to open the door.  The Rov asked the boy what he wanted and he answered that he wanted to be tested.  Calmly the Rov said to the boy, "if you knock on someone's door and no one answers it is worth considering that maybe the person went to rest."

The boy heard this and asked in shocked manner, "What? The Rov sleeps on Shabbos?"  From that day on, said the Tchebiner Rov, he never again slept on Shabbos.

Thu, 30 Apr 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Shabbos HaGadol - Literally The Biggest Shabbos In History Shabbos HaGadol. Why do we call it the big Shabbos?  The Chasam Sofer explains with the Tur that says that on Motza'ei Shabbos we don't say "Vihi No'am" if during the upcoming week there is a Yom Tov.  One of the reasons for this is because if Shabbos is not followed by six work days the Kedushas Shabbos does not leave.

Up until Yetzias Mitzrayim every Shabbos had 24 hours of Kedushas Shabbos.  The Shabbos before Pesach was the first time in the history of the world that Kedushas Shabbos was extended beyond its usual time slot.  Therefore the people called it Shabbos HaGadol and we continue to recognize this special extra Kedusha until today.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 03:00:00 +0000
The Magic Of Shabbos Clothing Shabbos clothing is not a simple matter.  Much ink has been spilled in debating color, shape, and size.  Do you wear white, black, long, or short.  Even the Shtreimel has its mekoros in Matan Torah.  What is for sure is that one should try to wear special clothing for Shabbos to the best of his ability.

I once heard that the Chida did not wear a single article of clothing on Shabbos that he wore during the week.  The Aderes, Rav Eliyahu Dovid Rabinowitz Teumim, wrote in his tzava'a that the first time he wore any new article of clothing he made sure it was worn on Shabbos.  Rav Zalman Baharan lived in the utmost poverty.  Aside from the only Shabbos garment that he was able to afford which was his top layer, he made sure to change his shoe laces for Shabbos and after putting in the Shabbos laces his face would light up.

One time the Talmidim of the Chozeh of Lublin, among them Rav Naftali Tzvi Ropshitz, through whom this story came down Mipi Kabala, wanted to test if their feeling of Kedushas Shabbos is real.  They wanted to know if it was true kedushas Shabbos they felt which was intrinsic in the day or were they fooled by the externalities and when they davened Shabbos davening and ate Shabbos food and conducted themselves in the way of Shabbos it triggered an imaginary kedusha which wasn't real.

They decided that they would make Shabbos during the week.  If they felt the kedusha that would prove that they were only fooling themselves.  So one weekday they got went to the mikva, donned their Shabbos attire and got together for Kabalas Shabbos.  After davening they ate a hearty Shabbos meal and sang zemiros.  They ascended to the heavenly realm like they did every other Shabbos.  The verdict was in, they were guilty of self fraud!

With broken hearts and deep embarrassment they went to their holy Rebbe the Chozeh and told him about the great "Kedusha" they felt during their midweek Shabbos.  The Chozeh was bewildered.  These were his top talmidim and he had known their pure hearts for many years, how could this be?  Finally he turned to them and asked, did you wear your Shabbos clothing?  They told him that they did.  In that case, he said turning to them calmly, it is perfectly understandable.   Your Kapota and shtreimel are steeped with special and wonderful spirit of Shabbos.  This was not your imagination hard at work.  What you felt was real kedusha.  Wearing these clothing you can feel kedushas Shabbos even during the week!

Wed, 25 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
The Big "Fish Chase" "Dag" or fish equals seven in gematria, as in the seventh day of the week which is Shabbos.  It is brought down that fish is an integral food to eat by each of the three Seudas Shabbos.  The Ohr HaYashar says that you should make sure to eat fish especially at Seuda Shlishis.  Different reasons are brought down in the Heichal HaShabbos.

The Kotzker Rebbe says that since fish are the only living creature that we eat without any mitzvos accompanying it, such as Shechita and Melicha, therefore we eat it on Shabbos so that it too can be eaten with Mitzva.  He also says that just like fish live in the water and do not see the world, so to we live in a world from where we cannot see the real world.  On Shabbos which is Mei'ein Olam Haba we get a glimpse of the real world.  Therefore we bring fish to our table so that they too can get a view of the world.

