As WE do it…

Shabbat Kodesh Parashat Emor

We will read on Shabbat :

וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃  

דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵהֶ֔ם מוֹעֲדֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־תִּקְרְא֥וּ אֹתָ֖ם מִקְרָאֵ֣י קֹ֑דֶשׁ אֵ֥לֶּה הֵ֖ם מוֹעֲדָֽי׃   

שֵׁ֣שֶׁת יָמִים֮ תֵּעָשֶׂ֣ה מְלָאכָה֒ וּבַיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֗י שַׁבַּ֤ת שַׁבָּתוֹן֙ מִקְרָא־קֹ֔דֶשׁ כׇּל־מְלָאכָ֖ה לֹ֣א תַעֲשׂ֑וּ שַׁבָּ֥ת הִוא֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה בְּכֹ֖ל מוֹשְׁבֹֽתֵיכֶֽם׃ 

אֵ֚לֶּה מוֹעֲדֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה מִקְרָאֵ֖י קֹ֑דֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־תִּקְרְא֥וּ אֹתָ֖ם בְּמוֹעֲדָֽם׃  

בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הָרִאשׁ֗וֹן בְּאַרְבָּעָ֥ה עָשָׂ֛ר לַחֹ֖דֶשׁ בֵּ֣ין הָעַרְבָּ֑יִם פֶּ֖סַח לַיהֹוָֽה׃ 

  1. And Hashem spoke to Moses, saying,
  2. Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: Hashem’s appointed holy days that you shall designate as holy occasions. These are My appointed holy days:
  3. For six days, work may be performed, but on the seventh day, it is a complete rest day, a holy occasion; you shall not perform any work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.
  4. These are Hashem’s appointed holy days, holy occasions, which you shall designate in their appointed time:
  5. In the first month, on the fourteenth of the month, in the afternoon you will celebrate Pesach…

It is understandable that Chagim like Pesach are described as being designated by us. as their actual dates depend on when the Sanhedrin (Supreme Council) decided to sanctify the new month (and therefore, every Yom Tov’s exact starting date depends on “us”). However – Shabbat is on the same seventh day from the day of creation, and does not depend on any action by us or any authority, so why does the verse mention “You shall designate” the Shabbat ? 

Perhaps – it is to tell us that indeed, Shabbat is a (beautiful) “gift” given to us. But what we do with this gift (or day), fully depends on us. Whether we give it both the spiritual and material that makes it into the “real” Shabbat, or we leave it as a simple “day off”. Depend solely on us…

Wishing a good meaningful Shabbat

Rabbi Chaim Michael Biberfeld