We have finished siman 1 and have a few points to clarify. The primary source for the halachos of the Chayei Adam in this siman are from the Ramban in Parshas Yisro. The Ramban adds a few other important points which we will discuss today.
The Ramban writes that the same way we count the days of the week to come to Shabbos, because the days of the week function as a way to remind us of the coming Shabbos, when we count months, we count based on Nissan in order to remind us of yetzias mitzrayim. A solar cycle arguably begins in the spring, but a lunar cycle has no specific beginning or end. Nevertheless, we know that we begin the counting of the months from the beginning of Nissan in order to remind us of yetzias mitzrayim.
Similarly, regarding the names of the months, we know that the Torah does not give names to the months, but rather calls them the first month, the second month, etc. We find some months named in Nach, but not with the names we currently use. The Ramban explains that these names came from Bavel. We use these names as a way to remember how we merited to leave Bavel and merited to build the second Beis Hamikdash. Again, we see how we use the months as a reminder of leaving Bavel, similar to counting days leading towards Shabbos
Another point the Ramban makes regarding counting the days towards Shabbos is that it is parallel to beis din counting shemitah cycles in order to reach yovel. Beis din would count seven shemitah cycles in order to get to the yovel. The Ramban writes that the same way beis din uses the vehicle of counting to generate the din of yovel, we do the same for Shabbos. The Ramban does not mean that if Klal Yisroel do not count the days of the week, there would be no Shabbos. The Gemara clearly says that Shabbos exists regardless of beis din (as opposed to Yom Tov, which is set up based on the beis din establishing the months). Rather, the Ramban means something similar to the halacha of a bechor.
A bechor is a first born animal which is inherently kadosh on its own, and has to be given as a korban. Nonetheless, the Gemara says that even though it is kadosh on its own, one should add kedusha by verbally stating that this animal should be kadosh. Apparently, the act of verbally speaking out the kedusha adds some level of kedusha to the animal. Similarly, the act of verbally stating and designating the days of the week towards Shabbos adds some level of kedusha to the week.
Similarly, the Ramban understands that the mitzvah of kiddush, which is included in the mitzvah of zachor es yom hashabbos lekadesho, generates and adds a level of kedusha to Shabbos. (We will see more about the Ramban’s opinion, and the Rambam’s disagreement, when we discuss kiddush, be’ezras Hashem.)
It is important to recognize that mitzvos tzrichos kavanah, one is only considered as having fulfilled this mitzvah if they had intent to fulfill the mitzvah. We will discuss this concept further in the upcoming shiur, be’ezras Hashem.
The Ramban understands that the concept of counting the days of the week as leading towards Shabbos is parallel to counting the months as a reminder of yetzias mitzrayim, the names of the months as a reminder of leaving Bavel, and counting the shemittah cycles in order to reach yovel.
The Ramban understands that even though Shabbos is inherently holy and exists regardless of our declarations, we add a level of kedusha to Shabbos by making statements related to the kedusha of Shabbos, such as the concepts we have learned in this siman.