22 Av 5780 / Wednesday, August 12, 2020 | Torah Reading: Re'eh
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The Double Protection of Shabbat    

The Double Protection of Shabbat

Shabbat forces to think about everything the digital world pushes us to escape. How did Abraham become the First Jew? How did David and Moshe attain their greatness?


I don't really think idolaters in the Bible really believed in any of it. I think they saw it as the same nonsense we do.


There is a classic concept in sales: People don’t make decisions logically. They do it on emotions and then they use logic as a tool to justify them.


Did Zig Ziglar expose the banality of mankind?


In the Beginning, people “showed respect” for the physical bodies of this earth because they were messengers of Hashem. Then they started to worship these things outright.


But did they do it rationally? The Torah teaches us that sin is irrational. Our Sages go so far as to tell us that when we sin, we become temporarily insane.


What if idolatry was an emotional decision?


It had to be, there is no logic in serving anyone outside Hashem. In the times of Noah, people discovered the “thrill” of stealing from their fellow man. They felt the power of murdering their fellow. They satiated themselves with members of the opposite sex.


Hashem forbids theft, murder, and sexual immorality as part of the Noahide Laws which govern all mankind. The idolaters created "alternatives" where all of these things are not only allowed, but they are part of the religion.


Making the worst sins sound "holy" was the logic used to give people justification to do what they emotionally wanted. That's how we lost 24,000 people in the desert. The Midianites weren't able to make us serve idols logically, so they threw an emotional argument. A physically desirous Midianite woman would offer herself to a Jew if he would just bow to her idol.


He didn't do it because he was thinking rationally.


In the history of idolatry, has any of these cults ever eliminated all forms of impure physical indulgence Hashem's Torah forbids? In Roman times, they even instituted weekly rituals where at the end of the year, the citizens were allowed to break every rule and get away with it.


Ever wonder where the concept of partying all night of December 31st comes from?


How Shabbat Protects Us from Idolatry


More than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.


Here is how putting your all into Shabbat saves you:


Shabbat is the declaration that G-d created the Heavens and the Earth. When we recite Kiddush, we are bearing witness that Hashem created, creates, and will create the entire universe and everything that is in it. We are celebrating this fact for 25 hours. We are reflecting on how this world, and all of its inhabitants belong to Hashem and only Hashem. This reminder wipes away anything that would have the audacity to stand between us.


For six days, we carry mini-screens that chain us to the world of sensuality, power, pride, and absolutely no consequences for choosing what feels good and what is good. Like the Israelite standing next to the semi dressed Midianite model, every sin appeared miniscule. That's how the devil gets you – by making the consequences seem so marginal that you might as well do it.


Shabbat pauses the tools of the Evil Inclination.


This special island in time pushes all the distractions to the other end of the ocean. We have no screens. No newspapers. No connection to the outside world. For a day we learn, we pray, we speak to Hashem. This island is personal space for you and your Creator. The consequences, both bad and very good, become real.


The Shabbat is a lifeline from the toxic depths we were led to believe we just dipped our toe in but are really submerged deep below. It lets us breathe for just long enough to reconsider.


Shabbat forces to think about everything the digital world pushes us to escape. How did Abraham become the First Jew? How did David and Moshe attain their greatness? They were all shepherds. They had a station in life where they could think about the universe and in this meditation, they could come to the most natural truth: Hashem is One and His Name is One.


Shabbat pushes everything away to give you a clear path back to Him.


Does a Google browser come with filters against adult content? You have to do your own homework to protect your own internet. If a 50-year-old married man wants to befriend a 20-year single girl, does Facebook ever prevent it? Do media outlets demand men and women dress modestly on their front pages or even screen out acts of human indecency?


The powerful of this world are selling our souls for more billions, or another island. They force feed us the same emotional reasons to abandon G-d and create propaganda terms like "progressive" to justify us continuing to do things that suffocate our spirit, distance us from Hashem, and make us miserable.


Like the idol-worshippers of past, they are entrapping us with the same tactics. We don't have to let that happen. Hashem gives us the antidote: The gift of Shabbat.


The time to meditate on the world He gave us without any interference whatsoever.


By reflecting on what we are celebrating, the holiest of days becomes a homing beacon back to the Eternal Source of our existence.



* * *

David Ben Horin is the author of Thank God for IsraelZionism that Pays the Rent, and The Great Life Hack which you can have it for free! I also write first class content for startups, non-profits, and businesses of all sizes. If you are in the market for some great copy, check out my portfolio.

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