Shabbos in the Parashah
In this week’s parashah it is said (Vayikra 23:1-3) vayidabeir HaShem el Moshe leimor dabeir el kol adas binei Yisroel viamarta aleihem moadei HaShem asher tikriu osam mikraei kodesh eileh heim moadai sheishes yamim taiaseh melacha uvayom hashevii Shabbos Shabbason mikra kodesh kol melacha lo saasu Shabbos hi laHaShem bichol moshvosocheim, HaShem spoke to Moshe, saying: Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: HaShem’s appointed festivals that you are to designate as holy convocations – these are My appointed festivals. For six days labor may be done, and the seventh day is a day of complete rest, a holy convocation, you shall not do any work; it is a Shabbos for HaShem in all your dwelling places. Rashi raises the obvious question: The Torah states that these are My appointed festivals, and then the Torah proceeds to discuss the laws of Shabbos. Is Shabbos deemed to be a festival? Rashi writes that the Torah juxtaposes the Shabbos next to the festivals to teach us that one who desecrates the festivals is regarded as one who desecrates the Shabbos, and one who observes the festivals is regarded as one who observes the Shabbos. Although Rashi seems to have resolved the question of why the Torah discusses Shabbos next to the festivals, we must still understand why it was necessary to teach us this lesson. Does the Torah need to place the laws of tzitzis next to the laws of Tefillin to teach us that performing the mitzvah is tzitzis is equivalent to performing the mitzvah of Tefillin? It is true that there are certain leniencies regarding the festivals, such as the permit to cook on a festival in contrast to the prohibition of cooking on Shabbos. Nonetheless, why would we assume that the observance of the festival is less significant than the observance of the Shabbos? The answer to this question can be found in the Zohar (Emor) where it is said that the festivals are akin to one who stays in someone’s home as a guest, whereas Shabbos is like a son who can entreat his father for whatever he desires. Although this distinction appears to be overly simple, there is an added dimension to this concept that must be explained. In the Friday night Shemone Esrei we recite the words uvairachto mikol hayamim vikidashto mikol hazemanim, and He blessed it from all the days and He sanctified it from all the times. It is said that this passage can be interpreted to mean that all the festivals draw their sanctity and holiness from the Shabbos. Thus, Shabbos is not merely a day when one can attain greater spiritual heights than one can attain on the festivals. Rather, Shabbos is a day which disseminates its aura onto all the festivals of the year. In this light we can better understand why the Torah juxtaposes Shabbos to the festivals. In truth, Shabbos cannot be referred to as a festival. Rather, Shabbos is the source of holiness and spirituality for all the festivals. Subsequently, one who desecrates the festivals is akin to having desecrated the Shabbos, as the festivals are akin to the guest and Shabbos is akin to the son of the master of the home. When one does not respect the guest in a home, it is as if he is disregarding the master of the home. When one observes the festivals, however, it is akin to observing the Shabbosos, as one is demonstrating that he respects the guest and thus acknowledged the master. HaShem should allow us to merit properly observing the Shabbos and the festivals, and then He will bring Moshiach Tzidkienu, speedily, in our times, and in our days.
Shabbos in the Zemiros
Ribbon kol HaOlamim
Published in 5401 (1641)
Uvasi liveischo lihapil techinasi lifanecho shetaavir anchasi, I entered Your house to cast my supplication before You that You banish my sighs. It is interesting that we declare here that we have entered HaShem’s house to cast our supplications. We just mentioned that the angels have entered our homes, and now we refer to our homes as HaShem’s home. What is the explanation for this apparent discrepancy? It would seem that the resolution of this paradox is that prior to the onset of Shabbos, we view our homes as ours and this is because our accomplishments during the week tend to make us feel conceited in that we are the ones responsible for our successes. When Shabbos arrives, however, we recognize HaShem’s greatness and we are immediately humbled before Him. This allows us to declare that our home is really HaShem’s home.
Shabbos in Tefillah
Keil adon al kol hamaasim, the G-d the Master over all works. It is noteworthy that the word adon, translated as master, is similar to
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky writes: This past Thursday evening I went to be Menachem Avel (in the vernacular - pay a shiva call) a friend, Rabbi Zissel Zelman, who was sitting shiva for his father. He is a
Rabbi Kamenetzky writes further: This past winter, in honor of 7 Adar, a day designated to honor the yahrzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu, it was decided to give recognition to the community Chevra Kadisha (burial society). Rabbi Paysach Krohn addressed a large gathering at
Shabbos in Navi
In this chapter the Navi records how Yiftach was chosen by the elders of
Shabbos in Agadah
It is said (Bereishis 2:2) vayechal Elokim bayom hashevii milachto asher asah vayishbos bayom hashevii mikol milachto asher asah, by the seventh day HaShem completed His work which he had done, and He abstained on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. The Baal HaTurim (Ibid) cites the Yerushalmi that states that the word vayechal is interpreted to mean vichamad, and He desired. The Sar Shalom from Belz (Ibid) explains that Shabbos is the ultimate goal of all the days of the week, and through the light of Shabbos HaShem desired the labor of the six days of the week. Thus, the interpretation of the above verse is that vayechal Elokim bayom hashevii milachto asher asah, HaShem desired because of the seventh day all the labor that was performed in the six days of the week. Vayishbos bayom hashevii mikol milachto asher asah is interpreted to mean HaShem nullified all the powers that existed from the labor that was performed during the six days of the week. All the days of the week were incorporated into Shabbos and HaShem shone the light of Shabbos on the six days of the week. Subsequently, HaShem desired those days because the evil powers contained within them were nullified.
Shabbos in Halacha
In Talmudic times, most cooking was done in ovens that were filled with hot coals. The Sages instituted two methods that would alleviate the issue of stirring the embers and thus allowing one to maintain food on the oven. One method was that if the coals were removed, one could leave uncooked food in the oven prior to the onset of Shabbos, and allow it to be cooked by the heat that was retained in the oven. One is also permitted to leave raw food in the oven if the coals were covered with ashes. The heat of the coals was diminished by the ashes and this was an indication that one did not desire to have the food cook quickly. Thus, one would be unlikely to stir the embers on Shabbos.
Shabbos in Numbers and Words
It is said (Bereishis 2:2) vayechal Elokim bayom hashevii milachto asher asah vayishbos bayom hashevii mikol milachto asher asah, by the seventh day HaShem completed His work which he had done, and He abstained on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. The Baal HaTurim (Ibid) cites the Yerushalmi that states that the word vayechal is interpreted to mean vichamad, and He desired. It is noteworthy that the word chamad , desire, in mispar katan (ches is 8, mem is 40, which is 4, and dalet is 4 and 8+4+4=16, and 1+6=7) equals 7, and HaShem desired Shabbos, the seventh day of the week.
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