Friday, August 6, 2010

Pre Shabbos Thought: The Neshama Yeseira - You don't know what you got 'til it's gone

The famous Passuk in Shemos says in regards to Shabbos, “U’Vayom HaShivi’I, Shavas VaYinafash.” ‘And then on the seventh day (Hashem) came to a still and rested.’

We know that on Shabbos Kodesh we receive an extra soul, a Neshama Yeseira – a facilitation for greater spirituality. The Gemara in Beiya (15:a) ties the aforementioned Passuk into this concept of Neshama Yeseira. “VaYinafsh? Oy She’avda Nefesh” What does the word ‘VaYinafash’ make you think? Oy, how terrible it is that we lose the Neshama Yeseira when Shabbos leaves!

The Sfas Emes in this weeks Parsha raises a famous question of the Baal Shem Tov about this Gemara: This Passuk of “U’Vayom HaShivi’I, Shavas VaYinafash” is a reference to how Shabbos started, not only that, but we say it on Friday night as Shabbos enters, why then does the Gemara use it as a springboard to start worrying about what happens when Shabbos ends?!

He answers by saying that if a person knows throughout Shabbos that the boosted spiritual enlightenment that is available to him is only a limited time offer, then he will do his best to take advantage of it the whole time – because after all, soon it’ll be gone! Therefore the Gemara gets us worrying about the loss of the Neshama Yeseira just as soon as we get it.

B’Ezras Hashem we should be Zoche to truly take advantage of our Neshama Yeseira this, and every Shabbos Kodesh!

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