Pinchas 589 – 591
On Shabbat the Shechina ascends to Binah that brings down the ‘Life’ of the Tree of Life’. Below Binah, we have the seven Sefirot that represent the process and the world of Tikkun, which is the work of fulfilling our purpose in life. Shabbat is a rest because it provides a ‘break’ from the working days and gives us opportunity to draw life energy from the Binah. Binah is the supernal mother that sustains the existence of everything below her level.
When we receive the extra soul on Shabbat, Binah spreads throughout the lower levels and becomes the aspect of the Red Heifer (Numbers 19:2) “פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה תְּמִימָה אֲשֶׁר אֵין-בָּהּ מוּם” “Red heifer, faultless, wherein is no blemish”
Numbers 1:51 “וְהַזָּר הַקָּרֵב, יוּמָת” “and the ‘foreigner’ that comes closer (to the Holy) shall be put to death.”
In the description of how to handle the Tabernacle by the Levites it said that those who are not close to the Holy Tabernacle, like the Priests and the Levites, may not come close because they will be put to death.
The Light from the Holy tabernacle was so great that if a person did not have the proper vessel, he would die. It was so extreme that even if the high priest didn’t have the necessary purity to channel the light to the world on Yom Kippur, he would die.
“וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם, אֶת-הַשַּׁבָּת, כִּי קֹדֶשׁ הִוא, לָכֶם; מְחַלְלֶיהָ, מוֹת יוּמָת–כִּי כָּל-הָעֹשֶׂה בָהּ מְלָאכָה, וְנִכְרְתָה הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא מִקֶּרֶב עַמֶּיהָ”
“‘Observe the day of Shabbat because it is holy to you. Whoever treats it like any other day will be put to death. Whoever works on that day must be excluded from the people”
We know that people who treat the Shabbat as regular day don’t die so why does the Torah use this term? We can understand the term ‘death’ in the Torah by studying the first time this word appears in it. It is in Genesis 2:17 when God tells Adam that he will ‘surely die’ if he eats from the Tree of Knowledge. Adam and Eve did not die after ‘eating’ from the Tree of Knowledge. Adam actually lived 930 years!
The explanation is that the aspect of death in the Torah is related to the soul and its process. Death is not about the end of a physical body but about the limitations that the soul may have to accept on itself when disconnected from the Light that provides Life for her.
Another lesson we learn here is that when we connect to the Light, especially on Shabbat, the Klipot has no influence on us. Obviously there are different levels between full and no control but to achieve more of it in the level of Malchut we need to increase the size of our vessel and its ability to hold light.
How to keep Shabbat?
Those who are born as Jews already know a lot about it. For those who are not Jews but have Israelite souls, I suggest the following avoidance to have better connection to the light of Shabbat;
Do not set fire on Shabbat (no smoking). Prepare food before Shabbat and use a warming plate or preheated oven for that purpose (safety first!!!). If you don’t cook and your community offers Shabbat meals, join them and avoid cooking at home.
Better to eat cold food than cook on Shabbat. Preparing a cold meal is not in the frame of ‘work’.
Fire transforms everything in its area and it creates a ‘work’ that should be avoided on Shabbat. If we start it on Shabbat we create a major disconnection as it goes against the ‘rest’ aspect.
Close your business on Shabbat. If you provide special and important services to people then let others do it on Shabbat.
Do not make your ‘to do’ lists on Shabbat. If a business idea ‘pops’ into your mind then thank the Light for the gift and follow on it after Shabbat.
Do not talk business with people on Shabbat. If you are asked about your work you may hand a business card and ask them to contact you after Shabbat.
The main idea is not to go into a process of creating NEW things. We should rest to let the light in. Shabbat is like a gas station that opens only on Shabbat. Doing work is like leaving the gas station without refueling. Living long and easy life for 100 years without the light of Shabbat means that the person did not expand his soul and may not inherit the merit of the Final Redemption, which is the ultimate aspect of death and the aspect of ‘excluded form the people’ of the verse above.
Spiritual connections are very important on Shabbat as well as three meals and Zohar study. Shabbat afternoon has the highest level of Shabbat light and this time should be dedicated to the Zohar. Binah is in the level of ‘thousands’ so the benefit of every study is multiplied by thousands.
If you are busy during the week and can’t catch up with the Daily Zohar, print it and study it during Shabbat.
The greeting of ‘Shabbat Shalom’ literally means ‘Peaceful Shabbat’ that refers to the ‘rest’ aspect of Shabbat. The word ‘Shalom’ comes from the root of ‘whole’ and ‘complete’. It is also the root for the word ‘תשלום’ that means ‘payment’, ‘reward’. On Shabbat we are rewarded with the Light that fills our vessel that we worked on during the six working days.