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The Eternal Gift

By Rabbi Aharon Gabbay

“Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have sanctity, a day of complete rest to Hashem”.This is the commandment at the core of Am Yisrael, the backbone of our religion, the reason we all sit around our tables once a week. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, better known as the Chafetz Chaim says that the 248 positive Mitsvot that we are commanded, correspond to the 248 limbs in our body, to the extent that just like there are vital organs, there are also vital Mitsvot. One of these is Shabbat. But what is it that makes Shabbat so significant? What is it that makes us halt from all our mundane lives into a day of sanctity.

There once was an inventor who invited everyone to see his new machine that he was ready to launch. Hundreds of people gathered to see the new invention anxious to see what it does. When all the audience arrived, the inventor proceeded to switch the machine on. Lights began to flash and there was buzzing as a robotic arm protruded from the machine and reached over towards a big red button and pressed it firmly, and then returned the hand back to where it came from. One of the audience called out “what does the red button do?” The inventor replied with delight on his face “it turns the machine off.”

We go through our lives living day in day out: working, eating, sleeping, investing in time and money; but for what? Is it merely just to get through to next day until we turn ourselves off?

Every day we say the Bracha “you planted into us a life of eternity”. The Chafetz Chaim explains that since our body is physical and finite the only thing that can satiate it, is things that are physical and finite: food, drink, air. Our soul, on the other hand, is spiritual and eternal, therefore requires something spiritual and eternal to be satiated. So Hashem handed us the Torah and Mitsvot which are an endless opportunity for anyone to partake in a life full of wonders and happiness. However, the reward can only be justified in a spiritual world of eternity. So in our finite world, we work, eat, sleep and investA Promise is a Promise

time and money to build on ourselves and work to change who we are so that when we get to the eternal world, we can bathe in its glory.

“Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have sanctity, a day of complete rest to Hashem.The six days that we work are a build up to the seventh day, in contrast to the build up of our finite lives to the eternal world. Shabbat acts as a weekly reminder of the world to come. It is brought down in Halacha that it’s a mitzvah to bathe, cut nails, trim our hair and change all clothing in honour of Shabbat. We are supposed to feel the sensation of transition from one stage to another. The Medrash says that Shabbat was given as an ‘example’ of the next world. An example of purpose. An example of where we are coming from. An example of where we are heading to.

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