The Tiferes HaShabbos says that we can learn from fish the Middah of Bitachon.  Fish eat other fish.  When you find a fish inside the stomach of another fish you would expect to find the swallowed fish inside its predator, facing the same direction.  As it ran away from the bigger fish and was finally caught, its tail would have gone in first.  Yet the opposite is true, with the head of the smaller fish facing the rear of the bigger fish.  How does this happen?  The Tiferes HaShabbos explains that as the fish is chasing his catch another potential catch, swimming past in the other direction, gets swallowed in his mouth without him doing anything.   This is the fish that Hashem intended to be his food.

From here we learn that we can chase in hot pursuit after parnassa that is intended for our friend, but at the end our efforts are in vain.   We will not catch it.  The parnassa that Hashem has allocated us will end up in our pocket automatically without any effort and without all our plans and schemes.

Wed, 18 Feb 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Shimshon Pincus: What Is Wrong With Baking A Cake On Shabbos? On Shabbos there is a special mitzva to prepare good food for Shabbos.  Rav Shimshon Pincus asks how can eating food be the key to the Kedusha of Shabbos like Shofar is to Rosh HaShana and Lulav is to Yom Kippur?

He answers that eating food does not imbue you with Kedushas Shabbos.  Shabbos is a gift from Hashem, you just need to want it.  By preparing for it you show that you want it and are anxious for it to come, even on the first day of the week.

Why it is forbidden to bake a cake on Shabbos even if you are doing it in honor of Shabbos?  Rav Shimshon explains with a Mashal.  Imagine a married woman's parents, who she hasn't seen in a long time, come to visit.  They walk in and are greeted by the grandchildren, but their daughter is nowhere in sight.  They ask the children, who tell them that their mother is in the kitchen baking a cake in their honor.  "Who came for cake" asks her father?  We want to spend time with her.  Let's sit together and enjoy each other's company.

Cake is nice.  It provides a nice backdrop and shows that you hold your visitor in high esteem... but only if prepared before they come, not while they are there.  It is assur to read Divrei Chol on Shabbos.  Imagine the above scenario with the daughter or son sitting on the couch or in bed for a good portion of shabbos reading a novel or newspaper.  Not very flattering for the poor parents, is it?

Shabbos is a day that we are with Hashem.  The guest has arrived.  Everything is set.  Now is the time to spend precious time with our beloved guest.  We need to sit at the table and talk about things that interest Hashem, and not trivial matters that do not involve him or even repulse him.

Be a good host and the Shabbos Malka will come back week after week, with a smile and lots of special goodies for the wonderful family where she feels so comfortable and looks forward to spending her time.

Wed, 11 Feb 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler: Shabbos Is Never Too Early

The Pasuk says (Bereishis 2:2) "Vayishbos BaYom HaShvi'i", Hashem rested from His work on the seventh day because everything was complete.  There was absolutely nothing left to do.  Rav Eliyahu Dessler writes in the Michtav MeiEliyahu that we also must celebrate Shabbos this way.  Like the pasuk says (Yisro 20:9)"V'Asisa Kol Milachtecha", during the six work days you will do all your work.  Rashi brings the Mechilta that say that our attitude on Shabbos must be that we have completed all our work and there is nothing left to do.

How can this be asks Rav Dessler?  What if we are in middle of a big business transaction that we know we will need to complete next week?  He explains that next to the great Kedushas HaShabbos, any worldly matters are completely overshadowed.  The whole week is just preparation for Shabbos.  We have no reason to think about next weeks transaction we have already arrived.

Maybe we can offer as a Mashal the following old story.  There were two people sitting on a fishing boat.  A well groomed executive and a simple villager.  While they were fishing, they started talking.  The villager says to the unrelaxed executive, "You seem a little fidgety.  Where are you from and what do you do."  The executive tells him that he from the city and he runs a huge conglomerate which keeps him busy 24 hours a day, but now he came for a little relaxation to get away from the stress.  "Why do you work so hard?  What is the point?" asks the villager.  The executive answers that although he is not crazy about his job or his schedule, he wants to make enough money to retire comfortably and spend more time fishing.  The executive then asks the villager, "So what do you do".  "Oh me" says the villager, "I've been fishing for the past 25 years without any worries".

