Friday, March 24, 2017
Friday, March 17, 2017
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One of the very important practices and pillars of Judaism that define what it is to be Jewish, is the observance of the Sabbath.
One of the very important prayers for protection is shortened on Sabbath because our sages tell us, “Sabbath (on its own, by itself) protects those who observe it”. One of the legal presumptions on Sabbath is that even a simple Jew who observes the Sabbath (and is influenced by its energy) will not lie. “More than Sabbath needs to be guarded, Sabbath has guarded us.”
Sabbath is one of the hallmarks of the entire Bible. It is an oasis in time an island of peace and tranquility. “The Shabbat comes, peace and tranquility comes.” Shabbat is a gift to G-ds chosen people, a sign between G-d and us.
When a person observes the Sabbath, he reinforces within himself and all those who know and see his observance, that it was G-d who created the world and made it in six days, and rested on the seventh day. Shabbat actually means rest. It is the day when G-d created on, and in that day, inner rest and rejuvenation.
Sabbath closes any of the loose ends of the past week, in addition mysticism tells us, Shabbat carries in it the blessings of the following week. That is why the groom and bride will make a special effort to be blessed in the synagogue on the Sabbath prior to their wedding, and the same for someone going on a trip, or any other big event.
The punishment for not observing the Sabbath is a very serious one. “You shall Guard the Sabbath because it is holy… whoever does (forbidden) work, will be excised from amongst his people.”
One of the forbidden “works” on Sabbath that opens up the tractate that discusses Sabbath in the Talmud, carries in it the main essence and theme of the day. It is the prohibition not to carry from a private domain, (a home), to a public domain, (the street), and vice versa. This very serious rule represents the Sabbath in a most powerful way, reminding us to recognize these two distinct types of domains and realities in the world.
Observing the Sabbath demonstrates and expresses the unity principle.
The one observing the Shabbat is proclaiming through his observance the recognition that G-d and only G-d is the ultimate master of the universe. He created it in six days and rested on the seventh and “there is nothing else but Him”. The Sabbath strengthens and deepens our bond intellectually and emotionally with this unity and oneness domain and its consciousness. “G-d is with me and (therefore) I shall not fear.” We realize the importance of studying the Torah (G-ds wisdom) and the observance of its commandments (practicing G-ds will). It deepens our awareness and attachment with this Holy and G-dly domain.
After the Sabbath, we re-emerge into the public domain and we see how many entities there are, competing with each other, conflicting with each other and fragmented from the unity of G-dliness. It is their lack of faith and knowledge in the unity principle that puts them under so much avoidable stress and anxiety. In this public domain, it truly is a world where the bigger animal devours the smaller one and everyone does as they please.
Shabbat is the strength to identify this very sick attitude and distance ourselves from it. Every morning when we do our prayers and we are granted a miniature Shabbat experience, a time to reflect on the oneness of G-d all around us and in our worlds, we draw from the blessings of the Grand day and the grand inspiration of Shabbat to once again address and take on another day and not be threatened by the "public" domain.
There is another domain that is in essence private, but is shared, by many private individuals. Like a courtyard or shared property. Our sages tell us because it appears like a public property, if we make a certain act called an Eiruv, we can carry in this area as well, and between the private property of an individual and vice versa.
This domain, represents those areas in life that are not like the fragmented, problematic area of public property that is devoid of G-dliness and which is always forbidden to carry within it, or between there and a private property. The Public property where G-d is not noticed or included is totally forbidden.
The private property has G-d written all over it. It’s all private and the oneness of G-d is seen and felt everywhere like in a synagogue or in a prayer book.
The intermediate area which is in essence private and is therefore “kosher” requires one more little act to bring out its’ spark of blessing. As long as the object is kosher, or the place and time is acceptable, then, by using the moment or the object for a spiritual purpose we have included this too in the private domain of G-dliness (The spirit of Shabbat), where there is peace and tranquility. Our entire life becomes, an oasis in time and space.
Friday, March 3, 2017
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