Friday, May 7, 2010

SHABBAT: Understanding the Fourth Commandment

Today is the 23rd of Iyar, 5770 (38 days of Omer. 5 weeks, 3 days)

“Zakhor et Yom haShabbat leKaddesho… “ Remember the day of Shabbat to sanctify it.
This is the fourth of the Ten Commandments: our duty to remember the day of Shabbat and to consecrate it as a “special” day.
How do we perform this important Mitzva, remembering and sanctifying the Shabbat?
Meam Loez explains that there are 4 ways in which we perform this Mitzva.
1. Reciting the Kiddush, thus, reminding ourselves the foundation of Shabbat: the day God ended Creation. When saying the Kiddush we are giving testimony that we and our planet are not here by a cosmic chance but that it was God Almighty the One who created the world, life and us-intelligent life.
2. Remembering the Shabbat in our Tefilot (prayers) and especially in Birkat haMazon, when we add Retze veHachalitzenu… a text in which we mention the importance of Shabbat and we ask God to help us and allow us to live this day with joy, pleasure and peace.
3. Adding (=sanctifying) some extra time at the beginning and at the end of Shabbat. We should receive Shabbat before it officially starts (before sunset) and we should end Shabbat after it officially ends (after we see 3 stars).
4. Reciting the Habdalah, stating officially that Shabbat has ended and acknowledging the difference between the holiness of Shabbat and the rest of the week.
Next Friday, BH, we will talk about Kiddush.
Shabbat Shalom!!!