seeking the new shabbath

A story following on the tail of this post about Shabbath Kodesh following us Jews into the exile:

Reb Zusha and Reb Elimelech, brothers, chassidic masters, and students of the Maggid of Mezrich, they were known to find themselves in the most unlikely of settings. This time, they wanted to know what made Shabbath so special, was it the Jews who celebrate it? or did Shabbath have something special all its own? Rather than dig into the books, or ask their Rebbe, they decided to experiment. They would go to the mikvah, get all dressed up and welcome in the Shabbath on wednesday.

Their research was very high, taking the lowest point of the week, furthest from Shabbath and connecting to the essence of Shabbath. According to one version of the story, their experience is so high, they worry that perhaps Shabbath is just what we make of it, but then they realize that Shabbath, the source of all berachot, actually permeates the whole week, it's so special, even this high revellation of it can be found in the day furthest from it. (How much more so in the fullness of its appointed time.)

I don't have time to dissect this as would be appropriate, suffice it to say that this story resonates very deeply with kiddush hachodesh, the sanctification of the New Month. In Likkutei Halachoth, Reb Natan explains that we look at the darkest moment of the month, for the first spark of the moon, to be the first to see it at the beginning of its return to its full glory. Similarly, Reb Zusha and Reb Elimelech's discovery of the first spark of Shabbath returning to its full glory must have been a tikkun on a level I can't even imagine.


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