Torah Insights for Shabbat
March 21, 1998
The Torah links Shabbos to the building of the Tabernacle, the Mishkan. Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik, zt"l, teaches: The nexus of the Mishkan and the Shabbos comes to emphasize the important concept that Shabbos is a Mishkan in its own right. The Shechinah--the Divine Presence of G-d-- is present in the Shabbos just as the Shechinah was present in the Mishkan.
THERE IS, HOWEVER, ONE DIFFERENCE between the two. The Shechinah of the Mishkan was transcendental. In Parshas Pekudai we read that when the Mishkan was completed, a cloud of glory filled the tabernacle. Even Moshe Rabbeinu could not enter the Mishkan at will. The Presence of G-d in the Mishkan was an experience that went beyond the laws of nature.
Shabbos, on the other hand, brings with it the Presence of G-d on a natural level. Through observance of the Shabbos we naturally sense the intimate relationship we have with G-d. The beauty of Shabbos observance lies in its ability to cast the Divine light upon each of us.
TO DESCRIBE THE MITZVAH OF SHABBOS, "Moshe gathered the entire assembly of the children of Israel and said to them, On six days work may be done, but the seventh day shall be holy for you."
The Hebrew word for assembly, adas, is related to eid, a witness. The term eidah refers to the aristocratic, historical community of Israel. When we are faithful to the Shabbos we are a community of witnesses, whose divine mission is to proclaim each week to the entire world that Hashem is the Creator and Master of the universe and we testify to His presence in human affairs.
On Shabbos we declare how intimately entwined His Presence is with our lives.
Rabbi Bertram Leff
Rabbi Leff is editor emeritus of Torah Insights.
Torah Insights is
brought to you every week as a service of
the Department of Jewish Education of the Orthodox Union.
Your comments are always welcome
Show Your Support The Cyber Home of Torah
OU Torah Insights 5758 Parasha Index
OU Torah Insights 5757 Parasha Index