The angels actually protested to Hashem against giving us Shabbat.
They said we wouldn't appreciate it properly.
And for the majority of our people today, the angels have unfortunately been proven right.
But there is still the priceless minority who DO appreciate Shabbat — and want to appreciate it even more!
How to REALLY Appreciate Shabbat
But if you can't?
In Parshat Vayakhel - Building the Shabbos Home, Rav Avigdor Miller emphasizes that it's similar to a diamond merchant who is seen carefully sweeping the dust off the floor under his work table.
Why is he doing such menial work and doing so with such care?
"This is diamond dust!" says the sweeping diamond merchant. “And therefore it’s worth my while to sit on my knees and collect dust that comes from diamonds.”
When we stand up in Shemoneh Esrei and in Kiddush and say [or hear someone else say], "Vayechulu haShamayim v'ha'aretz v'chol tzeva'am — The heavens and the earth and all their hosts were finished at the end of six days,” to our surprise it’s such an important declaration that the Gemara (Shabbos 119b) says: "B'sha'ah sheh omer 'Vayichulu' — “At that time when a person says Vayichulu, shnei malachei hasharet hamelavin lo l'adam, so two angels come — manichin yadeihem al rosho, and they put their hands on this man’s head. V'omrim lo, and they say to him, V'sar avonecha v'chotecha yechupar, Your iniquity will depart and your sins will be forgiven.”
What Came Before "Beresheit"?
"The Universe was created ex nihilo!"
"There was absolutely nothing before Hashem created the Universe!"
How many times have you heard all that?
Yet was does that really mean?
Rav Avigdor Miller explains:
Now this is a startling idea that has no equal; here the Torah tells us a statement which is so revolutionary that it has no equal in all the statements and writings since the beginning of time.
And never again will another statement be made that has the same impact.
And that is that Hashem created from nothing.
But when you say Vayichulu, you’re declaring that there were no building blocks in the beginning, that the world was created out of nothing. Before Bereishis, nothing existed. There was no Big Bang, and there was no Little Bang. There were no black holes and no explosions of stars.
There was nothing to explode. There was zero.
Nothing at all existed except for the ruach Elokim, the spirit of Hashem which pervaded all
space — I don’t want to say space because there was no space yet — but Hashem pervaded All.
There was only Hashem and nothing else.
Can You Really Imagine "Nothing"?
When completely blind people are asked, "What do you see? Do you see darkness? Black?"
"No," they answer. "I see nothing. Not even black."
That's interesting because seeing people often describe blind people as living in darkness, but the truth is, they don't because they don't perceive even darkness.
To a sighted person, blind people live in visual darkness. But that's not how a blind-from-birth person perceives it. They simply do not see.
So could a blind person imagine "nothing"?
But "nothing" includes an absences of sound, scent, and everything else.
We just cannot imagine.
Table of Contents
- how to REALLY keep Shabbat
- Hashem's "Imagination" & how it works
- how the science of matter has changed
- how dvar Hashem can be both energy & material
- how anger, anxiety, and excitement can harm one's physical eyes
- the effect of the weekday on one's mental & spiritual eyesight and how Shabbat heals this effect
- why saying Vayichulu last Shabbat can make the coming erev Shabbat more peaceful
- how Vayichulu is like a mini-Yom Kippur every week
- why being a frum cow is better than being a wicked cow, but how to avoid being a frum cow anyway
Parshat Vayakhel - Building the Shabbos Home
(All quotes used with permission from Toras Avigdor.)