web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Bibi: ‘Death From Above, Death From Below’ Will Not Continue
Latest Judaism Stories
Weiss-072514

Just as the moon waxes, wanes and renews itself, so has the nation of Israel renewed itself through the millennia.

126_masei_web

Parshat Masei: Rabbi Fohrman addresses the age-old question, are we our brother’s keeper?

Hertzberg-072514

When Germany invaded neutral Belgium on August 4, England declared war on Germany. Thus, by the end of the first week of August all the major powers of Europe were at war.

Winiarz-072514

The Talmud teaches that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed because of baseless hatred.

When taking any major step in life it is a good idea to carefully re-evaluate one’s past.

Ours is a small and intensely vulnerable people. Inspired, we rise to greatness. Uninspired, we fall

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

Hallel On Purim?
“Its Reading Is Its Praise”
(Megillah 14a)

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

It is apparent from the Maharsha that he does not see galus as atoning for killing accidentally; otherwise, this Gemara would not bother him.

It was found to be a giant deer tick living in her head – with its claws in her scalp.

While daydreaming about finding the perfect job, I never expected to be rewarded in spades for my aforementioned experience.

We are all entrusted with the mission of protecting our fellow Jews

Today, we remain Hashem’s nachal.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
Niehaus-070414-Sitting

Is the fact that we can spend time with our families just a fringe benefit of Shabbos or an integral aspect?

Neihaus-060614

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.

First let us explain what shira is. Rav Shimshon Pinkus zt”l writes (She’arim B’Tefila, page 65) that shira is when we relate praises in a detailed manner, as opposed to zimra, where we praise in a more general way.

On the ninth of Teves Ezra HaSofer was niftar. The Gemara (Megilah 15a) tells us that Ezra was actually Malachi – the last prophet. With his passing, the glorious era of nevuah, prophecy, came to an end.

    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/shabbos-a-day-with-hashem-the-inside-story/2013/12/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: