Shabbos in the Parashah
In this week’s parashah the Torah discusses the tragic incident where Moshe was instructed by HaShem to speak to a rock that would subsequently give forth water for the Jewish People, and Moshe mistakenly hit the rock. Although the Jewish People ultimately had water to drink, HaShem deemed this act to be an error on Moshe’s part and he and Aharon were punished that they were not granted entry into Eretz Yisroel. The commentators offer numerous explanations regarding how Moshe sinned and why Aharon was implicated. I would like to focus, however, on the verse that summarizes the incident. It is said (Bamidbar 20:13) heimah mei mirivah asher ravu bnei yisroel es HaShem vayikadeish bum, they are the waters of strife, where the Children of Israel contended with HaShem, and He was sanctified through them. Why is it necessary for the Torah to recap the incident, especially if on the surface what transpired was not deemed an honor for Moshe or the Jewish People? Let us examine the word vayikadeish, and He was sanctified, and we will gain a deeper insight into this incident and into the purpose of creation in general. How does HaShem become sanctified? Rashi writes here and elsewhere (Vayikra 10:3) that when HaShem metes out justice to His sanctified ones, He become feared and sanctified. HaShem is referred to as kadosh, holy, yet in a sense, HaShem needs to become sanctified through his beloved ones. Similarly, we recite in the Friday night prayers, atah kidashta es yom hashevii lishmecho tachlis maasei shamayim vaartez, You sanctified the seventh day for Your Name’s sake, the conclusion of the creation of heaven and earth. Shabbos is the conclusion and pinnacle of creation. Shabbos is sanctified, yet HaShem requires of us that we sanctify the Shabbos through words and through actions. When one eats food on Shabbos, he should recite the words lekavod Shabbos kodesh, this is for the honor of the Holy Shabbos. This is not merely an incantation or symbolic utterance. When one performs actions that demonstrate his affinity towards the holiness of Shabbos, he has fulfilled the purpose of creation. It is for this reason that the Gemara states (Shabbos 119b) that whoever prays on Friday night and recites vayechulu, Scripture treats him as if he had becomes a partner to the Holy One, Blessed is He, in the act of creation, as the verse states vayechulu, and they-the heaven and earth-were finished. Do not read this as vayechulu (and they were finished) but as vayechulu (and they-the Creator and the reciter finished). The purpose of creation is to sanctify HaShem’s Name, and when one recites vayechulu, he attests to the creation of the world, thus sanctifying HaShem and the Shabbos. The Zohar states that Shabbos is the Name of Hashem, so when one sanctifies the Shabbos, he is in a sense sanctifying HaShem’s Name.
Shabbos in the Zemiros
Adapted from Bereishis 48:20, Bamidbar 6:24-26
Yivarechecho HaShem viyishmirecho, may HaShem bless you and safeguard you. The Sfas Emes writes that the word Bracha is derived from the word rachav, which means to graft. Thus, when one blesses HaShem, he is declaring that he is one with HaShem. The purpose of Shabbos is to become one with HaShem, as those who pray Nusach Sefard on Friday evening recite in the prayer of Kegavna, raza diShabbos ihi Shabbos diisachadas beraza diechod limishrei alah raza diechod, this is the secret of the Shabbos: She [Kingship] is called Shabbos when She becomes united in the secret of Oneness so that G-d’s Oneness may rest upon her. The Medrash (Bereishis Rabbah 11:8) states that of all the days of the week, only Shabbos was left without a mate, so HaShem gave the Jewish People as a mate for Shabbos. It is thus appropriate that we commence our blessings on Shabbos with the word Yivarechecho, may HaShem bless you, implying that we should merit being one with HaShem and with Shabbos.
