web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: Greeting Shabbos – Our Bride

Niehaus-020113

The soft strands of music waft through the air as the kallah, dressed in stunning white, is led by her joyful parents to the chuppah. But something is strange here – where is the chosson? Suddenly there is a commotion in the front, as the chosson leaps over the fence and pushes his way through the crowd. Tying his tie, he jumps onto the platform, wipes the sweat off his brow and smiles to the frowning father-of-the-bride. “You see! I told you I would make it on time!” Hmmm… I wish them much luck in their marriage!

None of us would dream of acting like that silly chosson. But sadly enough, we repeat his mistake over and over. Isn’t it interesting that no matter what time Shabbos comes in, whether its at 4:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m., we still find ourselves rushing at the last minute to greet our kallah, the Shabbos Queen? Perhaps if we understood why Shabbos is our kallah and accepted that we are really going to our chuppah, we would find it easier to accept Shabbos properly.

Who Is My Chosson?

The Midrash (Breishis Rabba 11:8) tells us (according to the Vilna Gaon’s interpretation) that Shabbos complained to Hashem: “Every day of the week has its mate. Sunday has Wednesday. Monday has Thursday and Tuesday has Friday. Who is my mate?” R’ Shimshon Refoel Hirsh explains that a mate brings out the potential of its partner. The light was created on the first day, but the luminaries that bring forth the light were only created on the fourth day. The sky and seas were separated on the second day but were not inhabited by the birds and fish until the fifth day. On the third day, the land was revealed and trees and plants sprouted forth, but they did not serve any purpose until the sixth day when the animals and human beings were created to utilize them. Thus Shabbos asked, “Who will bring out my hidden potential?”

“Don’t worry,” answered Hashem, “Klal Yisroel will be your partner. As it says, Zachor es-yom haShabbos lekadsho – Remember the Shabbos to make it holy.”We are the ones who show the holiness and greatness of Shabbos. But how?

The Gemara (Bava Kama 32b) describes the Kabalas Shabbos of the amoraim, the basis of the time-honored song Lecha Dodi. “R’ Chanina would say, let us go out and greet the kallah, the Queen. R’ Yannai would wear special clothing and say “Bo’i Kallah, Bo’i Kallah – Come Bride! Come Bride!” Rashi explains that they fondly referred specifically to the “shevisa” of Shabbos – our refraining from work – as our bride. Why is that so?

Six Days You Shall Work

Let us examine in this week’s sedra the third of the Ten Commandments (Yisro 20:8-11). “Zachor es-yom haShabbos lekadsho – Remember the Shabbos to make it holy.” How? Chazal tell us (Pesachim 106a) that this means we must proclaim the holiness of Shabbos by saying kiddush. The Torah continues, “Sheshes yamim ta’avod ve’asisa chol melachtecha – six days you shall work and do all your labors.” Why does the Torah tell us that we can work during the week? Is there a reason why we should think otherwise? And furthermore, what is the connection to making kiddush?

Perhaps we can explain with the next posuk:Veyom hashvi’i Shabbos l’Hashem Elokecha lo ta’aseh chol melachah – but the Seventh day is the Shabbos to Hashem your Lord, do not do anything that constitutes work.” We all know that Hashem provides all our needs and gives us our livelihood, and can do so even if we do not lift a finger. Nevertheless, we are commanded to do some level of hishtadlus – a means to provide the channels for Him to give to us. But lest we forget that hishtadlus is just an outward motion, the Torah tells us that when we work during the six weekdays, it must be with the realization that the seventh day is Shabbos. Through not working on Shabbos, even when it may appear to result in great losses, we instill in ourselves that He is the one who is really providing our needs. It won’t help to work on Shabbos – on the contrary, it can only hinder. Thus, even when we work the rest of the week, we bear in mind that it is only because Hashem told us to do so.

Now we can explain the entire commandment. Our making kiddush, together with refraining from work and being “shoves,” are both necessary to reveal the holiness of Shabbos. If we would just refrain from work, it may have been simply to have a day off. And just making a proclamation that He is our Master, without demonstrating that it is real to us would also be meaningless. Therefore, we proclaim that Hashem created the world and is our Master. This makes us the mate of Shabbos, as we reveal her message.

This is why the amoraim viewed the shevisa aspect of Shabbos as their beloved bride. The fact that we stop everything each Shabbos makes it clear to us that we are in good hands. We don’t have a worry because Hashem is taking care of us. Over and over we reiterate in davening that Hashem has given us this day of Shabbos with love, as it is possible to feel Hashem’s closeness more than during the rest of the week.

The Battle

R’ Yaakov Kaminetsky zt”l once said, “We won the battle in America to keep Shabbos, but we still have to fight the battle of Erev Shabbos!” How can we win this fight, at least in our own homes?

The first step is to make a list of things that need to be done and how long they will take – doing this is making inroads to winning half the battle. If we rev our engines and go into full speed without wasting time, we will be ready with plenty of time. And, as we explained in our previous article (Getting Ready for Shabbos – January 4), this in itself honors Shabbos.

The next step is to prepare ourselves for the actual acceptance of Shabbos. The Rambam writes (Shabbos 30:1) that a person should sit with “koved rosh”– serious contemplation ­– awaiting the coming of the Shabbos. The fact that we refrain from work is not enough. Rather, we must internalize the idea that we are now stopping all work for the sake of Hashem. We are placing ourselves in His Hands and view all our work as done. Then, when it comes to the long awaited moment of our chuppah with the Shabbos Queen, our hearts will be full of true joy. Finally, we are united with our Beloved One. A person who rushes into Shabbos like that silly chosson shows that he has missed the boat!

Even if we don’t manage this contemplation, let us at least make sure we always come to shul calmly and on time, allowing us to contemplate the words of Kabalas Shabbos and Lecha Dodi. And then, when we turn around and say “Bo’i Kallah, Bo’i Kallah,” let us do so with ecstasy! Hopefully, through all our preparations, we will truly feel that we are greeting our bride, the beloved Shabbos.

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: Greeting Shabbos – Our Bride”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
What, me incite terror? Abba: "The Jews must be barred by any means possible."
Ex-Senior Justice Official Asks Homeland Security to Ban Abbas from US
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
Niehaus-110714

The Sefer Charedim writes that during the tefillah of Mincha on Shabbos, all the tefillos of Klal Yisroel are accepted!

Neihaus-100314

During shmittah we refrain from agricultural activities and collection of loans, and on Yom Kippur we refrain from all physical pleasures.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/shabbos-a-day-with-hashem-greeting-shabbos-our-bride/2013/01/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: