Parshat Ki Tisa
The Light of Shabbat
We’ve all been consumed by things in life that require the attention of our every hour. When we have projects with deadlines that need to be met, we will work through the night and the next day to make it happen. During the construction of the Tabernacle, the first “home for G-d” on this earth, we are reminded of the commandment to keep Shabbat and not work on the seventh day of the week. Even the building of G-d’s home doesn’t supersede the commandment to rest on the Shabbat.
Shabbat is arguably the glue which has held our people together as we’ve been tossed through the tumult of exile. As we’ve moved from land to land and survived attempt after attempt of people trying to annihilate us, we’ve kept Shabbat. Today Jews all over the world sit around their Shabbat tables with family and friends continuing this beautiful tradition.
Shabbat begins when the women of the house light the “Shabbat Candles”. This is the moment of transition from mundane to holy and from physical to spiritual. The practical reason for lighting the candles was to illuminate the house so that people could enjoy the evening without worry. However the deeper meaning to these candles was to bring the light of Shabbat into the home. Light is energy, and a candle or fire is almost more of the spiritual than the physical.
Every week we get to bring the light of Shabbat into our homes. Once a week we have the opportunity to fill our homes with a great spiritual energy. Just think about it – if we put “building G-d’s home”, the place where G-d would “dwell” on earth, on hold in order to bring in the Shabbat energy, then the Shabbat energy must be that much greater than the divine manifestation of the Tabernacle.
When we put our day on hold and light the candles, we too will be embraced by a warmth and energy that is truly “otherworldly”. This light will help us rise above the mundane and transport us into Shabbat.