The Way of G-d
Part 4: "Divine Service"
Ch. 7: "Intermittent Observances"
So, seeing how key Shabbat is to the workings of the universe and to our
spiritual stature, as well as to the level of holiness in the world, it
really come as no surprise that we're expected to distinguish Shabbat from
rest of the week. But how? By somehow being otherworldly the whole day
perhaps contemplating the universe that Shabbat is so pivotal to?
No. Instead we're asked to do -- and avoid doing -- certain specific
on Shabbat. After all, G-d purposely bound our souls to the physical
and He asked us to incorporate that realm into the Shabbat, even though
But as we just indicated, there are actually two aspects of Shabbat: there
are things we *do* to celebrate the holiness of the day, and things we
doing* to leave the unholiness of the week behind. And that plays itself
We enable our souls to breathe-in some of the air of Heaven, if you will,
while on earth by doing certain specific things to observe the day's
(like extending our prayers, resting, enjoying leisurely and resplendent
etc.). And we see to it that the soul isn't overwhelmed by unholiness by
shunning some of the worldly things on Shabbat that we'd be engaged in the
the week (the "39 Malachot").
Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.