ki sisa

This Shabbos we read Parshas Ki Sisa. In the Parsha, Hashem tells the Jewish people again about the importance of Shabbos. (Exodus 31:12-17) The commentaries explain that the Shabbos is stressed at a time when the Jewish people told to build the Tabernacle, to underscore the importance of Shabbos. Even if we have to build a Temple, we must make sure not to push away Shabbos from its place. This underscores the message that we canít push away Shabbos for other things that have to be done, as important as they may seem.

The wording used by the Torah for the keeping of Shabbos is, Shabbos Shabboson. Rashi tells us that this means to stress that the Shabbos should be a complete rest Ė not just one where we control ourselves and donít go to work or do buisness; Rather we have to change our mindset. One can fulfill the technical obligations of keeping Shabbos, but still be a tense person, beset in his or her mind with all sorts of pressures and deadlines. This is not what Shabbos is supposed to be for us. When we talk about a day of rest, we mean a full rest - from everything that we canít do on the Shabbos. We have to find the inner strength to break away from all that is weekday mundane work, and focus on just relating to Hashem and to our family.

If we can disconnect from the world - no cell phone, no computer, no texts, no emails,... then we can suddenly find an amazing peaceful state of mind. We have time to focus on our family and friends. We can make it to Shul or Synagogue without feeling pressured to leave the minute we get there. We can open a sefer or book of Jewish thought and enjoy spending time on it. In todays world of hustle and bustle, how important is it to have a day when we can just think with a calm mindset? How special is it to be able to spend quality time with our family? This is the gift of Shabbos, the beautiful oasis of time in the week when we can focus on what really is important, and hopefully with that lift up our entire week.