GATEWAYS TO TORAT HAYIM

 
CONNECTING TO JEWISH LIVING WISDOM RESOURCES

 

Shabbat – Heaven on Earth – Post 3

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by Weinberg, Rabbi Noah

What is defined as “work” on Shabbat?

 

“It is not ‘work’ which is prohibited on Shabbat; rather it is the special category of work called melacha. This term refers to the 39 types of creative activities which were used to build the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary used by the Jews during the time of Moses and Joshua… The Tabernacle was the physical place where the experience of God was more directly tangible than at any other place on earth. Similarly, Shabbat is the period of time in which God’s presence is felt more intensely than at any other time during the week. In other words, just as the Tabernacle is holiness in ‘space,’ Shabbat is holiness in ‘time.’

 

On Shabbat, therefore, the activities used to build the Tabernacle are completely unnecessary since Shabbat is already a ‘sanctuary in time.’ Shabbat has stability and permanence that transcend the limitations of space. It’s an anywhere-in-the-world… God’s presence is with us simply by virtue of the atmosphere Shabbat brings.

 

…Your soul is nourished through spirituality, and it will not feel fulfilled until it gets it.

 

Shabbat is designed to facilitate the soul’s contact with spirituality ― with God. We free our attention from the pressures of the workday and focus on our spiritual goals, which are built into the fabric of the day through the prayer services, the festive meals, the learning of Torah, time spent with family and friends.”