Shabbos And Light
With this thought we can explain another aspect of Shabbos. The longest standard brocha we have is yotzer ohr in the morning prayers – where we praise Hashem for the fabulous creation of light. However, we find many differences between the version said on Shabbos and the one for the rest of the week. Aside from the additions describing the special qualities of Shabbos, we find a much longer description of the sun and the other celestial bodies. During the week we recite a list of praises with one word corresponding to each letter of the alef-beis. On Shabbos, however, we recite the poem of Kel Adon, which has four words corresponding to each letter of the alef-beis. Why do we make these additions and why do we speak about Shabbos specifically in this brocha?
On Shabbos, when we are less involved in the materialistic darkness of the world, we are finally able to look around and see Hashem’s presence. Therefore, we thank Hashem for this gift in the brocha of light, the great creation that allows us to see His World. Shabbos and light work in tandem to dispel the great darkness that Hashem has placed here. The introduction to this brocha on Shabbos is “Hakol yoducha, vihakol yishbichucha, vihakol yomru ein kodosh k’Hashem – Everyone will acknowledge You, and everyone will praise You, and all will say there is no one as Holy as Hashem!” Now on Shabbos, even before we come to the next world, it is much easier for us to realize that there is no comparison to You, Hashem!
Shabbos teaches us how to dispel the darkness of this world. Discovering Hashem everywhere on Shabbos, makes it easier to continue doing so during the rest of the week. Let us try to be aware – even just a few times on Shabbos – that Hashem is with us. Each time we do something differently because it is Shabbos is an opportunity to transport ourselves to a different world – the world of Shabbos, where it is only us and our beloved Hashem!
B’ezras Hashem, in future articles we will see how this understanding will instill much feeling and meaning to many of the different aspects of Shabbos!Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus, raised and educated in Los Angeles and subsequently Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Yerushalayim, is the Rosh Kollel of the Zichron Aron Yaakov Kollel in Kiryat Sefer , Israel. He lectures for the public and is the director of the Chasdei Rivka Free Loan Gemach. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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