A Peaceful Shabbat

Based on various sources in Kabbala and Chasidut

(first posted on KabbalaOnline.org)


"Don't kindle any fire in all your dwelling places on the Shabbat day." (Ex. 35:3)

Fire symbolizes anger, which is antithetical to Shabbat. On Shabbat, there isno place for anger. By taking a few minutes before the start of every Shabbat to review and reconcile the events of the previous week, one can easily make Shabbat a day of true spiritual and emotional rest.

Many people take these few minutes for inner reflection before immersion in the mikveh (ritual bath), or just before candle-lighting. It is appropriate to take any measures necessary to guard against anger on Shabbat, and it is incumbent upon every Jew to heal any wound that his anger caused during the week. A parent is even reminded not to scold or punish his children on Shabbat.

The word "Shabbat" in Hebrew is spelled shin-beit-tav. This forms an acrostic in Hebrew which reads: "Shabbat-bo-tashuv" - "on Shabbat come back [to G-d]." Shabbat is a unique weekly opportunity to make a fresh start.

The Rebbe, Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk - whose yahrzeit falls in this week on 21 Adar - taught that the eve of the Shabbat is like the eve of Yom Kippur. In his household, the family, as well as all the members of the household staff, would fervently beg forgiveness from one another every Shabbat eve until they were trembling and shedding tears. Thus cleansed, at the moment of lighting the Shabbat candles, a sublime and awesome joy enveloped each and every one, pervading all those present.

May every Shabbat be so imbued with repentance, peace, purity and joy!


(First published in B'Ohel Hatzadikim, Vayakhel 5760)

Rabbi Binyomin Adilman is the former head of the Nishmas Chayim Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Back issues of his weekly parsha sheet, B'ohelei Tzadikim, from which this article was taken, may be found on www.nishmas.org.


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