web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Shabbos – A Day With Hashem

Neihaus-110212

Step 1: Revealing Hashem’s Presence

When we put away our sukkak and machzorim over a month ago, many of us let out a sigh wishing that these wonderful days of simcha and closeness to Hashem would never end. But in truth Hashem does not want it to be Yom Tov all year long. He wants us to take what we received during those special days and integrate it into our daily life. It sounds nice, but how are we supposed to do that? The answer is through Shabbos! This wonderful day, which comes every week, has the ability to lift us once again to those same spiritual heights and help us recharge our batteries for the coming week.

This raises a difficult question. Why is it that many people don’t experience that special intensity on Shabbos as they do on Yom Tov? One reason may be that they are missing the preparation. Like all of Yiddishkeit, the more you effort you put into something, the more you will get out of it. Because Yomim Tovim occur only a few times a year, we put special effort into understanding them and therefore receive more in return. However, Shabbos, which comes so often, remains an untouched topic for many people. They don’t know the meaning of Shabbos and certainly don’t know how to tap into it.

This can be seen from the Gemara in Masechtas Shabbos (10b): “Hashem told Moshe – I have a wonderful present in my treasure house and its name is Shabbos. Go tell Klal Yisroel about it.” Why did He have to tell them how special it is – when Shabbos arrives won’t they realize it for themselves? The only way to feel the kedusha of Shabbos is by understanding Shabbos and why it is special.

Let us embark on a fascinating voyage through the world of Shabbos. In this series of articles we will be’ezras Hashem touch on some of the important and intriguing aspects of this multi-faceted day. Hopefully this will make Shabbos an experience we and our families will look forward to every week.

We begin by clarifying what Shabbos is. Every Yom Tov gives us a special gift to take throughout the year. On Rosh Hashana we add to our yiras Sshamayim – fear of heaven; on Yom Kippur, we are given repentance; on Sukkos, simcha; and on Shavuos, the Torah. What do we receive from Shabbos?

The Darkness Of This World

Rav Shimshon Pinkus zt”l explains that in reality, when we look around at the world, we should be immediately overcome with love and fear of Hashem, as the Rambam says (Yesodei Hatorah 2:2): “How does one come to love and fear Hashem? When a person examines all of Hashem’s amazing and huge creations and sees the astounding wisdom which is endless, he is immediately overcome with love of Hashem and praises and glorifies Him … and he will have an extreme desire to know more about the Great Hashem…. And when he thinks about these things he immediately will jump back and be filled with fear and trepidation as he realizes how he is such a small and lowly creature standing with such puny intelligence in front of the One with Perfect Intellect.” So why don’t we also feel this way? The Gemara in Bava Metziyah (83b) reveals the answer.

“‘Ta’shes choshech va’yehee l’ayla – darkness settles and it is night’ (Tehillim 104:20) – the night refers to this world (the physical world), which is compared to night.” We learn from here that Hashem has placed a great darkness in this world that hides His presence. Our job is to repel this darkness, and thus see Hashem everywhere. During the week this is a difficult task, as we are involved with worldly pursuits, such as earning a living and taking care of our needs.

Shvisa – Putting Everything on Halt

On Shabbos, though, everything stops, and it is much easier to reach this goal. We do not involve ourselves in any activities of production, so much so that the Shulchan Aruch (306:8) tells us that on Shabbos we must view all our work as finished. The reason: Shabbos is “M’ein Olam Haba” – a preview of the World-to-Come. In Olam Haba we will be exclusively involved in the greatest pleasure – basking in Hashem’s Glory. Nothing else will exist besides Hashem and us. Shabbos is similar, but on a smaller scale. The King comes to spend time with us, and we therefore gladly remove ourselves from all other activities. We must cook and bake before Shabbos, because once the Guest has arrived we want to spend all our time with Him. And Hashem’s presence is everywhere. Every second of the day should be a reminder that it is Shabbos. We walk differently, talk differently and prepare food differently. In the street we do not carry (if there is no eiruv) and we do not drive. And most of all – we cut ourselves off from the world! We turn off our BlackBerries and iPhones, and we are left only with Hashem. Now the darkness of the world is just a thin wrapper, which can easily be removed.

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 kollel.zay@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Shabbos – A Day With Hashem”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yamam Hebron Shootout
Israel SWAT Team Exchanging Fire with Hamas Kidnappers in Hebron [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

haazinu A-Unique Nation

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

Rabbi Dayan took a challah and some cooked eggs. He then called over his 15-year-old son, Aharon. “Could you please ask your friend Chaim from next door to come over and help me with the eruv tavshilin?”

This world has its purpose; it has been ideally fashioned to allow man to grow.

A statement issued by the Frenkel, Yifrach and Sha’ar families thanks Israel for ‘justice served.’

Hamas’ tunnels were destroyed as were plans for their unparalleled terror attacks on Rosh Hashana.

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
Niehaus-090514

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

When a child needs encouragement whom can he turn to?

Is the fact that we can spend time with our families just a fringe benefit of Shabbos or an integral aspect?

Now that she has entered her husband’s domain, they become extremely close.

The more we are aware of Hashem’s involvement in our lives, the more we will act accordingly.

When Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, we received not only a physical freedom but also a spiritual one.

Such a misunderstanding would render our words worthless, for we would not be declaring that Hashem is truly the Master of the Universe.

Friday night corresponds to Shabbos Bereishis – therefore we discuss the creation. Shabbos morning corresponds to the Shabbos when we received the Torah, so in Shachris we mention that. And finally, Shabbos afternoon corresponds to the Shabbos of the World to Come, so in Mincha we talk about the Oneness of Hashem, which will be clearly revealed at that time.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/judaism-101/shabbos-a-day-with-hashem/2012/11/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: