Shabbat is more than a day of refraining from worldly activity.

When experienced to its spiritual fullest, its holiness enlightens all other days of the week.

We invite you to enhance your Shabbat with these words of Torah.


Yad on a Torah scroll

Parashat Acharei Mot – Rav Tzadok HaKohen on the Parsha

Parashat Acharei Mot – Rav Tzadok HaKohen on the Parsha

Schwartz, Rabbi Yitzchak
May 3, 2024

According to Rav Tzadok Hakohen, Shabbat is initiated by Hashem (hisoreroosah d’leilah), while Holy Days require human initiation (hisoreroosah d’letatah).

Shabbat’ sanctity is innate, but individuals must prepare to receive it, whereas Holy Days depend on the Jewish people proclaiming them through the Beit Din, after which Hashem imbues them with holiness.

Two Aspects of Sanctity
In this week’s parsha, we find that Yom Kippur is referred to with a double language — “Shabbos-Shabboson.” (Vayikra 16:31) The double language hints at a dual aspect of Shabbos and the holidays.

Rav Tzadok explains that there are two elements to every Shabbos and Yom Tov. These times, which are filled with holiness, derive their sanctity from Hashem. Still, in order to receive and benefit from His holiness, man must take an active role as well. In order to receive and enhance the sanctity of Shabbos and the holidays, we must prepare ourselves with a pure state of mind, righteous deeds, and meritorious behavior.

Hisoreroosah d’leilah and Hisoreroosah d’letatah: Actions Initiated from Above and Actions Initiated from Below
This explanation requires that we become familiar with two concepts that appear often throughout the Kabbalistic works: hisoreroosah d’leilah — actions that are initiated from above, i.e., by Hashem, and hisoreroosah d’letatah — actions that are initiated from beneath, i.e., by the Jewish people.

Shabbos is an example of hisoreroosah d’leilah. The sanctity of Shabbos is permanently fixed. It occurs invariably every seventh day of the week, regardless of any action or proclamation on our part. It is initiated completely by Hashem. On the seventh day, Hashem imbues the Shabbos with His holiness. Still, Shabbos has another facet: hisoreroosah d’letatah. We are required to prepare ourselves to be worthy to experience and receive His holiness. We accomplish this through our own efforts — hisoreroosah d’letatah.

In contrast, our duty is to initiate the sanctity of the holidays. We bring in the holiness of the holiday — hisoreroosah d’letatah. Indeed, the verse states: “These are Hashem’s appointed times, holy convocations that you shall proclaim…”
The sanctity of the holidays depends on the Jewish people initiating them through a proclamation of the Beis Din.
Until the Beis Din declares on which day the new month begins, it is impossible to fulfill the mitzvah of celebrating the holidays. Once the Jewish people proclaim the holidays through hisoreroosah d’letatah, Hashem then responds and imbues the day with sanctity that emanates from His holiness – hisoreroosah d’leilah…

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