10 Tishrei 5781 / Monday, September 28, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
 
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Mishpatim - Time and Shabbos    

Mishpatim - Time and Shabbos



We can taste and experience a little bit of Heaven here in this world through the holiness of Shabbat – including the feeling of the nullification of time...

 



The first commandment in this week’s Torah portion is that of a Jewish slave: “If you buy a Jewish bondsman, he shall work for six years; and in the seventh he shall go free, for no charge. If he shall arrive by himself, he shall leave by himself; if he is the husband of a woman, his wife shall leave with him” (Chapter 21, Verses 2-3) 

 

Rabbi Natan of Breslev discusses why, in a deeper sense, a Jewish slave must be set free after six years. He explains that slavery has no connection to the Jewish people whatsoever. Therefore, even this Jewish man who fell into such a low state that he was sold by the Beis Din (Jewish court) to be a servant in order to pay back the victims he stole from, needs to be set free in the seventh year.  

 

The seventh year is the aspect of Shabbat. Shabbat is a taste of Heaven in this world and is above time. On Shabbat the light of faith shines in a much more powerful way. This Jewish servant, due to a lack of knowledge and faith, fell so much into the limitations of this world - to the point that he was sold to work in servitude, because of his theft. Therefore, this Jewish slave should not work more than six years, because “in the seventh he shall go free, for no charge. On Shabbos every person on their level, even someone who had been a Jewish slave, can connect to this aspect of the nullification of time. He can go above the confines of this world, and he can connect to faith and holiness which are above the limitations of time (Likutei Halachot, Laws of Bris Milah, 4th teaching). 

 

Hashem is above time and space, and we can connect to this reality even more on Shabbos than during the week. We can rise above our daily constrictions and stresses and connect to a different reality.  

 

Personally, I struggle a lot in this area. Many times, I find myself constricted about times and my daily schedule. For example, what time do I want leave in the morning to take my daughter to school and go to shul? If we are late for whatever reason I feel tense and nervous. I feel a loss of control. If I need to be at a meeting or appointment at a certain time, I usually have anxiety about getting ready and leaving on time. I feel the constriction of time very strongly.  

 

However, we learn from this teaching that when we let go of control and have faith that we will get to our destination exactly when we are supposed to get there, this relieves a lot of the stress and anxiety involved. The more knowledge and faith (daat and emuna) that we obtain, the less we will feel the constrictions of time and space. We’re really not in control, and when we let go and let Hashem into our lives, we will see how He is helping us exactly in those times and situations where we don’t see how it will work out, based on our limited perception. Shabbat gives us the faith and the strength to rise above these stressful situations. On Shabbat we testify that Hashem created the world in six days, and rested on the seventh day. By keeping the Shabbos, we express our faith that He is the Creator and King of the World, and through this faith we can rise above the limitations of time and space which we feel are holding are us back. 

 

 

Rebbe Nachman says in the book Advice that through keeping Shabbat we merit to obtain emuna (faith). All of the blessings and abundance which we receive from giving tzedakah or other forms of kindness, only have completion through Shabbat, which is the source of all blessing. Any aspect of completion which we can obtain in this world is through the holiness of Shabbat. Rebbe Nachman adds that true knowledge and understanding of the Torah are also obtained through the holiness of Shabbat. This gives us a little taste of how important and central Shabbat is to our lives as Jews (Shabbos, 2nd teaching). 

 

Shabbat is a taste of the World to Come; a taste of Heaven. We can taste and experience a little bit of Heaven here in this world through the holiness of Shabbat. We need these special times of the year, Shabbat every week, and all the other holidays during the year where we re-charge and connect ourselves on a much deeper level to our faith and true knowledge. These special times during the calendar give us the clarity, strength and faith to deal with daily life, overcome all the challenges we face and enable us to find meaning in everything we go through in our lives. 

 

*** 

Republished with permission from breslov.blog. 

 





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