Shabbos in the Parashah
In this weeks parashah the Torah records a dispute between Avraham and his nephew
Shabbos in the Zemiros
Ribbon kol HaOlamim
Published in 5401 (1641)
Melech malchei hamelachim, King Who reigns over kings. We describe HaShem as King Who reigns over kings. What does this mean? In the simple sense, we are stating that despite all the power that appears to be vested in kings of flesh and blood, HaShem’s power is even greater than that power. This explanation, however, poses a difficulty, as it implies that the kingship of HaShem is in the same realm as that of human kings, and this certainly cannot be true. The answer to this question can be found in the words of the Netziv, who writes (Shemos 11:4) that even the forces of evil draw their strength from HaShem, and when HaShem revealed Himself in His glory in Egypt, all the forces of evil were destroyed. HaShem’s revelation was able to subdue even the greatest amongst the forces of evil and impurity. Similarly, when we declare that HaShem is the King Who reigns over kings, we are stating that all kings draw their strength from HaShem, and HaShem has the power to subdue all kings.
Shabbos in Tefillah
Barchu es HaShem hamevorach, Bless HaShem, the Blessed one. This pronouncement is one of the most fascinating passages in Jewish liturgy. The Chazan calls out to the congregation to bless HaShem Who is blessed. We already know that the word baruch does not mean blessed. Rather, it means that we acknowledge HaShem as the Source of all blessings. Given this understanding, what is our intention when we ask the congregation to bless HaShem as the Source of all blessings? It would appear that we are exhorting the congregation to acknowledge HaShem as the Source of all blessings. Yet, the Arizal and other Kabbalists mention a fascinating idea regarding the recital of Barchu. The Kabbalists write that on Friday night when the Chazan calls upon the congregation to bless HaShem and the congregation responds with baruch HaShem hamevorach liolam vaed, Blessed is HaShem, the Blessed One, for all eternity, the congregation gains the neshamah yeseira, the extra soul that enters into a Jew on Shabbos. Furthermore, when the congregation responds with Barchu, a heavenly voice goes out and declares, “fortunate are you, Holy Nation, that you offer your blessings below, so that the ones above should be blessed. You are fortunate in this world and in the World to Come.” Thus, we see that the repetition of Barchu has profound significance in this world and in the world that is above us. Perhaps another dimension to this declaration is that the Medrash states that HaShem created the world with the letter bais because it reflects blessing, whereas the letter aleph reflects a curse, such as in the word arur. The Ibn Ezra in his commentary to Bereishis wonders about this Medrash, as there are many words that begin with the letter bais and denote evil concepts. The Maharal (Tiferes Yisroel 34) refutes the words of the Ibn Ezra, and the Maharal writes that the explanation of the Medrash is that the letter bais intrinsically reflects blessing, as two signifies the commencement of expansion and growth. Thus, the word baruch reflects expansion and continued blessing, so it follows that we commence our prayers with the Chazan exhorting the congregation to follow suit and acknowledge HaShem as the source of all blessings.
There was once a salesman from Deal,
Shabbos in Navi
Yehoshua Chapter 7
In this chapter it is said that Achan violated the cherem, the ban that Yehoshua had placed on anyone taking from the spoils of Yericho. The Navi interjects with the incident that occurred at the city of
Shabbos and Milah, circumcision, are both referred to as an os, a sign. What is the association between Shabbos and milah? The Baal HaTurim in the beginning of Bereishis writes that the word Bereishis forms the words bris aish, a covenant of fire. Why is milah associated with fire? The Medrash (Bereishis Rabbah 48:8) states that Avraham Avinu stands by the gates of Gehinnom and does not allow anyone who has been circumcised to enter into Gehinnom. Similarly, the Gemara (Sanhedrin 65b and see Rashi Ibid) states that although all week the wicked are punished with the fires of Gehinnom, on Shabbos the fires of Gehinnom rest. Furthermore, the Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer (18) states that in the merit of Shabbos one is saved from the fires of Gehinnom. We can also suggest that the Gemara (Yoma 28b) states that Avraham Avinu fulfilled the entire Torah, even the mitzvah of eruvei tavshilin. The word eruv can also be interpreted to mean mixture (see Daas Zekanim MiBaalei HaTosafos Bereishis 18:8). Thus, the Gemara is stating that one who in this world observes Shabbos by cooking a mixture of hot food and eating it hot on Shabbos, will merit that he will be saved by Avraham from the fires of Gehinnom. (see Baal HaMaor to Rif Shabbos 16b and Rema Orach Chaim 257:8.)
Shabbos in Halacha
One can use pre-cooked seasoning, i.e. salt and sugar, on dry foods, even in a kli rishon. One should never use uncooked foods on solid foods in any vessel until they cool below yad soledes bo.
Shabbos in Numbers and Words
When Yom Tov occurs immediately prior to Shabbos, one makes an eruvei tavshilin by taking a loaf of bread and a cooked item such as an egg, a piece of fish, or a piece of meat. He then recites a blessing and a declaration, allowing him to prepare food and light candles from Yom Tov to Shabbos. It is noteworthy that the word tavshilin forms the word Shabbos and the remaining letters equal in gematria 100. The Gemara (Yoma 28b) states that Avraham Avinu fulfilled the entire Torah before it was given, even the mitzvah of eruvei tavshilin. The Maharal explains that this demonstrates that Avraham was always prepared. We can suggest further that one prepares for Shabbos and on Shabbos one must also be meticulous to recite 100 blessings, as it is much more difficult to recite the 100 blessings on Shabbos than it is during the week. This is due to the fact that there are fewer blessings in the Shemone Esrei, so on Shabbos one should ensure that he recites blessings on foods and other items that require blessings.
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Lech Lecho 5768
is sponsored by Yossi and Rivky Adler
in honor of the birth of their daughter Esther Miriam.
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Have a wonderful and delightful Shabbos
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