Mar 25, 2016

Hyperfocus on Shabbos

This is a thought I read in this book, A New Shabbos Soul Boruch Leff.  He says R' Shimshon Pincus z'l points out that in the traditional Shabbos zemiros, almost all of them describe what we do on Shabbos and have as the main refrain, "Shabbos HaYom L'Hashem" or "Shabbos, Shabbos," or something similar.
By way of contrast, the songs of Pesach do not contain words like "Pesach, Pesach" and do not describe what we do on Pesach.  On Yomim Tovim we sing about the themes of the Yom Tov - on Pesach about the exodus, on Rosh Hashana about Hashem's malchus, on Succos about simcha. Why is Shabbos different?
R' Pincus says that on Pesach, the mitzvah of matza, for example, is to eat it, not to remember and concentrate on it (though of course kavana is all important). The same is true for shofar on Rosh Hashana and dalet minim on Succos.  But on Shabbos we have the mitzvah of "zachor," to remember and focus on Shabbos throughout the day.  The more we mention Shabbos, the more the mitzvah of zachor we are fulfilling.
On Shabbos we must be focused on Shabbos and not be distracted from a constant awareness that it is Shabbos.
On Shabbos, we are supposed to eat with Shabbos in mind, sleep with Shabbos in mind, walk with Shabbos in mind, and talk with Shabbos in mind. 
Shabbos, like tefillin, is an os - a sign, of connection between Hashem and the Jewish people.  When wearing tefillin, a man is supposed to be constantly aware that he is wearing tefillin, and on Shabbos, we need to be constantly aware that it is Shabbos.
Good Shabbos!

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