Shabbos in the Parashah
In this week’s parashah the Torah states the various Mussaf offerings that are required to be brought in the Bais HaMikdash. It is said (Bamidbar 28:9) uveyom HaShabbos shenei chevasim binei shanah temimim ushnei esronim soles mincha belulah vashemen vinisko, and on the Shabbos day: two male lambs in their first year, unblemished, two-tenth-ephah of fine flour for a meal offering, mixed with oil and its libation. The Medrash (Shochar Tov 92:1) states that regarding Shabbos, everything is double. One aspect of Shabbos being double is that two male lambs were brought for the Mussaf offering. In the Shabbos Mussaf prayers, we recite the words az MiSinai nitztavu tzivuy paalehah karauy vatitzaveinu HaShem Elokeinu lihakriv bah Mussaf Shabbos karauy, then, from Sinai-they were instructed regarding the proper manner of its activities, when You commanded us, HaShem, our G-d, to offer on it the Shabbos Mussaf offering properly. Why do we mention twice that we were “properly” instructed regarding the Shabbos and its Mussaf offerings? Perhaps the idea is that we find that the word karauy, here translated as properly, can also mean something that does not currently exits. An example of this is regarding inheritance, where the Mishnah (Bechoros 8:9) states that firstborn does not take barauy, in what will come in the future, kivimuchzak, like what he has possession of now. Thus, the word rauy also means something that has not occurred yet. Regarding Shabbos, we can suggest that the reason everything on Shabbos is double is because Shabbos is a semblance of the World to Come. Thus, although we think that we are delighting in the Shabbos solely in this world, in truth we are simultaneously delighting in the Shabbos in the World to Come. Thus, we say that we were commanded regarding Shabbos karauy, because Shabbos is in this world and in the World to Come. Furthermore, the Sfas Emes (Vayechi 5647) writes that the temidim, the daily offerings, were according to a system, whereas the Mussaf offerings were above the natural order, and for this reason Shabbos is a semblance of the World to Come. Hashem should grant us the ability to perceive the holiness of Shabbos and that we all merit the day which will be completely a Shabbos and rest day for eternal life.
Shabbos in the Zemiros
Adapted from Bereishis 48:20, Bamidbar 6:24-26
Yisa HaShem panav eilecho viyaseim lecho shalom, may HaShem lift His Countenance to you and establish peace for you. Shabbos is referred to as shalom, peace. When we arrive home from shul on Friday night, we are escorted by two angels, one good and one bad. Shalom, peace, is the coexistence of opposing forces. Thus, we bless our children that HaShem should establish peace for us, as on Shabbos, even the bad angel should confer his blessing on our household.
Shabbos in Tefillah
Hallel vizimrah, lauding and hymns. What is the association of Hallel with zimrah? Usually we associate Hallel with hodaah, lauding and thanksgiving. Although all expressions of song are somewhat similar, there must be a connection between Hallel and zimrah. Based on a perusal of Scripture, it would appear that Hallel is the initial praise that one offers HaShem, and once engaged in that praise, one offers a zemer to HaShem. Perhaps the idea is as follows. When one finds himself in dire straits, the first thing he must do is acknowledge that HaShem is Omnipotent and can save him from any circumstance. This is similar to Hallel, when one recognizes that HaShem is his savior. Once a person is cognizant of this idea, he can then offer meaningful praise to HaShem, i.e. he can be explicit in his praise which until now was just a general recognition of HaShem’s power. The word zemer is said to be derived from the word zomer, which means to prune. Initially one plants a tree so that the tree should bear fruit. Subsequently, one must prune the tree to allow the tree to remain sturdy. Similarly, one initially expresses Hallel to HaShem so that he can grow in his recognition of HaShem. Once he begins to appreciate the specific kindnesses that HaShem does for him, he can be mezamer, i.e. prune his praises, so that he can discern exactly how HaShem has helped him in every aspect of his life.
Mr. Isaac Friedman was one of the thousands of holocaust survivors that arrived in the United States as refugees in the early 1950’s. In order to keep Shabbos, Mr. Friedman scraped together just enough money to open a small drapery store on the lower level of his apartment building in Philadelphia. Business was slow. Nonetheless, every Friday before sunset he would close up his store and go upstairs to get ready for Shabbos. One Friday, just before closing, three people entered. “My name is Henry Ballod,” said the leader. “We have come from Wildwood, New Jersey, and we need drapes for our motel. It has eighty windows-can you handle it?” Realizing that such a large job would require many hours of material selection, Mr. Friedman knew there was no way it could be completed before Shabbos. Politely but firmly, he said, “I am a religious Jew and I do not work past sunset on Friday. Please come back after the weekend and I will be glad to help you.” “Are you mad?!” shouted Mr. Ballod. “We came from over a hundred miles away. We do not have time to wait for you. We will go elsewhere.” And they stormed out. “I will do a cheaper and better job,” Mr. Friedman called after them. “Just come back after Shabbos.” Monday morning, to Mr. Friedman’s great surprise, the men returned. Without mentioning a word about Friday’s incident, they chose their drapes and gave him a deposit. Mr. Friedman completed the job, and they were satisfied. After that, business really picked up. Mr. Friedman was ordering supplies by the truckload. Just weeks ago, he was an unknown penniless immigrant; now he had a booming business. Months later Mr. Friedman was in Wildwood, New Jersey, when he heard a voice from across the street. “Friedman-I sent them all.” Mr. Friedman looked up and saw Mr. Ballod beaming at him. He told Mr. Friedman that at a recent hotel and motel owner’s convention, he took the podium and told the whole audience about his experience. “How you insisted on closing the store before sunset on Friday, despite the fear of losing such a big job. I told them how impressed I was by the way you respected G-d more than money. Your morals are more important to you than the bottom line. And in the end, you did a good job for a good price. Someone like you, I told them, can be trusted!” (Adapted from Visions of Greatness, Rabbi Yosef Weiss, 1993)
Shabbos in History
Reb Elya Lopian related that he was once a guest of the Chofetz Chaim on Shabbos. The Chofetz Chaim told Reb Elya, “the Yerushalmi states that one who fulfills the mitzvah of observing Shabbos is akin to observing all the mitzvos in the Torah. Thus, for every mitzvah one performs on Shabbos, one will receive a reward as if he fulfilled all 613 mitzvos.” The Chefetz Chaim continued, “According to the Vilna Gaon, every word of Torah that one studies is deemed to be a separate mitzvah. Thus, when one studies Torah on Shabbos, his reward for each word of Torah studied is multiplied by 613. Think about it-the reward for studying Torah on Shabbos is almost infinite!”
The Gemara states that peace is so important that in relating to Avraham what Sara had said regarding Avraham’s old age, HaShem changed the wording so that it would appear that Sara had only said that she was old and not Avraham. What is so great about peace? We know that Shabbos is called shalom, peace. All week long the Evil Inclination attempts to seduce a person to sin. When Shabbos arrives, all harsh judgments are removed. The Shem MiShmuel writes that the Evil Inclination is referred to as the old and foolish king. The reason for this is because the Evil Inclination assumes that every day he becomes smarter, when in reality, it is man’s weaknesses that allow the Evil Inclination to seduce him. Thus, the Evil Inclination becomes old, but remains foolish as ever. Perhaps this idea is alluded to in the words of the Gemara. Sara had said vaadoni zaken, my master, i.e. the Evil Inclination, is old, implying that one should respect the Evil Inclination. HaShem, Who knows the true nature of man, declared vaani zaken, I am old, intimating that it is really the weaknesses of the person that cause him to sin, but the Evil Inclination remains foolish as before. Therefore, for the sake of peace, i.e. that one should be granted respite from the Evil Inclination, HaShem bestowed upon the Jewish People the Shabbos, which wards off the Evil Inclination, and allows us to demonstrate that in truth, we are as strong as ever in our commitment to serve HaShem.
Shabbos in Halacha
One cannot use tea bags on Shabbos, as the tea leaves become cooked by the hot water. The only manner in which tea leaves are permitted is if the water is first cooled below the temperature of yad soledes bo.
Shabbos in Numbers and Words
In the Shabbos Mussaf prayers we recite the words az MiSinai nitztavu tzivuy paalehah karauy, then, from Sinai-they were instructed regarding the proper manner of its activities. The word karauy in mispar katan, digit sum, equals 12. This alludes to the statement of Reb Tzadok HaKohen from Lublin who writes that the idea of Shabbos is mentioned twelve times in the Torah.
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Balak 5767
in memory of his father Rabbi Arie Levin z”l
Niftar 27 Tammuz 5762, July 7, 2002
Have a wonderful and delightful Shabbos.
Prepared by Rabbi Binyomin Adler.
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