The Wonders of Enjoying Shabbos

In the Gemoro in Maseches Shabbos Perek Kol Kisvei (16th chapter) there are various aspects of the mitzva of Kovod Shabbos (Honor for Shabbos) explained, such as amount of seudos (meals) to eat, types of foods, clothes, etc. In the previous perek, interestingly enough, it brings that if a person doesn’t have an extra set of clothes he should find a way to lengthen his weekday garment before Shabbos, according to Rashi in order that it should be similar to the garments of the wealthy, hence rendering honor to Shabbos. This is an interesting rayah (support) for the custom of many who do not wear long clothing, such as what Chassidim wear typically, to wear a bekitshe on Shabbos.

Shabbos, according to Rebbe Nachman in Likutei Moharan in several places, can be rearranged to make the word Boshes (שבת -בשת), which means shame. It says in this gemoro on daf 119b that even if someone has served idols, if that person keeps Shabbos properly all of their sins are forgiven. If you were to take either word and add the letters “Vov,” and “Heh,” you come to the word “Tshuva,” (תשובה) (repentance). Those letters are related to the second half of Hashem’s un-pronounced name, the “Vov” referring to the six lower Sefiros from Chesed-Yesod, and the final “Heh” refers to Malchus. What we can learn from this al pi chassidus is that the true key to honoring Shabbos, which is truly honoring Hashem Himself as it says in the Zohar HaKodosh that Shabbos is one of Hashem’s names, is to realize our insingificance compared to Him. All of our honor for Shabbos must be truly directed towards the Aibishter, rather than simply eating and drinking to satisfy our carnal desires, it must be done with the awareness that it is for the sake of the mitzvah of Shabbos. This part of the gemoro also speaks of how much food should be made and the types to fulfill the mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos, from Rav Chiya who maintains one only needs to add one special dish, and Rav Yehuda in the name of Rav says one should make dishes of spinach, large fish, and heads of garlic. One who delights in Shabbos receives the brocho from Hashem that all of their requests will be answered them, according to this gemoro. This is because complete observance of Shabbos, as well as delighting in Shabbos, leads to the state of Tshuva, wherein our sins are wiped away from us. From this viewpoint, once Shabbos is kept properly with the appropriate mindset, then the Hashpo’os (spiritual energies) we receive on Shabbos can be carried through the week and brought to a state of manifestation in the physical world, as shown through the addition of the letters “Vov” and “Heh” to the word Shabbos to form Tshuva, which is an integral part of Shabbos.

Hashem should help us all to keep Shabbos properly, according to halocho, and we should all be able to properly enjoy Shabbos as is fitting of such a holy and amazing day.

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