web analytics
December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: The Inauguration Festivities

Niehaus-101113

The special days of Tishrei have come and gone. But hopefully, we managed to elevate our level of spirituality so that we now feel closer to Hashem, even if just a little bit.  I think that now is the right time to approach an extremely mystical aspect of Shabbos.

The Talmud teaches us (Beitza 16a) that on erev Shabbos, Hashem gives each person a neshama yeseira — an extra soul, which leaves after Shabbos. Of course, the full understanding of what this means is beyond our comprehension, but let us see if we can process it on a simple level.  Rashi (ibid.) writes that it “opens our hearts in order to have more relaxation and joy… so that we can eat and drink without the soul being disgusted by it.” Hmm… that doesn’t sound too holy!  Why should a heiligeh neshama help us consume large amounts of food?

What is the reason for the mitzvah of oneg Shabbos, to enjoy Shabbos through eating, drinking, and relaxing? Let us use the following parable, based on the Midrash Tanchuma (Breishis 2), to explain.

After spending ten years planning and building his country estate, Bob the billionaire threw an inauguration party for all his close friends. When each guest arrived, they received a luxurious Lexus SUV for a self-guided tour of all the gardens, orchards, lakes, and sporting areas. Everyone was encouraged to spend time enjoying the areas that appealed to them. Finally, toward evening, everyone made their way to the large mansion perched on a hill overlooking the estate. They were given a tour of the mansion and were allowed to try out the state-of-the-art technology and comforts in each room. In the beautiful dining room, they were served a seven-course gourmet meal on stunning dining ware while an orchestra played in the background. As they left, they had no doubts anymore — all of Bob’s hard work and planning had really produced a splendid place to live!

Shabbos is the anniversary of the day Hashem finished creating the world and He tells us: “Come and see what a splendid world I created! Partake of the delicacies, contemplate the wisdom found in every inch of the universe, and realize how everything is made for your pleasure.”

In a previous article (“A Psalm for Shabbos” 7-19-2013) we explained how even though the verses of the Psalm of Shabbos (Chapter 92) don’t seem to be connected to Shabbos, they concisely describe the theme of the day.  Dovid HaMelech is teaching us that on this day, when the world was completed, we should look around the world, enjoy its many aspects, and proclaim: “I rejoice at the work of Your hands! How great are Your deeds Hashem!” We must realize that on every Shabbos Hashem is inviting us to the inauguration festivities for the world! R’ Avigdor Miller zt”l would say that our job on Shabbos is to “try to smack your lips and feel how delicious it is — feel the taste of Shabbos!”

Let us take, for example, the kindness of sleep. A man may be full of worries and feel physically and emotionally exhausted, but when he wakes up in the morning he feels like a new person! In addition, while he is sleeping and not in motion, the body puts all the energy that is now available into repairing damaged cells. The heart also does not have to work as hard to pump blood and has time to rejuvenate.  Thus, we wake up feeling refreshed! Bearing this in mind, we can now properly fulfill the mitzvah of taking a nap on Shabbos. Go ahead and take a large dose of that wonderful Jewish sleeping pill called cholent! Snuggle under the covers and enjoy the “heavenly” pleasure of a short Shabbos snooze. But make sure to take a moment before you sail off to dream land to thank Hashem for the wonderful creation of sleep, and especially the ability to fall asleep without too much delay!

 

Soul Speech

Feasting on Shabbos is a great mitzvah, but if we don’t bear in mind the purpose of eating, it will not be a mitzvah anymore. In fact, it’s even worse.  The Navi Yeshaya (1:14) allows us to hear the soul as it cries out in agony: “Chodsheichem u’moadechim sonah nafshi — my soul abhors your Rosh Chodesh and your Yom Tov!” The Vilna Gaon in Aderes Eliyahu explains that Klal Yisroel’s level of yiddishkeit was so low that when they feasted during these days they were not doing so for the sake of Heaven, but rather to “fress” and enjoy themselves! Thus the soul calls them “your” Rosh Chodesh and “your” Yom Tov because they certainly had nothing to do with Hashem. Their neshamos wished that these special days wouldn’t happen, for on those days people eat more than usual, which just causes more torture to the soul.

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: The Inauguration Festivities

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Elite IDF soldiers arrest one of the terrorists who threw a firebomb at an 11-year-old girl and her father.
IDF Captures Palestinian Authority Terrorists Who Firebombed 11-Year-Old [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Why is the tzitzis reminder on our clothing? How does it remind us that there are 613 mitzvos?

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The court cannot solely rely on death certificates issued by non-Jewish institutions without conducting its own investigation into the facts of the case.

Business-Halacha-logo

“I’m still not sure we have a right to damage his property,” said Mrs. Schloss. “Can you ask someone?”

Rabbi Sacks

Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim over Manasseh had nothing to do with age and everything to do with names

Slavery was universal; So, why was Egypt targeted in this object lesson?

Rav Akiva Eiger is assuming that the logic of the halacha that both the son and his mother are obligated to honor his father and therefore he must honor his fathers wishes first, is a mathematical equation.

The first requirement is a king must admit when he is wrong.

Reward And Punishment
‘Masser Rishon For The levi’im’
(Yevamos 86a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Reb Shlomo Zalman could not endure honorifics applied to him because of his enormous humility

Because we see these events as world changing, as moments in history, they become part of us forever.

They stammer “I’m not Orthodox,” as if that absolves them from the responsibility of calling to G-d

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

She was determined that the Law class was Dina’s best chance of finding a husband, and that was the real reason she wanted her to go to college.

But who would have ever guessed that Hashem would unlock the key to the birth on same day as the English anniversary of our wedding.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
Niehaus-120514

The Imrei Emes explains that it is called “shalosh seudos” because it has the power to sanctify all three Shabbos meals.

Niehaus-110714

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

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/shabbos-a-day-with-hashem-the-inauguration-festivities/2013/10/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: