Honorable Mensch-ion


While we learn that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh in the first book of Torah, it is only this week where remembering Shabbat becomes a commandment for all time. The mitzvah is twofold: We fulfill the mitzvot relating to Shabbat and we refrain from work.

What does “remember” mean? Sefer Hachinuch teaches we must sanctify it from beginning to end. This begins with the Friday night kiddush and concludes Saturday evening Havdalah, each recited over a cup of wine. Nachmanides comments that this mitzvah to remember extends to every day of the week, for when we remember Shabbat, we are also recalling the six days of creation, reminding us of the greatness of God.

When we recite the daily Psalm each morning, we refer to the days of the week in reference to Shabbat. On Sunday, we say, “Today is the first day of the Shabbat.” On Monday, we say, “Today is the second day of Shabbat.” In other words, when the light of the Havdalah candle is extinguished, we do not put Shabbat in the back of our minds. Rather, we are already anticipating the next Shabbat. Our code of law tells us that we can bring in Shabbat early and let Shabbat out late. We must savor the time we have. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel concludes his book “The Sabbath,” he writes, “We must conquer space in order to sanctify time. All week long, we are called upon to sanctify life through employing things of space. On the Sabbath, it is given us to share in the holiness that is in the heart of time.”

This week, let us remember Shabbat–it is a gift that keeps on giving. Leave the sanctity of space and enter the sanctity of time.

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