Our whole week is only preparation for Shabbos.  It is like preparing for a Chasuna, says Rav Dessler, and Shabbos is the Kallah.  We work, eat, sleep, and better ourselves all week just to get ourselves ready for the next Shabbos.  Even if you are in middle of a huge deal, who cares.  Shabbos is here now.  It is the be all and end all.  It is the point of it all. If you can't get away from the mundane world on Shabbos, what is the point of all your dealings during the week?

Wed, 21 Jan 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Bnei Yisaschar - On Shabbos We Eat Meat And Free The Neshamos

Adam HaRishon was only allowed to eat vegetation.  It was forbidden for him or anyone to slaughter livestock until after the Mabul, when Hashem permitted Noach to eat meat.  Why?

The Bnei Yisaschar answers with a question on the Gemara in Bava Basra (146a).  The pasuk says in Mishlei (15:15) "Kol Yimei Ani Ra'im", all the days of the poor person are bad.  The gemara asks, but isn't there Shabbos and Yom Tov when generous portions are distributed to the poor?  The Bnei Yisaschar doesn't understand the gemara's question.  Are there never any poor people that go hungry even on Shabbos?  He answers that the "Ani" in the gemara means poor in intelligence.

The reason why we eat meat, says the Arizal, is because the neshamos of people who need a Tikun are Migalgel in animals.  By slaughtering and eating the animal's meat L'Kavod Shabbos or Yom Tov, they receive their tikun.  Thetikun only comes if we eat the meat L'Shem Shamayim, for the sake of the mitzva and not out of sheer indulgence.  That is why the gemara in Pesachim (49b) says that it is Assur for an Am Ha'Aretz to eat meat, since he will not bring about a Tikun.

Until Noach the world was too young and the animals did not have gilgulim within them.  Other than to cause a tikun, a human has no right to kill an animal and eat it (see also Tomer Devora Perek 3).  After the Mabul the need to eat meat became relevant and therefore Hashem permitted it.

An Ani B'Da'as cannot eat meat says the gemara in Bava Basra and all his days are bad.  However asks the gemara, even an Ani who does not understand the whole concept of eating meat, if he does so on Shabbos for the simple reason of Oneg Shabbos, he will rectify the neshamos even without realizing it.

In the zechus of the Heiligeh Bnei Yisaschar we should all be zocheh to move heaven and earth with all our actions, whether we penetrate the depths of the matter or just follow Hashem's command on a very simple level.  This Shabbos and every Shabbos until Bi'as Goel Tzedek BinHera B'Yameinu we should experience true Oneg Shabbos with every last bite.

Wed, 14 Jan 2009 03:00:00 +0000
The Last Thing You Need To Remember To Do Before Shabbos... It is brought down in many seforim that one must do Tshuvah on Erev Shabbos for the aveiros he did during the week.  There are a number of reasons given for this special urgency as brought down in the Sefer Heichal HaShabbos.
  • The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (72:15) brings this L'halacha and writes that the reason is because Erev Shabbos encompasses all the days of the week just like Rosh Chodesh encompasses all the days of the month.  Therefore it is a special time to make up for what went wrong on those days.
  • The Mishna Brura (250:3) writes that on Shabbos we greet the Queen and it is inappropriate to greet her sullied with our sins.
  • The Ohr Zarua LaTzaddik says that since on Shabbos we testify that Hashem created the world, in order to be kosher Eidim-witnesses we must do tshuvah for our past aveiros.
  • The Sefer Shomer Shabbos (1:10) says that the Kedusha of Shabbos is very high and is unreachable for those who carry with them the burden of aveiros. 

