Friday, April 16, 2010

SHABBAT more than resting

2nd day of Iyar, 5770.

Most people feel that Shabbat was given as a day of rest for the tired worker.

However, Shabbat is much more than a mere day of rest. The verb “Shabat” does not mean “to rest” but “to pause”,“ to stop”. Shabbat is not the day where we rest to gather energy for next week work, Shabbat is precisely the GOAL of all our work. Shabbat is the END not the MEANS of our weekly endeavors.

Seeing Shabbat as a day of rest would presuppose that we are merely a tool in a society dedicated exclusively to industry and profit. We believe in working and in making money, but Shabbat reminds us of our true goals: For one day a week we willingly free ourselves from job, gardening, cooking, working, writing, etc, from every mundane distraction or material worries and dedicate to our spiritual growth: In Shabbat we spend hours praying to God, getting closer to Him, listening and studying His Torah and doing plenty of Mitzvoth (think about Kiddush, Bircat haMazon, Seudot Shabbat, Berakhot, etc) with our families in an atmosphere of peace and enjoyment.

Shabbat is the day that we stop from working not in order to become better workers the following week but to dedicate fully to serve God and strengthen the most important relationship in our lives.

Shabbat Shalom!