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Home » Shabbos

Shabbos: The Experience

Submitted by on November 4, 2005 – 2:01 amNo Comment | 2,690 views

The Highlight of the Jewish Week

“Six Days a week you shall
work and on the seventh day you rest”. Shabbos is a symbol of the
covenant between G-d and the Jewish nation. The covenant is enacted
through observing twenty-four hours of Shabbos rest (See section three)

For the Jew, Shabbos is a
day of complete rest from worldly affairs. On this day he takes a
full-fledged vacation from his daily routine. The grind of the office,
the ring of the telephone and the buzz of the business world are
completely absent on this day.

A Jew, who wouldn’t miss a
single telephone call, or business opportunity, during the week, allows
his life to grind to a halt for a full day, in honor of a G-d who is
greater than himself. On Shabbos a Jew refrains from pursuing,
discussing or even thinking about business.

This is the strength of our
religion and the purity of our soul, this is the nature of commitment
to Torah values. Jews are trained from youth that Shabbos is a special
day, consecrated only to G-d. This day is spent at the temple, where we
engage in prayer and Torah study, on this day we are completely
immersed in our religion.

Shabbos becomes the
highlight of the Jewish week, the very center of our existence. During
the first half of the week we bask in the glow of the previous Shabbos,
during the second half of the week we await, and prepare for, the
coming Shabbos.

Jewish law encourages
mothers to train their children, from a very young age, to anticipate
the arrival of Shabbos as a special day of celebration. If a child is
deserving of a treat, we give it to him on Shabbos. IF a new dress was
purchased, we wear it first on Shabbos. In this way we implant the
glamorous beauty of Shabbos in their young and fanciful minds.

Shabbos is not just a day
off from work but a day of immersion into the Jewish soul. On this day,
we are completely extracted from worldly affairs and weekday pursuits.

In short Shabbos is a weekly vacation on a spiritual island of time.

A Day of Community

The Mitzvah of Shabbos has
become one of the cornerstones of Jewish practice and faith. Shabbos is
one of the Ten Commandments, in fact, it is the only one of the Ten
Commandments that deals with a ritual obligation. This speaks volumes
for the great significance that Judaism has attributed to Shabbos.

Observance of this Mitzvah
offers many benefits. From a purely sociological perspective the
benefits are enormous. Shabbos, more than any other Mitzvah, brings a
community together. During the week, due to various commitments and
obligations, many worship privately at home. On Shabbos we join as a
community to celebrate our religion together.

On Shabbos we pray together,
read the Torah together and dine together at the festive Shabbos meals.
Most traditional communities organize public classes, seminars, or
lectures, on Shabbos for the benefit of the entire community.

This sort of communal
participation generates a feeling of belonging and warmth. It sparks an
interest and commitment in perpetuating the principles of our faith.

Once a person stops keeping
Shabbos, he slowly disassociates himself from his community, and their
inspirational sessions of study and prayer. Clearly evidences in
countless cases throughout the world, this is the beginning of a
downfall that ends with total secularization.