A Fast Shabbat

ואמר רבי אלעזר משום רבי יוסי בן זמרא כל היושב בתענית בשבת קורעין לו גזר דינו של שבעים שנה ואף על פי כן חוזרין ונפרעין ממנו דין עונג שבת מאי תקנתיה אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק ליתיב תעניתא לתעניתא: R. Eleazar also said in the name of R. Jose b. Zimra: If one keeps a fast on Sabbath,29 a decree of seventy years standing against him is annulled;30 yet all the same he is punished for neglecting to make the Sabbath a delight.   
(Brachot 31b)
For two years (5771, 5772) in a row Yom Kippur fell on Shabbat. Last year I had a tremendously hard time doing Yom Kippur on Shabbat. I really missed Shabbat that week. This year I was more prepared for it, but still, it's a challenge having your favorite day of the week, a day of rest, superceded by the hardest day of work in the world.

Last week I cam across this teaching and it made my day. For two years in a row the majority of the Jewish people fasted on Shabbat, one Shabbat in particular: Yom Kippur. And since we're required to fast on Yom Kippur, even if it falls on Shabbat, we aren't liable for the punishment mentioned above. 

HaShem made it such that for the past two years, the Jewish people (rubo k' kulo -- the whole follows the majority) were blessed with keeping the mitzvah to fast on Shabbat and all of the benefits that accompany it. (a total of 140 years of decrees against us annulled - as quoted above) 


May it be HaShem's will that these two Shabbat-Yom Kippurs we kept count as the Two Shabbatot necesary for the nation of Yisrael to keep in order to merit the redemption. In accordance with Chazal's teachings:
Rav Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai: "If Israel were to keep two Shabbatot according to the laws thereof, they would be redeemed immediately." 
(Shabbat 118b)


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