Chapter: 01 – Introduction

01. Shabbat Rest – The Completion of Creation

It took six days for God to create the heavens, the earth, and all within them. At first glance, an additional day seems unnecessary. Nevertheless, God created the seventh day and designated it for rest and cessation of labor. As … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 01. Shabbat Rest – The Completion of Creation

02. Shabbat and the Jewish People

The Sages ask: Why does the Torah’s description of the end of the sixth day of creation conclude with “And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day” (Bereishit 1:31), with the definite article? They explain that the … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 02. Shabbat and the Jewish People

03. The Link Between the Exodus and Shabbat

During the first two millennia after creation, humans learned how to sustain themselves; to find food, clothing, and shelter; and to organize a society that could cope successfully with the challenges of their surroundings. Yet apart from a select few … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 03. The Link Between the Exodus and Shabbat

04. The Uniqueness of Israel and Shabbat

Shabbat reveals the special connection between God and Israel, as is stated: Nevertheless, you must keep My Shabbatot, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout the ages, that you may know that I the Lord have consecrated … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 04. The Uniqueness of Israel and Shabbat

05. The Six Days of Creation and Shabbat

The six weekdays and Shabbat are interconnected. Just as every person has a body and a soul, so too the week has a body and a soul: weekdays are its body and Shabbat is its soul. Just as a wholesome … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 05. The Six Days of Creation and Shabbat

06. Blessing and Holiness

Shabbat is a repository of blessing and holiness, as it is stated: “And God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that He had done” (Bereishit 2:3). Similarly we … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 06. Blessing and Holiness

07. Manna on Shabbat

During the forty years that our ancestors wandered in the desert, God provided them with food from heaven. This food was known as man (manna), and through it God taught Israel how they should relate to food and to livelihood. … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 07. Manna on Shabbat

08. Zakhor and Shamor

Two mitzvot constitute the basic elements of Shabbat: Zakhor (“commemorate”) and Shamor (“observe”). “Shamor” is a negative commandment to refrain from all labor. For six days, one must take care of his needs and productively engage the world, but on … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 08. Zakhor and Shamor

09. Zakhor – Foundations of Faith

With the commandment to “Commemorate the day of Shabbat to sanctify it” (Shemot 20:8), we are enjoined to recall the foundations of faith. This is why the mitzva of Shabbat is the fourth of the Ten Commandments. First we are … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 09. Zakhor – Foundations of Faith

10. Shamor – Cessation from Crafting the Mishkan

During the six weekdays, one must take care of his needs and productively engage the world. Most of his abilities and energies are directed toward working his fields, providing food, shelter, and clothing, and other productive activities. As much as … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 10. Shamor – Cessation from Crafting the Mishkan

11. Shabbat Is the Equivalent of All the Mitzvot because It Expresses Faith

Shabbat is endowed with an amazing capacity. It allows Jews to ascend to a level that is akin to the World to Come, transcend the barriers and masks that this world places between man and his Source of life, absorb … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 11. Shabbat Is the Equivalent of All the Mitzvot because It Expresses Faith

12. The Temple Was Destroyed on Account of Shabbat Desecration

Before the destruction of the First Temple, God sent the prophet Yirmiyahu to tell the nation and the Kingdom of Judah that their future was dependent on their Shabbat observance: Thus said the Lord to me: Go and stand in … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 12. The Temple Was Destroyed on Account of Shabbat Desecration

13. Redemption Is Dependent upon Shabbat Observance

We see from Yeshayahu that the ultimate redemption depends upon doing what is right and just and observing Shabbat, as it says: Thus said the Lord: Observe what is right and do what is just; for soon My salvation shall … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 13. Redemption Is Dependent upon Shabbat Observance

14. The Severity of the Sin of Shabbat Desecration

Having learned of the tremendous value of Shabbat, we can understand why its desecration is such a severe sin. The Torah prescribes its harshest punishment for it: if one intentionally desecrates Shabbat in front of witnesses who forewarned him, he … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 14. The Severity of the Sin of Shabbat Desecration

15. One Who Desecrates Shabbat Disaffiliates Himself from the Jewish People

We have seen that the desecration of Shabbat is exceedingly grave; one who publicly desecrates Shabbat, like the idolater, is viewed as having disaffiliated from the Jewish people and is treated as a non-Jew. As Rambam writes: Both Shabbat and … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 15. One Who Desecrates Shabbat Disaffiliates Himself from the Jewish People

16. Shabbat, Peace, and Unity

On Shabbat we connect with the Source of our life and thereby reveal that all creation has one root. Consequently, the world becomes more peaceful. The most profound opposition in the world is the dichotomy between the spiritual and the … Continue reading

Posted in 01 - Introduction | Comments Off on 16. Shabbat, Peace, and Unity