Past Weekly Shabbat Message
Rabbi Dovid Saks
(Torah Portion Vayakail/Pekudai) Huge Bank Deposit!
In last week’s Shabbat Message we spoke about the special radiance and aura that emanates from one’s countenance at the beginning of Shabbos and continues throughout the holy day.
Continuing with this theme, the Medrash focuses on a connection between the concluding subject of last week’s portion and the beginning of this week’s portion.
At the conclusion of last week’s Parsha our leader Moshe descended Mount Sinai with the second set of Tablets that contained the Ten Commandments. His face was shining so brilliantly with spirituality that the people could not look straight at him. Because of this, the Torah tells us that Moshe covered his face with a veil when he interacted with the people.
The beginning of this week’s Portion speaks of the laws and the sanctification and holiness of the Shabbos.
The Medrash says that the two portions are connected to tell us that just as Moshe’s face became illuminated from the level of sanctity he attained, so too, when a Jew observes the holy day of Shabbos, on a certain level, his face becomes enlightened and illuminated with the holiness of Shabbos!
Quite often people will see or meet someone on Shabbos or Holidays and will not recognize them right away – they cannot immediately place where they had seen them. Then it hits them – they saw them at work, behind the counter, or on the job. It is not only the different setting that throws them off. The special aura and splendor of holiness of Shabbos can actually enhance their complexion!
Rabbi Shimon Schwab o.b.m. used the following illustration to explain why G-d commanded us not to work on Shabbos.
A wealthy man arrived in a small town. He entered a bank and deposited millions of dollars into an account. The board members and employees were ecstatic, and during the following days the bank was full of activity because of opportunities for loans and investments.
On Friday, right before closing, the man entered the bank and asked to withdraw all his millions of dollars.
Taken by surprise, the bank executives began scrambling to gather together funds to cover the massive withdrawal.
Early Monday morning the wealthy man entered the bank, and again deposited millions of dollars.
This time the bank was more reserved and cautious with the distribution of the funds and decided to wait and see what would transpire.
Sure enough, late Friday afternoon, the man walked in the bank and asked to withdraw all his money.
In frustration and desperation, the bank manager politely walked over to the man and asked him about his unusual weekly routine.
The man answered, “The reason why I withdraw all my money each weekend is to make sure that the bank does not lose sight or forget that the money really belongs to me!”
Rabbi Schwab explained that this is what G-d wants to us to achieve through the restful day of Shabbos. G-d tells us, “Six days a week amass your wealth and fortune. However, on the seventh day – the Shabbos, I want you to withdraw from all creative activities. If on the Shabbos you surrender your active management and control over what you accrued during the week, it will be a testament that all that you have gained during the week ultimately comes from Hashem our G-d.
Wishing you a restful, peaceful
and inspirational Shabbos!
Rabbi Dovid Saks