Maybe we can offer our own explanation as well.  Shabbos is Mei'ein Olam Haba.  It is a day where we leave the mundane world and get a taste of the next world, Olam Haba.  We all know that our portion of Olam Haba is determined by our actions in this world and we can not change it once we die.  Even those who are not as concerned during their lifetime, when their very mortality does not weigh on their thoughts, however on the death bed we all repent.  This world is clearly over and we try to make up for lost time in our closing moments.  No one wants to die without tshuva.  As you stare your eternity in the face, it makes no sense.

Similarly in the closing moments before Shabbos, when we leave the days of work and enter into the world of Hashem, we want to rid ourselves of things clearly not valued in the world where we are going to.  We want to transform ourselves and place ourselves in the best position possible to enjoy and soak in the radiance of Shabbos.  With tshuvah on Erev Shabbos you can change your Shabbos to a true day in Gan Eden.

Wed, 10 Dec 2008 03:00:00 +0000
The Erev Shabbos Chaos What happens Friday afternoon that things go so nutso in the house?  Calm level headed people are often reduced to shrieking lunatics.  There are no surprises and each week requires the same preparations, so why the commotion?  I once read that a great Chassidishe Rebbe used to say that if the women can only manage to stay calm on Erev Shabbos they would merit to have the Shechina rest on them once Shabbos begins.  The men are often not far behind.

Therein lies the secret.  Kedushas Shabbos starts on Friday at Chatzos.  The Yetzer Hara, smart as he is, knows that this is his big chance.  Once Shabbos starts he will have a tough time ruining it for you.  Once you get into the Shabbos mode and leave the weekday behind, you are a different person as the feeling of calm and serenity takes over your spirit.  However, Erev Shabbos you are at your weakest.  First of all, you don't understand the holiness of the day and you think it is still weekday.  Second, you are not enjoying Shabbos rather you are preparing for it.  The opportunites to trip you up are endless.  Third, during these hours the kedusha is in its infancy.  If he can throw you off track now, you will not recover until Motza'ei Shabbos and he will have accomplished his goal before Shabbos even begins.

Some tips.  First, get ready early and greet the Shabbos Malka calm cool and relaxed, maybe even with a chumash or Shir Hashirim.  Second, resolve not to raise your voice or get angry.  If it is kavod shabbos that you are getting all worked up about, just remember talking nicely is a greater kavod shabbos than screaming at you kid for forgetting to do the candles, prepare the blech, or take out the garbage.  Lastly remember that the guest you are having is not an ordinary guest.  You can't scream at your kid or wife just before opening the  door for him and then put on a fake smile as you greet him.  He knows the truth.  Greet him with a real smile.  A harmonious home is worth more than all the dessert and tea you can offer him!

Wed, 03 Dec 2008 03:00:00 +0000
A Sharp Dressed Shabbos - Lessons From The Satmar Rov The Mekubalim tell us that on Shabbos we should wear clothing that are special for Shabbos.  "Fortunate is the one who does not wear a single weekday garment on Shabbos."  The source for Shabbos clothing is the gemara Shabbos 119a that tells us that this is called Kavod Shabbos. 

The importance of this can be illustrated with a story.  The Satmar Rov was invited by Rav Gedalia Shorr, the Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Vadaas, to test his talmidim on the gemara they were learning.  The Satmar Rov was not accustomed to seeing serious learners dressed the way the "modern" American boys of Torah Vadaas dressed and was taken aback by their appearance as he entered the classroom.  He started asking questions, and over time they won him over and gained his respect for the depth and breadth of their understanding of the gemara.

Afterwards Rav Gedalia Shorr turned to the Satmar Rav with a smile and said, "Nu, so what do you think of my boys?" The Satmar Rav then made a play on the words of the gemara Brachos 28a) that said that Rabban Gamliel would not let into his Yeshiva any student whose "Tocho" his insides or sincerity was not similar to "Baaro" his outside appearance, and he was just an actor.  About the talmidim the Satmar Rov said to Rav Shorr "Halevai their Baaro should be like their Tocho", meaning how fitting it would be if they dressed with the same majesty as the torah they possessed inside.

We all understand that injustice of carrying a sterling veneer, while inside we are not all that is advertised.  The Satmar Rov's lesson was that if we are special on the inside we must reflect it on the outside as well. 

