web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Parshas Ki Sisa: A Day Of Transformation


Staum 030113

“And you (Moshe) speak to the Children of Israel saying, ‘But my Shabbos you are to observe; for it is a sign between Me and you for your generations, to know that I am Hashem Who sanctifies you” (Shemos 31:13).

The Torah makes it clear that Shabbos is not only about acting in certain ways and refraining from certain activities, it must also be a cognitive experience. Through Shabbos a Jew comes to realize and understand that G-d is the source of holiness and sanctity.

This idea is especially apparent from the laws governing the many prohibitions of Shabbos. Although there are specific labors that are forbidden on Shabbos, performing any of the forbidden labors does not automatically cause someone to be liable for desecrating Shabbos. The doer’s personal objective must be taken into account. The rule is, “מלאכת מחשבת אסרה תורה – calculated (i.e. planned) labor was forbidden by the Torah.” In other words, whether a specific labor is forbidden or not is also contingent on the forethought and motive of the doer. If the doer’s intent differs from the general motive of one who performs such labor the doer may have committed no sin at all. It all depends on the active mind.

Rav Yitzchok Hutner zt’l (Pachad Yitzchok, Shabbos, mama’ar 1:4-5) explains this concept in his characteristically profound and poignant manner:

The status of a vessel or a tool is dependent on its purpose. A small leather pouch may be used for money or to store marbles. If it is used to store money it becomes a wallet; if it is used for marbles it is a toy.

There is a prohibition on Shabbos of “hotza’ah” to transport objects from domain to domain. However, one only transgresses this prohibition if one transports an object of value. If the transported item does not possess any value, carrying it does not violate a Biblical prohibition. Therefore, transporting a vessel may not be forbidden in and of itself. It will depend on the motive of the carrier and whether there is anything in the vessel. For example, if one transports an empty silver goblet, he has transgressed the violation of carrying because the cup is his object of interest and therefore is valuable to him. However, if the goblet is filled with wine then he is not (Biblically) liable for transporting the goblet since his primary intent was to transport the wine (he is obviously liable for carrying the wine). This is true even if the goblet is more valuable than the wine. Halacha is concerned with the value of an object in regard to the specific act being performed. In regard to this specific act, the doer was not really interested in the goblet. He was only using it to facilitate the transportation of the wine which he wanted to drink along the way. Therefore, he is not liable for carrying the goblet.

This example demonstrates the concept of meleches machsheves in regard to the prohibitions of Shabbos. It is not merely the act that matters, but also the motive and intent of the doer.

Rav Hutner continues explaining that the concept of determining what is the “ikkar – priority” and what is the “tafel – accessory” is not merely one of the myriad laws regarding the prohibitions of Shabbos. Rather this concept is fundamental in regards to understanding the essence of Shabbos and the role it plays in the life of a Jew.

Chazal (Avos 5:1) explain that G-d created the physical world with “ten utterances.” Throughout the initial week of creation, utilizing those utterances G-d created, fashioned, formed, and brought forth every concept, natural law, and living being within creation. However, when the world stood completed at the conclusion of the six days, it lacked purpose and direction. It was essentially, a creation without meaning. With the onset of Shabbos, G-d invested into the world a new concept, i.e. holiness! At that point, it immediately became apparent that creating holiness was the purpose of creation. Holiness was preeminent; the rest of creation was an accessory. It suddenly became clear that the world, which until now seemed like an end unto itself, was merely a “vessel,” a conduit for holiness, and a means to reach a higher goal and purpose.

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead in Monsey NY. He is also Guidance Counselor/Rebbe in ASHAR and Yeshiva Bais Hachinuch. His website is www.stamtorah.info. He can be reached at stamtorah@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 “Parshas Ki Sisa: A Day Of Transformation”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman
Political Fallout Begins From Ceasefire
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

PTI-082214

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

Weiss-082214-Beloved

Hashem recalls everything – nothing is hidden from His eyes.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

The first prayer of Moshe was Vayechal, where Moshe’s petition was that no matter how bad bnei Yisrael were, the Egyptians were worse.

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

Culture is not nature. There are causes in nature, but only in culture are there meanings.

Rabbinic law is pivotal but it’s important to understand which laws are rabbinic and which biblical.

We give slave gifts? If he wants to stay, we pierce his ear?!

A bit of (non-Jewish) history can help us understand this week’s Torah portion: In the early 1500s, the Catholic church was being fundamentally challenged by movements which claimed it had monopolized religious power and used to enrich the church and its officials. The most radical of these movements were a particular sect of Anabaptists. Anabaptists […]

More Articles from Rabbi Dani Staum
Staum-080814

The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash!”

Staum-062714

After listening to the driver’s incredible story, Rabbi Levenstein asked him, “What about you? After seeing such a miracle why didn’t you became Torah observant?”

Twelve of the greatest leaders of the nation, one from each shevet, were dispatched to survey the land. The results of that mission were catastrophic.

It is one thing to do a chesed for someone one time or when it is convenient. But for a person to go a few hours out of his way every year for a stranger demonstrates incredible selflessness.

Rav Pam said we must realize that God has no pleasure from such negative speech.

A friend of mine recently heard a comment that left him stunned. A colleague told him that his mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, who had recently lost her husband of five decades, told her son, “You should know, being alone is worse than Auschwitz!”

Even if he has committed sins that warrant his rejection from the community, he is never rejected by G-d.

Winston Churchill repeated a grade during elementary school. He twice failed the exam to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to the convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up!”

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/parshas-ki-sisa-a-day-of-transformation/2013/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: