After a brief lull, the tzaddik continued: “Listen closely. The Torah says, ‘Remember to keep the Shabbos holy,’ and in the same parshah we read, ‘On Shabbos you may do no creative work, not you, your son, or your daughter.’ Now why would one’s children be referred to here when there is no mention of ‘your son or daughter’ by any other mitzvah? Because where other mitzvos are concerned, such as eating non-kosher, each person is responsible for his or her own actions. But where Shabbos is concerned, the father is held answerable for the children who live under his roof, even if they are already considered to be adults.
“In essence, even if you keep Shabbos but it should happen, God forbid, that a son or daughter of yours desecrates the Shabbos, you are unable to draw from the blessings of the holy Shabbos – and the berachah of Yisroel Meir will therefore also not help you.”
At Mattan Torah, an event indelibly etched in our collective hearts and minds for all time, Hashem, Shabbos and the Jews served as witnesses for one another. Each Friday night we, the Jewish people, sanctify the Shabbos in affirmation of the Oneness of God, that in six days He created heaven and earth and on the seventh day He rested; Shabbos in turn testifies “Mi k’amcha Yisrael – Who is like Your people Israel, one nation in the world…”
Jews who make a conscious choice to live life by their own rules and consequently do not observe the Shabbos and keep it holy as God has commanded, are regarded as not believing in the entire Torah. (Sfas Emes)
Rachel Weiss is a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.