Shabbos is a day of Kedusha through and through.  We must not only purify ourselves internally for this special day, but we must remove even our weekday facade and cover ourselves in clothing befitting that of Kings.  On Shabbos we transmit to the outside world, and even to ourselves, that this day is special, in every way.

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 03:00:00 +0000
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.

Wed, 19 Nov 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Shabbos Is A Day Of Few Words One Shabbos Rav Shimon bar Yochai's mother who was very old started talking trivial matters, nothing assur of course.  They didn't know what to say to her in order to stop her from going on and on.  Rav Shimon bar Yochai turned to his mother and said, "Mother, it is Shabbos!"  The mere mention of Shabbos shocked her back to her senses and even in her condition she understood that she should immediately stopped talking.

While we should always carefully monitored our words even during the week, on Shabbos, the day we spend in the King's court, we must be especially careful.  We should speak as little as possible.  Many Gedolim were known to have a Taanis Dibbur on Shabbos.  Even today, Rav Pinchas Sheinberg Shlit"a has a Taanis Dibbur every Shabbos and has been doing so for decades.  Many Gedolim including Rav Chaim Volozhin would only speak Lashon HaKodesh on Shabbos.

One Shabbos, Rav Chaim Volozhin found a group of boys in the Yeshiva "shmoozing".  He got very angry and chastised them.  He told them it would be better for them to sleep, since sleeping is Oneg Shabbos, rather than waste their time shmoozing.  He explained that the word Shabbos (Shin-Bais-Saf) is an acronym for "Sheina B'Shabbos Taanug", sleeping on Shabbos is Oneg Shabbos. 

One wiseguy retorted that it is also an acronym for "Sicha B'Shabbos Taanug", shmoozing on Shabbos is pleasurable.  Rav Chaim responded with the pasuk, "Lev Chacham L'Yemino V'Lev Ksil L'Smolo", a wise person's heart is on the right while a fool's heart is on the left.  Meaning that in the word "Sheina" sleep, the letter Shin has a dot on the right side but the word "Sicha" shmoozing, has the dot on the left side.

When Hashem comes to visit our home and our Shabbos table, let's not bore him with mundane conversation and comments that are inappropriate before the King.  He is our guest of honor and the conversation should revolve around him and reflect our happiness with having him around.  This way He may look forward to coming back every week!

Wed, 12 Nov 2008 03:00:00 +0000
The Freedom Of Song Every Shabbos, we sing zemiros praising Hashem and express our yearning for Hakodash Boruch Hu.  The Shelah Hakadosh says that the word zemer also means to cut off.  When we sing zemiros we cut off our materialistic selves, and our neshamos are free to unite with Hashem.

Rav Shimshon Pincus in Shabbos Malkasa explains that there are two types of songs that we sing to Hashem –shira and zimra.  Shira is when we express Hashem’s praise through a narrative –such as Shiras Hayam and Shiras Devorah.  Zemira is when a person wishes to express feelings of hodaah and simcha, and he is so overcome with emotion that he cannot express his feelings in words.  Instead, he bursts into song, and sings without words.

Shabbos is completely a day of zimra.  Shabbos is above our grasp, it is mayan Olam Haba, and what the neshama feels and the heart senses on Shabbos is impossible to express with words.  Therefore, we utilize the kedusha of the day to express ourselves through zemiros. 

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Chulent - Are You a True Jew? The Baal HaMaor in Masectos Shabbos (Perek Kira) writes that if someone does not eat Chulent on Shabbos, you must investigate if he is an apikores. If he dies, he should be buried by goyim. Whoever makes chulent and eats it, he is a believer and will be zoche to the geula.

The minhag to eat hot food goes back to the days of the Mishna when the Tzedukim came into being.  While they were essentially heretics who denied Torah SheBa'al peh for the sake of destroying Yiddishkeit, they took on a few "Chumros" to show that they were idealistic and believable.  One of them was to take the pasuk of not having fire in your house at face value.  No fire for light, warmth, or cooking, was their strict rule. 

