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Shabbos is the Foundation of Our Relationship with Hashem-Mussar Introduction to Hilchos Shabbos- (Klal 1 Siman 1) Erev Shabbos- S0001  

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Shabbos is the Foundation of Our Relationship with Hashem-Mussar Introduction to Hilchos Shabbos- (Klal 1 Siman 1) Erev Shabbos- S0001  

 We are beginning Chayei Adam, Hilchos Shabbos. We will begin with a quick introduction to the sefer itself.

The Chayei Adam divides his sefer into chapters and paragraphs. The standard division in most seforim is to refer to chapters as simanim, and paragraphs as seifim. However, the Chayei Adam refers to his chapters as klalim and paragraphs as simanim. Although it can be a bit confusing, in deference to the Chayei Adam, we will follow his division. 

We are learning sefer Chayei Adam because the Chayei Adam has a very logical presentation of the halachos, as opposed to the Mishnah Berurah, which was written as a commentary to the Shulchan Aruch. The Shulchan Aruch itself will sometimes discuss an idea in multiple places, and one can only follow the Mishnah Berurah’s understanding by looking in all of those places. The Chayei Adam follows a much more logical progression. That being said, we are using the version of the Chayei Adam which includes the Piskei Mishnah Berurah, which adds the places where the Mishnah Berurah disagrees or adds to the points of the Chayei Adam, so we will add those as well.

 Generally, when the Chayei Adam begins a new topic, he begins with a few words of mussar, exhortation to follow the halachos properly. Today, we will learn his introduction, and tomorrow we will begin the halachos. 

The Chayei Adam writes that Shabbos Kodesh is the tremendously important sign that Hashem gave to Klal Yisroel as a covenant between us and Hashem. It serves to remind us that Hashem created the world in a six day process. Everything was included within those six days (notwithstanding that the exact definition of six days is not so well understood), and Shabbos was the seventh day upon which Hashem ceased from work. It is the foundation of our belief in Hashem to know that there is a creator and master who created all and is therefore the master of all. If so, we are bound to serve Him through every element of our existence, including our physical existence, our spiritual existence, and our items and property. When a person commits to keep Shabbos, they are reminding themselves and declaring that they are the servant of Hashem.

With this concept in mind, it is understandable that the Torah tells us 12 times that one must keep Shabbos. Furthermore, we can understand why Chazal tell us that one who keeps Shabbos is considered as though they have kept the entire Torah, and one who does not keep Shabbos is considered as though they have violated the entire Torah.

The Chofetz Chaim gives an analogy to understand this concept. If a person has a barbershop, they place a sign outside their store to make it clear that it is a barbershop. If the owner goes on vacation, even for a long time, as long as the sign is there, it is clear that they plan to come back and that the business is still theirs. Once they take down the sign, it is clear they have sold the business and moved on. As long as a person keeps Shabbos, even if they are not keeping other mitzvos, it is as though the “sign is still there”, and hopefully they will come back to keep the other mitzvos in due time. If a person does not keep Shabbos, it is akin to “taking the sign down” and it is clear they have moved on, chas veshalom. 

We recognize that Shabbos is the vehicle to remind us of our status in this world, that we are not the owners of the world, but rather subjects in the world who are here to serve our Creator. This concept is so important that if one does not keep it, it is as though they deny the foundation of the entire Torah, chas veshalom. 

With this introduction in mind, we will move on to the practical halachos of Shabbos beginning with the next shiur, be’ezras Hashem.


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