From out of the sea of mitzvot it is the Shabbat that God has chosen to elevate and make of supreme importance to us as a people. Of all the commands He chose the Shabbat as the sign of His covenant with us. What is the summary of His pact with us? It isn’t just acknowledging HaShem as our God, refraining from murder and abominations, but the Shabbat. Why is it the sign of God’s covenant with us?
“More than Israel has kept the Shabbat, the Shabbat has kept Israel.” The sign of His union with us is a gift, it is both something that we do to reflect our glorious relationship and also something that preserves us and reminds us of the wonder and truth of His love. For what if after the Holy One, blessed be He, had set us up in such a lofty position, governing the world and exerting authority over it, we would forget who had placed us here? We would see no other God than ourselves, creating and shaping the world to our will forgetting that we are but imitating and partaking in the creative power of our Father.
The prophets contrasted the Shabbat against all the other commandments, the fullness of its observance would restore the people. Yechezkel 20; Yeshayahu / Isaiah 56, 58 etc. If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your affairs on My holy day; If you call the sabbath “delight,” HaShem’s day “honored”; and if you honor it and go not your own ways nor look to your affairs, nor strike bargains – then you can seek the favor of HaShem. Yeshayahu / Isaiah 58:13.
The Shabbat is compared to a glimpse of the world to come, a renewal of our messianic hope once a week. This is also compared to the ultimate pinnacle of creation, the seventh day when God rested. Partaking of the Shabbat is becoming involved with a mitzvah that is so eternal it is a part of God’s natural character. The Shabbat is something eternal somehow birthed into the finite, a taste heaven. There is always the continual human struggle to submit to HaShem and to truly realize and actualize our relationship with Him.
Would you join us this Shabbat?
Tags: abominations, covenant, creative power, diaspora, eretz Yisrael, glimpse, HaShem, hilchos shabbos, hilchot shabbat, Holidays and Fast Days, holy day, Inspiring, isaiah 58, Judaism, lofty position, melacha, Messianic Hope, mitzvah, mitzvot, natural character, New Classes, observance, pact, pinnacle, prophets, rav shimon isaacson, rosh hashana, Sabbath, Shabbat, Shabbath, Shabbos, sign of god, supreme importance, teshuva, Torah, yom kippur
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