Vanquishing The Enemy
When the Jewish nation has troubles we need to know that it is a time
for introspection. Only those without faith believe that things happen
randomly. The Jewish Nation, who exists only through miracles, knows
that nothing is random. There was a great sage, Reb Tzadok HaKohein, who
wrote that when we have enemies from without, it is just a physical
expression of the advance of the enemy from within, the inclination to
go against G-d's will which we all have. This is a profound and novel
idea to understand that there is something we can all do to better the
stuation of Jews everywhere. The question is, what exactly should we do,
and if we wish to conquer the enemy from within, where do we start?
This question is really a question which every individual must ask
himself, and consequently the answer will be according to the
individual. Nevertheless, there is definetely a communal answer to this
question as well. Let us see what we find in this week's parsha
"And Moshe assembled the entire congregation of the Children of Israel
and he said to them: "these are the things which G-d commanded to do
(them). Six days work should be done, and on the seventh day it should
be sanctified, a restful sabbath to G-d..." (Exodus 35:1-2).
Shabbos. Moshe assembled every Jew and informed them about the sanctity
of the seventh day; the day G-d ceased creating. The day He shared with
us to celebrate with Him. It is a day when things are different. A day
when we can forget what we do and remember who we are - who we really
are - in relation to G-d, and in relation to the scheme of the creation
of the universe. Making Shabbos a special day is the way we actively
show our belief in the Creator. We declare it with one day a week. We
declare it communally! With unity!
Moshe assembled the entire nation to teach us that Shabbos is a key to
unity. All efforts toward building the holy Tabernacle of G-d's presence
ceased before Shabbos every week. Shabbos observance overrides building
the Tabernacle to house G-d's presence!
Shabbos is the sign between us and G-d. The Chofetz Chaim writes that as
long as the "sign" is up over a place of business we know that the
business is still operating, even if sometimes the store is closed. When
the sign comes down, then we know that the business is closed. Our
business is to be G-d's people in all aspects of our life. When the
Shabbos "sign" is up, we know we're still in business. When, G-d forbid,
the sign comes down, we should be concerned that our relationship with
G-d is in bankruptcy, or worse.
Each of us on our own level should give some thought to Shabbos. From
Friday at sundown until Saturday evening when the stars are out, it is
Shabbos. Let us at the very least remember that it's Shabbos. Turn to a
loved one and wish them a good Shabbos. Become part of the Shabbos
experience; the freedom, the holiness, and the profundity of sharing
G-d's resting day. Let us begin to control the communal enemy from
within by assembling in spirit on Shabbos, and then G-d will begin to
vanquish the enemy from without.
Text Copyright © 2001 Rabbi Dovid Green and
Project Genesis, Inc.