Shabbath Kodesh and the Torah of the exile

I read a beautiful Shlomo (Carlebach) story, which he told about his father. He mentioned that Yaakov avinu passed on everything he learned to Yosef, his son. What did Yaakov learn from Shem and Ever? The Ishbitzer Rebbe explains that Shem had lived during the destruction of the physical world (the flood), whereas Ever had lived during the destruction of the spiritual world (the tower of babel). From them Yaakov first learned the Torah of living in Eretz Yisrael. Then he returned before he left Israel, to learn the Torah of living in exile. Reb Shlomo explains that only really special teachers were worthy to teach the second Torah, the Torah of Exile.

It makes me happy knowing that growing up, watching my father, I learned from him the Torah of Exile, and more importantly to me, the Torah of living in Eretz Yisrael. I needed to be here, in my home, in Israel. It was torture being in chutz la'aretz. I don't know what it was about me.

When I return to the States to visit, I notice how dark everything is indoors. Here the light is so much more revealed. There, when I enter the home of a Jew on Shabbath, the light that can be found is such a happy surprise, such a comfort. Shabbath stays with us throughout the exile, like the Shechinah.

The Talmud teaches that Bnei Yisrael is the counterpart, the zivug, of Shabbath. Normally I would assume that Bnei Yisrael plays the male role, but in this case, I think the passuk, על כן יעזב איש את אביו ואת אמו וידבק באישתו ויהיו לבשר אחד-therefore will a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife and they will become a single flesh, is talking about the way Shabbath cleaves to us, even in exile. Wherever there is a Jew, there you will find Shabbath.

Even when a Jew is so lost that he is not only far from his holy land, but also doesn't even know what day of the week it is, he must count seven days and observe the Shabbath. No matter how lost we may be, the Shabbath never abandons us.

The, Shlomo Carlebach also relates that the Baal Shem Tov said that a true Hassid always has with him a candle, wine, and bread for Shabbath:
The Baal Shem Tov quoted a passage from the Torah. When Moses spoke to us about going into the desert he said "tachin lekha haderekh, prepare for yourself the way." TaChIN has the initials of tfillin, kikar, yayin and ner. (Tav, chaf, yud, nun.) To prepare yourself for the way means that wherever you go, take your tfillin, a little bread, wine for kiddush and a candle. Real Chassidim always have a little bottle of wine for Shabbos, a little challah, two candles and their tfillin with them all the time, wherever they go.
A real Hassid knows that Shabbath is with him wherever he goes, and wouldn't abandon Shabbath for anything. This is the relationship between the Jews and Shabbath. They cleave to eachother and become one flesh.

[Updated: i noticed this wasn't tagged Shabbath]


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