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Home Is Where the Heart Is

By: Ms. Sara Malka Nimchinsky

In the beginning of this week’s parsha, Moshe gathers all of Bnei Yisrael and informs them of “things [they must do] that Hashem commanded”. In pasuk aleph Rashi explains that these “things” are the actions done in order to build the Mishkan. Then, in the following pasuk it goes right into the commandment of keeping Shabbat. One might ask, how and why are these two things connected? 

Chazal teaches us that these “things” are indeed the 39 Melachot that are forbidden for us to do on Shabbat. (plowing, sowing, sifting…) On the surface, if we look at these couple of pesukim, the connection becomes so obvious. Let’s go a little deeper.

From a shiur based on the works of the Rav (Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik), he asked a similar question. Why are these two topics linked? What is the significance of the Mishkan and Shabbat? To strengthen the question, he mentioned 3 other times the Mishkan and Shabbat were coupled together (Parshat Ki Tisa, Kedoshim, and Behar).

The Rav’s answer is simple yet profound. Both Shabbat and the Mishkan are sanctuaries; Shabbat, a sanctuary in time and the Mishkan, a sanctuary of a place/space.

Hashem wants us to make a home for Him in both time and space. The significance of this is that it shows in every aspect of our lives.   

The Rav further explains that when it comes to Shabbat, we need to properly prepare for not only Shabbat’s arrival but Hashem’s. In regards to the chagim, we bring ourselves closer to Hashem through the rituals we perform. Thus, G-d willing this Friday night, when we say Lecha dodi, Hashem will bring Himself closer to us. Lecha dodi symbolizes Hashem’s Shechinah at our door.

As we go into Shabbat this week we should remember a couple key points. We await G-d’s Shechinah every week. This is a time where work is meant to be put aside. We create an atmosphere which is holier for Hashem to join us. If we defile that holiness, we tarnish the aura.

This year, in Israel, the girls at Midreshet are often responsible for making their own Shabbat plans. They understand the importance of Shabbat and they prepare for Shabbat days before. When we are zealous and eager to welcome Shabbat, we create a meaningful atmosphere for ourselves and a welcoming sanctuary for Hashem.

To conclude, Home is where the heart is. Let us put our hearts into making a home/sanctuary for our Father Hashem.

Wishing everyone a meaningful Shabbat!  






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