In order to flush out the Tzedukim, Chazal at the time were Misaken that each person should make hot food before Shabbos and keep it warm on the fire throughout the night until the daytime meal.  Anyone who did not was suspected to be a Tzeduki.  Chulent became one of the markers in the sand as the battle lines were drawn.  It became a symbol of true Torah judaism and Hashem's desire for his children to truly enjoy Shabbos.

The Rebbe of Muncacs said that chulent is a great segula to instill emuna into our hearts.  Since the the lack of chulent shows a lack of true faith, therefore the chulent must have the opposite effect, and in even greater measure.  The Satmar Rebbe Rav Yoel said that chulent is a valuable tool for instilling Emunas Chachomim in our children.  He was Makpid that everyone at least taste the chulent.  Even in frail health, he would instruct people to eat chulent, as he himself did.

The Sefer Matamin brings another reason for Chulent.  He says that just like the Mun that was left over from Friday was fresh and tasty even on Shabbos day, so too we leave chulent cooking over night and enjoy its tasty flavor on Shabbos.

Wed, 29 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000
How To Survive A Financial Downturn

Rav Shimshon Pincus tells a story of a poor Tzaddik who every Motza’ei Shabbos would hand his wife the money she would need to make it through the week.  One week he simply had no money to give her.  During Melava Malka as they were singing, she began to cry.  She was bemoaning her fate and wondering how she would make it through the week.  The tzaddik seeing his wife crying during Melava Malka was sure he knew the source of her troubles.  In a sweet gentle voice he turned to her and said, “don’t worry my dear wife, Shabbos will be back again very soon.”

After hearing this story a number of years ago when we went through our own very difficult financial period, as part of our Melava Malka ritual I would turn to my wife who had the very same worries as the Rebbetzin and say, “don’t worry dear, Shabbos will be back again very soon”.  We would then chuckle and smile.  We chuckled because we both loved the story and thought we were very funny.  We smiled because we both knew how true it was.

Shabbosim were very special.  The week was full of worries and uncertainty.  Just making it through was a great ordeal.  Bills to pay, basic things you needed to buy but couldn’t pay for, how do you manage?  Then after six grueling days comes Shabbos Kodesh, like a peaceful island in a turbulent sea.  Nothing to buy, nothing to pay, you don’t cringe wondering who wants you on the telephone because it doesn’t ring.  

On Shabbos every pauper is a King.  You are financially secure for an entire day!  You leisurely make your way to Shul in your Shabbos finest.  You sit at your table and sing zemiros without a care in the world.  You take a well deserved nap.  You enjoy the children.  You spend time learning.  Nothing and no one can interfere with this great day of Shabbos.  Best of all, the whole thing doesn’t cost you a penny.  The money you spend on Shabbos is not part of your yearly allowance allotted to you on Rosh Hashana.  I ask you, does life get any better?  

Even now that Boruch Hashem we are back on our feet, we will always remember, cherish, and thank Hashem for those very special Shabbosim that literally saved our lives and our mental well-being.  No Shabbos since can ever compare.  It was true “Bein Ohr LaChoshech”.

Then came Motza’ei Shabbos again and the darkness set in without mercy.  The party was over and it was back into the water, trying to swim in the shark infested waves and survive.  The good news is that there are only 5 ½ days left until Shabbos again.  Hang in there.  Help is just around the corner and never too far away.

"Zachor Es Yom HaShabbos" to help you get through the week.  "Shamor Es Yom HaShabbos" cherish it when it arrives.

Fri, 03 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000
This Shabbos Don't Miss Your Big Opportunity Rav Yehudah said in Rav's name, If Yisrael had kept the first Shabbos, no nation or people would have ruled over them, as it says, (Shemos 16:27) ‘And it was on the seventh day, and some of the people went to gather, which is followed by (Shemos 17:8) ‘Then came Amalek." (Shabbos 188b)

The Gemara says that every Shabbos Shuva, Bnei Yisrael have the opportunity to be metaken the mistake of Bnei Yisrael years ago. If Bnei Yisrael properly observes Shabbos Shuva- the first Shabbos of the year, Bnei Yisrael will not be ruled over by other nations that year.

