two is really just one

Keeping two Shabbatot is a famous issue, the Talmud said (almost a thousand years ago) that if (all) Bnei Yisrael would keep two (consecutive) Shabbatot, they would immediately be redeemed and the exile would be brought to an end.

Seeing as how almost a thousand years have passed and that hasn't happened yet, it's not as easy as it seems.

There have been many explanations of exactly what Two Shabbatot mean. Here I will bring down a brief version of the Maor Eynayim's explanation.

The Maor Eynayim, as we've mentioned in a number of posts recently, [1] [2] [3] explains that Shabbath observance has two major components, Shabbath itself, and the six days of the week preceding the Shabbath. If we don't put in the effort on the six workdays, we can't connect to the essential nature of Shabbath on the seventh day.

What kind of effort are we talking about? Performing our actions with emunah or certain faith in God's complete dominion over the world around us. Everything we do during the week, from the most mundane to the most spiritual, it all needs to be performed with equal devotion to God, recognising that God equally fills all the world with His Light. This recognition mean honesty in business dealings, compassion and empathy in relationships, selflessness in lending and charity, prayer in earnest, eating pragmatically to gain strength to serve your creator.

Basically devoting all of one's time and energy that is un-proscribed already in particular mitzwoth to the recognition and revellation of God through your True piety. We are not talking about acting in a manner which seems holy, we are talking about true dedication to the reality of something bigger than yourself.

This is the first Shabbath, this is the body, or the vessel.

The second Shabbath, is the observance of Shabbath itself, witholding from all the forebidden activities (the 39 melachoth and their derivatives) and internalizing the next deeper level-That not only does God permeate everything and everywhere, but that he will actually provide for all your needs on Shabbath. This complete and utter relinquishment of all your basic needs in light of your faith in God allows you to receive the infinite light of Shabbath.

This is the second of the two Shabbatoth, this is the soul within the body, or the light within the vessel.

We see from the Maor Eynayim, that through one properly observed seven-day week, we can attain the redemption.

May it be speedily in our days.


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