Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  The Living Law
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Beshalach

The Shabbos Remembrance

The Mitzvah:

The majesty of Shabbos, the seventh day of the week has to be experienced to be believed. The sanctified rest day of the Sabbath is a remembrance of the creation process and of the Exodus.

What is interesting is how yetzias Mitzrayim, the exodus from Egypt is tied up with this holy day.

- The Friday night Kiddush beckoning in the holy day recalls the Exodus.

- The national observance of Shabbos began after the Jewish people’s redemption, prior to their general acceptance of Torah at Sinai.

- The Omer offering is to commence Mimochoros HaShabbos, “on the morrow of Shabbos” which is actually a reference to 1st day of Pesach, the date of the Exodus.

- Traditionally, the Shabbos preceding Pesach is called Shabbos HaGadol, the Great Shabbos.

- The fifty Torah remembrances of the Exodus parallels the fifty weeks in the Jewish lunar year (Sefas Emes, Shabbos HaGadol).

But what does the celebration of Shabbos, the “seventh day” of the week, the day whereupon G-d rested from His creation of the world, also viewed as zecher l’yetzias Mitzrayim, a remembrance to the departure from Egypt?

In truth, the two are interrelated.

The Shabbos Bereishis, the Sabbath of creation marked the point when the Master of the Universe completed crafting His marvelous world. “And G-d completed on the seventh day the labor which he made” (Bereishis 2:2).

Technically speaking, the material was in place and was “finished”. Then, the rules of the nature realm and how the world was to function became fully operational. And yet, it still lacked absolute completion.

That “completion” would only be attained generations later upon yetzias Mitzrayim commemorating the departure from Egypt.

Through the Exodus, the nation of Yisrael, the Children of Israel came into being. This small, newly liberated nation would become the ones responsible for spiritually “completing” the world – providing it with direction and purpose with their acceptance of Torah. This is why Shabbos is bound up with yetzias Mitzrayim (Maharal, Tiferes Yisrael Ch.44).

The nascent nation went from a physically oppressed group of slaves to a chosen people and a kingly nation. Their redemption charters a journey from the “mundane” and “material”– personified in the hedonistic nature of Egypt and the physical labor of the Israelites for Paroh – to a pure, “form” and “spiritual” identity. It is the transformation from the six mundane days of week to the sanctified seventh endpoint: Shabbos

The observance of Shabbos is the exclusive divine gift given to the Jewish people. The nation’s “holiness” corresponds to the holiness of this day called Shabbos Kodosh, the holy Sabbath. The freedom from Egypt was the catalyst to the spiritual freedom. Indeed, the fiftieth day from their escape they embraced the Torah on Shavuos. And on which day was the Torah given? On Shabbos of course!

It is the “completion” of their spiritual form and their Shabbos observance that complements the “completion” of G-d’s creation. Hence the remembrance of Shabbos is inclusive of both creation and the Exodus.


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene and Torah.org.


 






ARTICLES ON DEVARIM AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Visions, Visionaries, and Holy Words
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

In the Eye of the Beholder
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Tooth and Nail
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

> Who will Remember?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

Small Favors
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

In a Month We Call -“Av”
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

ArtScroll

Why Do We Mourn?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

One Heart
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

The Darkest Corner
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

All Israel
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

The Usual Suspects
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

You Gotta Believe
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

What to Cry About
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

To My Very Last Breath
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Getting Our Manners In Order
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Sense and Sensitivity
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information