On Tuesday evening, May 25, Rabbi Yaakov Mizrahi spoke for “Tuesday Timely Torah Talks” on behalf of Chazaq. He was interviewed by Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, Operations Manager of Chazaq.
Rabbi Meirov introduced the lecture with the point that the more you put into something, the more you will get out of it.
Rabbi Mizrahi, well-known speaker, shared that for some people Shabbos is the happiest day of their lives and they wait for it from Motza’ei Shabbos until the next Shabbos. For some people, Shabbos can be a challenge. He noted how, for Arabs, they call their Sabbath, which is on Friday, “the Day of the Week.” He said we should think of Shabbos as the Day of the Week. This involves developing a proper mindset. The more we prepare, the more we will enjoy Shabbos. The more you think about it, the more you will be excited about it. He likened it to a wedding. There is so much preparation before a wedding, and the anticipation builds for the chasan and kallah because of those months of careful preparation. “Shabbos is the happiest day of our life,” he imparted. We need to utilize the weekdays to prepare for it. From Sunday, Shamai would begin buying things in honor of Shabbos and say, “I am buying this item in honor of Shabbos.”
Rabbi Yaniv asked Rabbi Mizrahi how we can elevate our Shabbos experience. Rabbi Mizrahi responded that it’s a day of rest from physical work but we need to use the day for spiritual growth. All brachah we will receive during the next six days emanates from Shabbos. We should try to upgrade our Shabbos by including time for Torah study.
We need to focus and realize our week is Shabbos. “Preparation is the key.”
Next, Rabbi Meirov asked how we can elevate Shabbos meals. Rabbi Mizrahi suggested that a great tip to enjoy Shabbos on a physical level is to have some special food or drink item that is only served on Shabbos. In his home, they drink water all week long, but on Shabbos they bring out all sorts of special drinks. This helps his children to anticipate Shabbos. They are excited and waiting for it. If you have a certain food you like, save it for Shabbos. In this way you are building in an appreciation and desire for Shabbos. Remember that your meal is all about the children. We have the chiyuv that Shabbos will be lasting for generations. It’s an obligation to make sure your children keep Shabbos. “As parents, we have the responsibility to make sure our children will love Shabbos. Give out snacks, gifts, etc. Make sure you are going to light up this table. Prepare stories and sing special songs that the children like. You have to be like an entertainer.” Rabbi Meirov shared that they have a Shabbos party with nosh at his home. Rabbi Mizrahi advised that you should try to come into Shabbos energized. It would be great to take a nap before, so you don’t come in exhausted. Rav Pinchas used to sleep before, so he could come into Shabbos energetic and enlightened.
Rabbi Meirov asked how to balance learning, relaxing, and getting together with family and friends. Rabbi Mizrahi suggested that the main thing is to give attention to your children. Talk to them and get to know them. Long Shabbos afternoons offer this opportunity. Play games with them or watch them playing. Make sure the kids are happy. It is so important for children to feel they receive time from their parents.
He taught that Moshe received the Torah on Shabbos, which was the seventh day of Sivan. He pushed off receiving it on Erev Shabbos because he was preparing for Shabbos on Friday. This teaches us about the importance of preparing for Shabbos.
Next, Rabbi Mizrahi taught that Shabbos is a gift from Hashem. We see this because Hashem says, “I have a gift for you from my treasure house.” Shabbos is a gift. It is something we gain from and no harm can come from a gift. This means it’s impossible to have any loss from keeping Shabbos.
Every time we recite one particular line in the Shabbos Amidah we are thanking Hashem for the gift of Shabbos. The line we recite four times states: “Baruch Atah, Hashem, m’kadeish haShabbos.”
Rabbi Mizrahi shared a story about a famous rav who was on his death bed. He stood in front of the Heavenly throne and asked for an extension of life. He said that he was working on a peirush on the Yerushalmi. They said, “That’s beautiful, but someone else can do it.” Then he said, “I have a special fund for orphans and widows.” They said, “That’s beautiful, but someone else can do it.” Then he said, “I prepare my Shabbos table on Thursday night.” For that, they said that he could have an extension of life. Preparing for Shabbos ahead brought him more life. We see that it demonstrates a bond and connection to Hashem.
Rav Shach prepared his wife’s Shabbos candles on Motza’ei Shabbos for the following Shabbos. Every day, we should think about Shabbos. Just as we count towards the giving of the Torah, we count towards Shabbos, too.
This beautiful shiur can be viewed on www.TorahAnytime.com.
By Susie Garber