The Reason for Creation
Moshe assembled the entire congregation of the children of Israel, and he said
to them: these are the things that G-d commanded you to do. Six days work may be
done, and on the seventh day it shall be holy for you, a Shabbos of resting for
G-d” (Ex. Ch.35 V.1-2).
is not the first mention of Shabbos in the Torah. Why is the theme of Shabbos
repeated? Furthermore, why is Shabbos mentioned here right before the portion
containing the building of the Tabernacle?
in a nutshell, is the reason for creation. During the week man is meant to
produce. Shabbos is when the physical production of man is left aside. It is a
day which G-d imbued with sanctity. How does this sanctity manifest itself? By
focusing on the spiritual accomplishments of man, his family, and his
relationship with G-d. And this is the purpose of creation. The week is the entrée
which leads into Shabbos, the main course.
the sin of Adom and Chavah (Adam and Eve), man was forced to work by the sweat
of his brow (originally, man was meant to be on an even higher spiritual plane).
But this is only meant to be a means to an end. The end is — after using the
fruits of his labors to enable himself to get along in the world, i.e.,
food, shelter, etc. — for man to be able to focus on the truly important
issues, such as repairing the world (Obviously, one also sanctifies G-d’s name
through honest work itself.)
“end” is symbolized by Shabbos.
not “working” on Shabbos one acknowledges that G-d is the creator of the
world, and one shows one’s trust in Him.
is working defined? This is where the Mishkan — Tabernacle — comes in.
way in which we determine forbidden labors on Shabbos is by what was used in the
building of the Mishkan.
is because the Mishkan represents the same thing Shabbos does — a place of
Raishis Chochma, an 18th century work of Jewish mysticism, explains that Shabbos
is actually considered to be the source of sanctity. How so? The Chassidic Rebbe
from Chernobyl asks a question: how is it that man, whose essence is limited, is
able to attach himself to G-d, who is unlimited?
explains that Shabbos is the medium in which the two meet. A day on which the
emphasis is spiritual (which is unlimited), enhances the physical (limited).
This is done through eating special foods and it is a special time for husband
and wife to interact.
our society, when someone asks “what do you do?”, he is really asking what
kind of job you have. It is quite sad that we consider our jobs our premier
occupation. What a person does should be something that contributes to the
community, and to a larger sense, the world. Certainly work is required, as
money does not grow on trees, but it must be kept in its proper perspective.
On Shabbos it is preferable not to even speak of business. This is because we as people are so much more than that, and on this important day, when we pledge allegiance to G-d, we try to do His work, with the confidence he will take care of us.