The Mood of Shabbat

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Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik

by R. Aharon Ziegler

When Moshe Rabbeinu revealed the mystery of Shabbat to the people, he told them “Remain every man in his place; no man should go out of his place on the seventh day” (Sh’mot 16:29). Man remains alone, and he should experience the Shabbat as a lone being. Rav Soloveitchik stated that Halacha demands a special mood observance of Shabbat. Besides the Melacha restrictions and the positive Mitzvot that we are required to perform, the Shabbat also has certain mood and attitude requirements that we should be aware of.

On the Shabbat, GD tolerates no competition; He does not want to share man with anyone else. Therefore, He told us to retreat from society. “The seventh day is a Shabbat to HaShem your GD” (Sh’mot 20:9). Cease to be a slave to your work; discontinue being a servant to society; be exclusively Mine. Everything belongs to Him.

The idea of Shabbat is man’s aloneness. And if man is alone, he is also with GD. The Kedushat Shabbat, the charisma of the Shabbat, expresses itself in the return of man to himself and to HaShem, the source of Kedusha. Severance of the individual from the working society establishes a permanent communion with GD

(Source: Days of Deliverance)

About Aharon Ziegler

Rabbi Aharon Ziegler is the Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Agudath Achim of Boro Park and the Dean and Rosh Kollel of Kollel Agudath Achim. He is the author of six volumes of Halakhic Positions of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

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