web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

A Psalm For Shabbos

Niehaus-071913

Ah, Shabbos Nachamu! Finally the three weeks of mourning have finished, and the seven-week period of comforting, of nechama, has begun. We breathe a sigh of relief and life goes back to normal. But wait a minute – it doesn’t seem like anything has changed! We still do not have the Bais HaMikdash or the extreme closeness to Hashem which we so yearn for! So why do we switch over to a process of comforting? Furthermore, since this entire period is referred to as a time of comforting, why do we find an expression of that nechama specifically on Shabbos through the special haftaras, and not during the week?

Let us start with Chapter 92 of Tehillim:A psalm, a song for the day of Shabbos.” Although we might have expected this chapter to discuss the beauty of Shabbos and its different aspects, in truth there seems to be no apparent connection. So why is this the special mizmor of Shabbos? Harav Eliyahu Lopian zt”l explains the connection with a beautiful parable.

Making Sense Out Of Chaos

A couple once discovered a beautiful estate with stunning gardens, containing the most exquisite flowers and trees. Immaculate brick paths led them past creeks and towering fountains of waters. “If this is what the grounds look like, the house itself must be an amazing edifice,” said the husband. Suddenly, in front of their eyes stood a massive mansion in the most decrepit state! There were gaping holes in the roof, and the walls seemed to be falling down! “The owners must have abandoned their home,” commented the wife. “But if so, why are they keeping the rest of the estate in such good shape?” asked the husband. After looking again carefully they realized that the owners were just remodeling in order to make it even more beautiful!

When we look around us, it seems that evil people can do what they want, and many times they are even given control over us. Tragedies befall the best of people, and their suffering pains our hearts. We may mistakenly think that Hashem has chas v’sholom left the world to run on its own. But on the other hand, with just a little contemplation we can see that Hashem’s greatness, wisdom and kindness fill every inch of the universe.

Let’s take our feet, for example. Imagine trying to design and manufacture a device that would transport you on all sorts of terrains – flat and hilly, rocky, sandy or icy. It must also help you climb over walls and up trees and walk on narrow ropes. Don’t forget that it must also allow you to leap, jump and swim. And when you sit, it needs to be tucked out of the way. These are just a few of the many amazing features of our legs that Hashem has provided us free of charge!

Everywhere we look, we see Hashem’s great kindness and involvement in our lives, ensuring smooth operation. Most of us always have food in the house, and we never go to sleep on an empty stomach. Our digestive and respiratory systems run smoothly, and we are generally healthy. “Gadlo,” the signs of His greatness, “vetuvo,” His kindness, “malei olom,” fill the world! (Shachris of Shabbos)

Once it becomes clear to us that the all merciful Great Conductor is orchestrating everything that happens in this world, we will realize that even seemingly bad things are for our best interest. And if we don’t understand now, we will understand in the World to Come.

We can gain this awareness all week long, but on Shabbos it becomes crystal clear. On a simple level, this is because on Shabbos we stop all our activities and have time to truly see and feel that Hashem is the epitome of good. But it is deeper than that. On this day the universe was completed, and the purpose of creation becomes clear. This world is not our final destination – it is the place to earn the eternal reward of the World to Come by fulfilling the Torah. Thus we realize that everything that is happening is because Hashem in his infinite kindness wants to help us partake in the greatest happiness possible – Olam Habba!

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 “A Psalm For Shabbos”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.
Biden’s New NSA Chief Mocked Israeli Nuke Fears
Latest Judaism Stories
Duxvielfalt_2011

Contrary to popular belief, the Talmud never explicitly limits the ban on footwear to leather shoes.

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

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

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

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

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.

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/parsha/a-psalm-for-shabbos/2013/07/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: