Shabbos in the Parashah
In this week’s parashah the Torah states (Devarim 11:29) vihaya ki yiviachao HaShem elokecha el haaretz asher atah va shamah lirishta vinasta es habracha al har Grasim ves hakelalah al har eival, it shall be that when HaShem, your G-d, brings you to the land to which you come, to posses it, then you shall deliver the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Eival. One must wonder what the significance of these two mountains is. Were they strategic locations in that time period, or is there a deeper significance regarding these two mountains? The Ramban (Ibid 11:29) writes that Har Gerizim was to the south, which is to the right, and Har Eival was to the north, as it is said (Yirmiyah 1:14) mitzafon tipasach haraah, from the North the evil will be released. It is obvious that this statement of the Ramban has a deeper meaning, as north and south would appear to be merely locations and not harbingers of good or bad. Yet, the Ramban understands that everything in the Torah has significance, and even the locations of the two mountains that existed since creation had a function in the Jewish People accepting the covenant that Moshe transmitted from HaShem. What is so significant about location? We have previously explained that Shabbos is referred to as the makom, the place, of HaShem. This appellation would appear to be strange, as Shabbos is a time of the week, i.e. the seventh day of the week, so why do we refer to Shabbos as the place? To understand the significance of Shabbos being referred to as the place, we must attempt to understand why HaShem is referred to as HaMakom, The Place. HaShem is beyond space and time, so why refer to Him as The Place? The Medrash (Pesikta Rabbasi 21) states that the world is not mekomo shel HaKadosh baruch hu, the place of HaShem. Rather, Hu mekomo shel haOlam, Hashem is the place of the world. This would seem to be an issue of semantics. Yet, if we contemplate this statement, we would gain a true insight into HaShem and the wonderful gift of Shabbos that He bestows upon the Jewish People. The world is not HaShem’s place. How can this be? Does not everything belong to HaShem? The answer is that this definition would limit HaShem, as in a sense this would imply that the world is, Heaven forbid, the place where HaShem resides. In truth, however, HaShem is the place of the world, because the entire world draws its sustenance from HaShem. If HaShem were to allow, so to speak, that the world be released from His control even for a moment, the world would cease to exist. Similarly, we draw our physical and spiritual nourishment during the week from Shabbos. Thus, limiting Shabbos to a time would be akin to limiting HaShem, Heaven forbid, to residing in the world. Shabbos is truly beyond time and space, and for this reason we refer to Shabbos as the place of HaShem. With this premise in mind, we can understand why the Ramban categorizes the two mountains as the right and the left. The Shelah (Parashas Re’eh Torah Ohr 7) writes that just as there are two mountains of
Shabbos in the Zemiros
Ribbon kol HaOlamim
Published in 5401 (1641)
Melech gadol, King Who is great. One must wonder why we refer to HaShem as great if we acknowledge HaShem as our King. Is it not obvious that the King of all kings is great? Although this question can be applied to any appellation that we use to describe HaShem, the word gadol, great, warrants extra scrutiny. The word gedulah is normally associated with the attribute of chesed, kindness. When we refer to HaShem as the Great King, we are not merely stating that HaShem is great. We are declaring that HaShem created a world that is founded on kindness, and HaShem continues to support the world through kindness. The greatness of a king is reflected in his kindness to his subjects, and this is how we perceive the greatness of HaShem
Shabbos in Tefillah
Brachos vehodaos, blessings and thanksgiving. It is interesting that we declare that it is fitting to offer to HaShem blessings and thanksgivings. Would it not be more appropriate to actually bless and thank HaShem than to declare that it is fitting to do so? Perhaps the answer to this question is that although one is required to bless and thank HaShem every second of the day, it is very easy to lose sight of this requirement when we are occupied in the daily pursuits of life. For this reason we declare that at the very least it is fitting to offer blessings and thanksgiving to HaShem, despite the fact that we are not always conscious of doing so. Additionally, after making this declaration, we continue with our declaration by reciting a blessing, which we will discuss in the near future.
The chassid was puzzled. For weeks he had looked forward to his trip to
Shabbos in History
Reb Elazar, the son of the illustrious Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizensk zt”l once spent Shabbos at the court of the famous Rebbe Reb Pinchas of Koritz zt”l. After davening (prayers), as is the custom in Chassidic courts, Reb Pinchas held a Tish (a communal Shabbos meal led by the Rebbe). Being the son of a great tzaddik (righteous person), Reb Elazar was given a seat next to the Rebbe. At one point, Reb Elazar, caught up in his own holy thoughts, sighed to himself, “Oy-Tatte,” (O Father-a reference to G-d). Reb Pinchas, who was renowned for his cutting truthfulness and abhorrence of lip-service, overheard his krechtz (sigh). He turned to him and whispered, “Who says?” [i.e. Who says that you in fact are so close to Hashem as to refer to Him as your Father?] Reb Elazar was crushed. What hurt him the most, he reckoned, was that Reb Pinchas was absolutely right! Was he really so close to Hashem? Was his whole avodah (service of G-d) no more than lip-service? He returned home dejected. His father, Reb Elimelech, noticed right away that something was amiss. He asked his son, and Reb Elazar told him what had happened, and how broken-hearted he felt. “What?!” Reb Elimelech exclaimed. “And if one does not have a Father-must he remain an orphan? The pasuk says: ‘sheal avicha- You have to borrow a Father!’ [This is a play-on-words of the passage (Devarim 32:7) which reads, “Sheal avicha veyagedcha, ask your father, and he will tell you.” The word sheal, to ask, can also mean to borrow.] Sometimes, when we feel very far away, we have to take Hashem as our Father-on loan.”
Shabbos in the Daf
The Gemara discusses a case where limbs of a chatas offering, which are meant to be eaten, became mixed up with limbs of an olah offering, which are meant to be burned on the mizbeiach. The Gemara states that for a satisfying aroma, i.e. with sacrificial intent, one cannot offer on the mizbeiach something that is supposed to be eaten, but one can offer it for the sake of firewood. This is the opinion of Rabbi Elazar who maintains that we can view the limbs of the chatas as fuel for the fire of the mizbeiach. In his opinion, one is only prohibited to place the edible part of an offering on the mizbeiach if it was placed there with sacrificial intent. We see from the Gemara the importance of intent regarding a sacrifice. We do not currently have the Bais HaMikdash and thus we are not able to offer sacrifices. Yet, in lieu of the Bais HaMikdash and sacrifices, we have Shabbos, which serves as an atonement for the Jewish People. In the Shabbos Mussaf prayers, we offer the following supplication: vies Mussaf yom HaShabbos hazeh naaseh vinakriv lefeonecho beahavah kimitzvas ritzonecho, and the Mussaf of this Shabbos day we will perform and offer to You with love according to the commandment of Your will. Besides the fact that we will be offering the sacrifices in the future, we will also be offering them with love. According to an explanation of the Tiferes Shlomo (Bereishis 2:31) we can interpret this to mean that through the infusion of holiness that we have now on Shabbos in the exile, we will merit the holiness of Shabbos in the World to Come. Thus, our intent in observing the Shabbos now predicates the reward of Shabbos that we will receive in the future.
Shabbos in Halacha
In practice, we do as follows: Regarding uncooked spices, we adhere to the stringent view that deems solid foods to be a kli rishon. Thus, one should not season any hot solid foods with uncooked spices, whether the food is in a pot (kli rishon), a platter ( kli sheini) or a plate ( kli shelishi), as long as the food is yad soledes bo. Regarding pre-cooked liquid condiments, i.e. ketchup, where the question is one of re-cooking, one can follow the lenient view that once transferred, solid foods are reduced to the status of a kli sheini. Thus, one can pour pre-cooked condiments onto dry foods in a kli sheini.
Shabbos in Numbers and Words
We commence the Friday night Kiddush with the words yom hashishi vayechulu hashamayim vihaaretz, the sixth day, thus the heavens and earth were finished. The last letters of the words yom hashishi vayechulu hashamayim equal in mispar katan, digit sum, 15, and 1+5=6, which alludes to the idea that HaShem completed all His work in six days and ushered in the Shabbos at the end of the sixth day.
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Re’eh 5767
Have a wonderful and delightful Shabbos.
Prepared by Rabbi Binyomin Adler.
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