web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Shabbos: A Day With Hashem: The Inside Story

Niehaus-121313

Chazal instituted this fast to bring to our attention how unfortunate it is to live a life of exteriority, without an understanding that there is a plan and purpose and inner meaning to everything. It is not by chance that this ta’anis comes immediately after Chanukah, as the Midrash (Breishis 2:4) tells us that the Greek exile was a state of “darkness.” This is because the Greeks lived by the ideology “if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.” What greater darkness can there be than not realizing that there is a Creator who made this world for a purpose? And this mistake continues until this very day in the Western Culture, which is governed by the dictates of science. Even those who practice some sort of religion do so mostly to remove that feeling of emptiness from their lives, not because they feel that there is purpose to their existence in this world. Such service will usually not be done with any true emotion.

Unfortunately, this problem has spread to our circles as well. We must make sure that our Torah and mitzvos are not mitzvos anashim melumadah, done without feeling and emotions. This is what we mourn on this ta’anis and need to fix.

 

Two Types Of Shabbos

Let us return to Shabbos. Perhaps the reason why we would fast on Shabbos is because this problem even affects the way we keep Shabbos. A person can go through the motions of keeping Shabbos and still miss the boat! For example, there are two people filling themselves with the tastiest foods on Shabbos. Even though both enjoy themselves immensely, they are not doing the same thing.  You see, one has in mind that his actions be to honor Shabbos, and is, therefore, doing the mitzvah of oneg Shabbos.  However, the second one is just interested in his own pleasures, and has fallen into the trap of overindulgence of worldly pleasures.

Shabbos can be “a day with Hashem” or it can be a day of prohibitions. In order to experience Shabbos properly we must not only focus on the outward motion of a mitzvah, but also on its pnimiyus, its very being and soul.

In this aspect, Asarah B’Teves is different from all other fasts. Even though on Tisha B’Av we mourn a much greater tragedy, Shabbos, which is a preview of the next world where there is no sorrow, overrides all mourning. However, on this fast we address the ailment of exteriority, which, if not taken care of properly, will destroy the entire essence of Shabbos, causing it to be a day like any other. Therefore, we fast even on Shabbos, because if we haven’t addressed the issue of doing mitzvos in an empty manner, our Shabbos itself will also be lacking.

We are just one week after Chanukah, the time when we received an injection of rejuvenation for our avodas Hashem. Let us start with this Shabbos, which began with the conclusion of the fast of Asarah B’Teves, and pump some fresh “pnimiyus” into this day. For example, Friday night, on the way home from shul, let us try to think about the special guest of Shabbos, i.e., Hashem, Who has just arrived. This will help us put some extra life into kiddush and our seudah, and perhaps after doing this for a while we will merit moments of truly feeling Hashem’s presence! The main thing is to take that first step – whatever it may be – towards putting more meaning into our 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: The Inside Story

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
IAF F-16B Fighter Jet
Reports: IAF Strikes Syrian/Hezbollah Targets Overnight
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In her diary, Anne Frank wrote words that provided hope for a humanity faced with suffering.

Leff-042415

The Arizal taught this same approach, making the point that the Torah would never mention wicked people and their sins if there was not great depth involved from which we are to learn from.

Staum-042415

Humility is not achieved when all is well and life is peachy but rather when times are trying and challenging.

In order to be free of the negative consequences of violating a shvu’ah or a neder, the shvu’ah or neder themselves must be annulled.

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

He feared the people would have a change of heart and support Rechavam.

Ramifications Of A Printers Error
‘The Note Holder’s Burden of Proof’
(Kesubos 83b)

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)

In this case one could reason that by applying halach achar harov we could permit the forbidden bird as well.

“What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” my husband remarked. “Well, baruch Hashem we are safe, there was no accident, and I’m sure there is a good reason for everything that happened to us,” I mused.

The answer to this question is based on one of the greatest shortcomings of man – self-limiting beliefs.

Myth that niddah=dirty stopped many women from accepting laws of family purity and must be shattered

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

Rabbi Fohrman connects the metzora purification process with the korban pesach.

The day after Israel was declared a State, everyone recited Hallel and people danced in the streets.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
Niehaus-040315

This is a night of giving thanks to Hashem!

Niehaus-030615

Even though it sometimes seems as if we have been abandoned, nothing could be further from the truth.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

How is it possible to finish all my work in six days?

“This is why I spoke about Shabbos,” he said. “I felt that if Hashem put this into my head right when I woke up, it was because this is what He wanted me to tell the world!”

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

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/shabbos-a-day-with-hashem-the-inside-story/2013/12/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: