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  • Rav Moshe Weiss

Nahar U'Pashtei Parshas V'eschanan

The Bitachon of Shabbos

In Parshas Vaeschanan we review the awesome events of Mattan Torah, centered around the Aseres HaDibros, the Ten Commandments, which are central to our faith. These ten mitzvos were carved upon the luchos we received at Har Sinai, and indeed represent the way the Torah wants a person to live. I would like to explore a most interesting pasuk, written only here, in the Aseres HaDibros as they appear written in our Parshash. We know that the verses of Parshas Yisro describe the commandment to remember the Shabbos (zachar), while the verses here in Vaeschanan describe the command to guard the Shabbos (shamar); yet in truth, they were both said at Sinai (zachar veshamar b’dibur echad ne’emru). This being the case, we must know that whatever we find in our Parshah was certainly said at Mattan Torah, and is equally a part of the mitzvah of Shabbos. The verse states, But the seventh day is Shabbos to Hashem, your God; you shall not do any work; you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, your ox, your donkey, and your animal, and your convert within your estate, in order that your slave and your maidservant may rest like you. What is this reason that the verse concludes with “in order that your slave etc. rest like you? The reason they must keep Shabbos is because they too are included in the command to rest and to remember! What is the Torah telling us here, deep within the mitzvah of Shabbos? Now, presumably, the verse is warning against an instance where the owner of the slave demands that he do forbidden work on the Shabbos. Normally, if one transgresses the Torah at the command of his fellow, we hold him liable just the same, for he should have listened to Hashem rather than listening to his fellow. But, perhaps, when it comes to a slave and a maidservant the law is different. Because they are owned by their master, if they were to desecrate the Shabbos at his command, it could be that they would not be found guilty! This is because they are not free to do as they wish but are bound by the whims of their owner. And if this is the case, technically speaking, a person would be able to command his slaves to work for him on Shabbos and they would have to do so! To deal with this issue, the Torah concludes the verse with the words, in order that your slave and your maidservant may rest like you”. The Torah tells the owner that he should not attempt this loophole and try and continue growing his fortune on Shabbos. Hashem is teaching here the Bitachon aspect of the Shabbos. This was similar to when the mon fell on Friday, and Moshe allowed the nation to collect it as usual only to find a double portion appear seemingly from nowhere. This was to show them that the portion of Shabbos requires no extra hishtadlus. One should use Shabbos as a day of rest and reflection; it is not needed to amass wealth! And this third lesson of Shabbos will take us through the week. For not only does Shabbos show that Hashem can provide for that day, but all other days and circumstances as well! We must not get sucked into the rat race, and spend our days running after money. Hashem decreed that we must do hishtadlus, but it is nothing more than an excuse to shower us with His berachah when and where He sees fit. We must not make the mistake of connecting our actions and expertise with our parnassah; and we must let Shabbos be a true day of rest. A Gut Shabbos! A Project of the YSI Alumni Association Written by R’ Moshe Weiss

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