Shabbos in Tefillah
Ki lecho naeh HaShem Elokeinu vElokei avoseinu, because for You is fitting-O HaShem, our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers. We are about to embark on reciting a litany of expressions that praise HaShem. We introduce these expressions of praise by stating that the praises are befitting HaShem. It is perplexing why we introduce the praises of HaShem with this preamble, as if we have to justify why we are praising HaShem. We make a similar declaration at the end of Hallel, when we recite the words ki lecho tov lehodos ulishimcho naeh lizameir, for to You it is fitting to give thanks, and unto Your Name it is proper to sing praises. Perhaps the idea is that praising HaShem is not difficult, as most people in the world acknowledge HaShem’s power at one point or another. It is the Jewish People, however, who recognize that it is fitting to praise HaShem and only we can praise HaShem with these expressions of praise. Rather than just declaring the words “praise the Lord” or the like, we demonstrate that it is befitting to praise HaShem with shir and shevach and all forms of praise.
Dozens of Beis Yosef Yeshivos were spread across
Shabbos in History
The Sfas Emes would often say he envied businessmen. “I am jealous of the daf of Gemara that merchants learn on Shabbos. Throughout the week the businessman is busy with his affairs and cannot find time to learn. But on Shabbos Kodesh, when he opens up the Gemara, he invariably learns with great enthusiasm.”
The Gemara discusses the concept of maamar, the betrothal that a yavam performs with a yevamah. Why is the betrothal of a yavam referred to as maamar whereas the betrothal to an ordinary woman is referred to as kiddushin? At a siyum on Maseches Yevamos, the Bais Aharon of Karlin expounded on this perplexity. Marriage is referred to as kiddushin, because the word kiddushin is derived from the word hekdesh, which means a consecration. When one consecrates an item, he is essentially prohibiting anyone outside of hekdesh to have benefit from this item. Similarly, when one is mekadesh a woman, the woman is now permitted to her future husband and is prohibited to the rest of the world. A yevamah, however, is different, as she was previously married to a man and was thus prohibited from marrying anyone else. When her husband died childless, she is now a yevamah and is prepared for either the act of yibum or chalitzah. Nonetheless, she is still forbidden to marry anyone else. The act of the yavam betrothing her cannot be referred to as kiddushin because she was previously forbidden to everyone. Rather, the betrothal is referred to as maamar because the essence of yibum is that the surviving brother should perpetuate the name of the deceased. In a sense, Yibum is a resurrection of the deceased brother. Maamar is the word of Hashem that brings the dead back to life as it is written (Kesubos 8b, Friday night prayers): mechayeh meisim bimaamoro, He resurrects the dead with His utterance. Thus, the betrothal of the yevamah is referred to as maamar, because maamar is similar to HaShem resurrecting the Dead. In a similar vein, the Bais Aharon said that it is well known that Shabbos is a semblance of the World to Come (Brachos 57b). For this reason we recite in the zemiros of Shabbos the words: tehorim yiroshuha vikadshuha bimaamar kol asher asah vayechal Elokim bayom hashevii milacahto asher asa, pure ones bequeath it and hallow it with the statement-‘All that He had made… ‘on the Seventh Day G-d completed His work which He had done.’ The word maamar alludes to the World to Come. (Adapted with permission from Daf Notes, an advanced forum for those who study the Daf Yomi www.dafnotes.blogspot.com)
Shabbos in Halacha
There are certain foods that are so sensitive to heat that they can even become cooked in a kli shelishi. Examples of these foods are tea leaves, eggs and extremely salty fish which cannot be eaten because of its saltiness. It is thus forbidden to heat these items by pouring on them the liquids of a kli sheini or by immersing them in a kli shelishi.
Shabbos in Numbers and Words
In the Mussaf prayers on Shabbos we recite the words tikanta Shabbos, You established the Shabbos. The word tikanta in mispar katan, digit sum, equals 15, and 1+5=6. This alludes to the idea that one should prepare all six days of the week for Shabbos, and the word tikanta can also mean to prepare, from the root word heichin.
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Chukas 5767
Have a wonderful and delightful Shabbos.
Prepared by Rabbi Binyomin Adler.
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