The Way of G-d
Part 4: "Divine Service"
Ch. 7: "Intermittent Observances"
Holiness is a force unto itself not to be denied; it enters on its own and
exits when it wants to. Knowing that, the wise not only submit to its
presence, they also do what they can to welcome it in and escort it out
again, and to pay homage to it. That's part of the dynamic behind several
of the things we do to celebrate Shabbat.
We greet Shabbat at the door, if you will, by lifting a cup of wine to it
and celebrating the fact that "on the seventh day G-d completed the work
He had done, ... blessed (it) and hallowed it" (see "Kiddush"). We
celebrate its spiritual glory in the course of the day by dedicating the
luscious foods we eat to it. And we accompany Shabbat out by speaking
about and yearning for the ultimate redemption that Shabbat alludes to as
we ask G-d to grant us the "light, gladness, joy, and honor" that will be
manifest in the course of the redemption, and to "raise the cup of
salvations" at last (see "Havdalah").
And we do this all in full recognition of the signal and palpable ways we
experience G-d's presence on Shabbat, and in order to honor the One who
gave it to us.
Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.