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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776
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Preparation is Key to a Successful Shabbat

If both Yom Kippur and Shabbat are called "Shabbat of Shabbats," why should just one require preparation, while we stumble into the other with none?
Selichot prayers at the Kotel leading up to Yom Kippur

Selichot prayers at the Kotel leading up to Yom Kippur
Photo Credit: Oren Nahshon / FLASH90

It’s fascinating that the Sages that forbade moving an object rendered “Muktze”  allowed it’s mobility in a case in which you pre-prepared to utilize it (in a permissible way) on Shabbat (Code of Jewish Law, OC, 308:22, 311:8). Rabeinu-Tam even insisted (Tractate Shabbat 25b, d”h “Chova“,) that even if candles are lit since Friday morning, one must extinguish them, and re-light them for Shabbat, an idea codified by the Rama (Code, ibid, 262/4). Thus, one must prepare specifically for Shabbat, even if the item is ready to be used on the 7th day.

The message is clear. Filling twenty-five hours of the Holy Day with content is a lofty and complex task that is dependent upon the preparation you invest. In the words of the Sefat-Emet (Parshat Haazeinu), “The fulfillment of a Mitzvah is just for a short time, a minute, while the preparations for doing it can be forever…. ”

Two Shabbatot will fill this week.  Let’s hope we will invest in preparation for the latter as we will for the former.

Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein

About the Author: Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein is Director of training and placement at The Straus-Amiel Institute at Ohr Torah Stone.


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