Holy to Hashem

In the first of this week’s parshios, Parshas Vayakhel, Moshe instructs the Israelites regarding Shabos, “For six days you shall work, and on the seventh day it shall be for you holy, a complete rest…” (Ex.35:2).  Immediately after the command to keep Shabos, with which the parsha opens, the Torah launches into a lengthy description related to mileches ha’Mishkan.  What is the connection between Shabos and the Mishkan?

Rav Soloveitchik notes that “A Jew who is ready to be mekabel Shabos, to accept the Shabos and light his candles with intention to observe the Shabos strictly, finds himself in the same position as the ancient Jew (of) 2,000 years ago, who used to make the last preparations before he entered the Sanctuary of old…Shabos is also a Beis Ha’Mikdash.  The only difference is that the Mishkan is a BHM”K in the spatial dimensions, and Shabos is (a BHM”K) in the temporal dimensions.”

The BHM”K represents sanctity in space; Shabos, sanctity in time.  While we have survived 2,000 years without the BHM”K, R’ Soloveitchik notes, we would not have survived one week without Shabos.

The Sanctuary was resplendent with its Table and bread of surfaces, with its golden Menorah and her lamps, with the Torah contained within the holy Ark of Testimony, and with the kohen in his priestly garments, who served within.

And it is in our homes that we build the Sanctuary of Shabos, without which our people could not have survived even one week!  We too have a table with challos and tasty delicacies, our Shabos candelabrum with its lamps, our clothing that are special for the holy day, and the Torah that emanates from our homes.  And we too wear a crown of glory:

For just as the Kohen Gadol wore the golden tzitz (forehead-plate), engraved with the words “kodesh la’Hashem” (Ex.28:36) when he served in the Sanctuary, so too, when we honor Shabos properly, we proudly wear that very same sign.  As the verse states: For six days work may be done, and on the seventh day, it is a complete rest, “kodesh la’Hashem” (Ex.31:15).

May we honor her properly as we build our Sanctuary in time, so that all who enter our homes know that on this day of Shabos, this place and this home are kodesh la’Hashem, holy to Hashem.

Wishing you a beautiful Shabos Kodesh,

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