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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777
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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?

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Selichot prayers at the Kotel leading up to Yom Kippur

Selichot prayers at the Kotel leading up to Yom Kippur
Photo Credit: Oren Nahshon / Flash 90

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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