Shabbos Shuva can also be metaken our personal failings. The Gaon, Rav Yehonason Eibsheitz, writes that one who observes Shabbos Shuva properly atones for all of the Shabbosim of the year which he did not observe properly. This is based on the Arizal which says that the seven days of the week between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are representative of the seven days of the weeks of the year. They can atone for the past and influence the coming year. Shabbos especially, which always influences and brings bracha to the following week, has the incredible power during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah to atone for the entire past year and bring bracha to the coming year.  This doesn't only include refraining from forbidden Melacha, it also includes Kedushas Shabbos and conducting yourself in a way that is appropriate on Shabbos.


Thu, 02 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000
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.

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Shimshon Pincus - She's Coming, She's Coming! Kaballas Shabbos is a concept which is unique to Shabbos and is not found by Yom Tov or any other mitzvah.  In general, the words of Chazal relate to Shabbos as if it is a personality, as Chazal says, "Shabbos spoke before Hakodash Boruch Hu", or "Shabbos is coming," "Shabbos is departing".  Rav Shimshon Pincus in Shabbos Malkasa points out that this concept is not found by any other mitzvah besides the Torah itself.  We never hear about tefillin or a mezuzah speaking or departing.    

The truth is that the personality of Shabbos is not Shabbos, but the Shechinah, since Shabbos is the name of Hakodash Boruch Hu. When Shabbos begins and the entire world stops, the Shechinah of Hashem envelops the world, and Kaballas Shabbos is the reception for the Shechinah.  A Kaballah for any other mitzvah is not appropriate since a mitzvah refers to an action, and is not a personality which needs to be honored.

This concept relates to Shabbos preparations as well, which is a concept which is also unique to Shabbos.  If a person neglected to purchase matzos and wine for the Pesach seder, it will be quite embarrassing for him to have to borrow from a neighbor, but he will still be able to perform the mitzvah without insulting anyone.  However, if an important guest is expected, and the host neglects to prepare for him, it is an insult to the guest. When one fails to prepare for Shabbos, it is like attending a wedding in weekday clothing - it is an insult to the chassan and kallah.  The purpose of the many preparations for Shabbos is to honor the special guest of the Shechinah. 

Wed, 03 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Shimshon Pincus - Wait Patiently For The Special Motza'ei Shabbos Tefila The Yerushalmi (Shabbos 15) says that we should avoid making personal requests while davening on Shabbos.  This is because thinking about what we lack will cause us worry and stress, infringing on our Shabbos menuchah. 

What if being unable to request our needs causes us distress?  We may feel as if we are losing out by "losing" a day of tefillah. However, it's clear from the Gemara that there is no loss on Shabbos. On the contrary, Shabbos is the day that we build our relationship with Hashem which in the long term is far better for us.  

Rav Shimshon Pincus give a mashal of someone who is collecting money for a certain yeshivah, and wants to request a large sum from a certain wealthy man.  However, the fundraiser is aware that if he approaches the rich man directly, he'll receive a small sum like the many others who appeal to him.  Instead, he meets the rich man by his house and asks him if he knows of a kosher restaurant in the area.  The man immediately invites him to his house and serves him coffee and cake and engages in conversation with him.  The wealthy man then invites him to visit him again, and they gradually develop a close friendship.  The fundraiser then broaches the topic of his yeshivah, and his new friend donates an entire Beis Midrash. 

This is similar to our goals on Shabbos when we draw close to Hashem through our tefillos and seudos.  We don't want to ruin the loving atmosphere by mentioning our personal needs.  Motza'ei Shabbos we mention them ‘by the way' and receive them in abundance from our closest Yedid - Hashem.    

Wed, 27 Aug 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Get Your Shiny Face Ready For Moshiach The Gedolim of the generations were able to feel Kedushas Shabbos and it was discernable on their face.  Rav Eliyahu Lopian, zt”l said about his Rebbe, the Alter of Kelm, that during the week his face was extremely pale, but on Shabbos his face was bright red.  His face was so different on Shabbos that a new talmid of the yeshivah who saw the Alter on Shabbos for the first time thought that the yeshivah maintained a different mashgiach for Shabbos Kodesh.  The same is said about the Manchester Rosh Yeshiva Rav Yehuda Ze’ev Segal zt”l.

After reading this I wondered how can one get the Shabbos glow?  When you think about it is not all that mysterious.  The change in countenance is due to the presence of the Shechinah.  Shabbos is about leaving the six days of creation behind.  It is about ridding oneself of the burden of Olam HaZeh and catapulting yourself into a world where Hashem reigns supreme, with no distractions.  It is about removing from your mind last week’s issues and not pondering what next we will be like.  It is “here and now”, and “now” is a time when the world is standing still.  “The glow” is about reaching perfect inner tranquility.  This is an impossible achievement unless you truly believe that the world is all Hevel Havalim and we are all just servants of the Ribono Shel Olam. 

When we sing Shalom Aleichem on Friday night, we also sing Tzeischem Leshalom.  Why are we bidding the malachim goodbye?  Chazal says that there is no entrance for malachim in a place where the Shechinah is resting.  Certainly then it is not the place for review of your week’s struggles, even in your own head.  On Shabbos, it is appropriate for us to be alone with our Creator.

What Shabbos is in time, the Bais HaMikdash is in space.  It is the place of Hashem’s Shechina.  That is why we similarly find that the appearance of the Kohen Gadol when he walked out of the Kodesh HaKodashim was “K’Brakim HaYotzim M’Ziv HaChayos”, like lightening bolts emanating from the Holiest of the malachim.  

This may explain the gemara Shabbos 118b that says if Bnei Yisroel will keep two Shabbosos K’Halacha, the Geula will come.  If we will eat our Chulent with focused minds and pure spirit, we will have proven that we know exactly what to do with our animal sacrifices in the Bais HaMikdash, and Moshiach will surely be on his way.

Wed, 06 Aug 2008 03:00:00 +0000

“L’Chu Niranina L’ashem Nari’a L’Tzur Yisheinu”, these words from Kabalas Shabbos are found at the end of Shir Shel Yom of Yom Revi’i.  The mere utterance of these words gets every Jew excited that Shabbos is just around the corner.  Therefore Be”H we will start our Likras Shabbos column, trying to give us an extra feeling of appreciation for Shabbos and build the anticipation for Kabalas Pnei Shabbos HaMalka, to carry us through the rest of the week and into Shabbos.  We hope you enjoy.
Hashem created a physical world in six days – a world which He hides His presence and allows evil into the world, making it possible for man to go against His will. However, when the seventh day of Shabbos arrives, all the materialistic matters of the world come to a halt.  Shabbos is entirely kedusha, tahara, kavod and oneg –the malchus of Hashem and His goodness lighting up the world.  Shabbos is the purpose and completion of the entire Creation; the physical world stops and all that remains is kavod Shamayim – revealed in its essence and strength. 
Hashem established Shabbos to be the source of brachos for all of bracha, life, and kedusha in the world.  The seventh day fills the world with all of the vitality for the following six days.  However, in truth, Shabbos is not the source for kedushah and bracha; Hakadosh Boruch Hu is the Source of all, but on Shabbos, Hashem’s rule and His Shechinah is actuated.  This is the essence of Shabbos –the gate through which the Shechina of Hashem comes to our world.   
Chazal say that Shabbos is the name of Hakadosh Boruch Hu.  The true meaning of a name is that a person is recognized through his name.  Rav Shimshon Pincus in Shabbos Malkasa explains that if Reuven lives alone in a desert, his name is useless.  Shabbos is the name of Hashem because through Shabbos, we are provided the opportunity to draw close to Him and to recognize His greatness.

On Shabbos, Hashem’s light shines away the darkness of creation.  “Mei’ein Olam Haba Yom Shabbos Menucha”, Shabbos is a small sampling of Olam Haba, which is a pure world with out “Cheit”, where Hashem’s presence is revealed.  To get a taste of the world in it’s perfect state, this is the purpose of Shabbos. 

Wed, 30 Jul 2008 03:00:00 +0000