Kiddushes Hayom
Rivka Olenick
"You shall observe My Sabbath, and reverence My sanctuary, I am the Lord." Leviticus 19:30
The Jewish people are the one and only people that God in his mercy took out of Egypt and freed. God gave us the Sabbath to proclaim to the world His dominion and it is only through the service of God that we are truly free. We demonstrate to the world that mankind is only free when we subordinate ourselves to the will of God. The observance of the Sabbath symbolizes this freedom to serve God, which is the theme of the Sabbath. By living only according to His will God gave man the gift of dominion over the earth, and so man continuously takes from the earth what is needed to sustain life. He rules the animals and protects the plant life so that he can partake of both and enjoy his existence. However, on the holy Sabbath day, the kiddushis hayom, man takes nothing from the earth or the animals. On this holy day man acknowledges that everything on the earth belongs to God that whatever he has taken he has borrowed. The Sabbath reinforces the idea that since everything belongs to God and comes from God, we realize God's ultimate authority over the universe.
Everything that we buy and use to prepare for the Sabbath and everything we set aside to wear is all for the purpose of sanctifying God's name on the Sabbath. In Synagogue we involve ourselves in tefila and in the worship of God. We mark this day specifically to restore ourselves physically and spiritually and at the same time we claim that God is the Master of the Universe. Through our mind and our heart we immerse ourselves in the holiness of the day that God designated for us and we recognize that He has given us the greatest gift! We recognize that this gift can elevate us when we engage in learning for its own sake and we invest in our own perfection. reverence to My sanctuary A sanctuary is a place designated for worship and service of God. The Sabbath is that sanctuary given to us by God and exists within a specific time frame, and that "place" is recreated every seventh day. It is logical to say that a person who does not observe the sanctuary of the Sabbath does not recognize or respect God's position as the Creator and Master of the universe. This person believes that everything they have they've gained because of their own skill and intelligence and denies the input of the hand of God. Since God does not exist physically a person cannot relate to God's authority of the physical world. At the same time this person shows us that arrogance and ignorance are the easiest traps to fall into. The person cannot avoid thinking that there must be a Creator of the universe but he denies God and believes he alone makes his life successful, not God. However, no blessing or benefit will come from this. Only by keeping to "My sanctuary" that which God has willed for us through the Sabbath will there be happiness and fortune. Of course, when this person's life becomes complicated or if tragedy occurs, he/she will immediately ask: "Why is God doing this to me? Where is God when I need help?" The livelihood a person thinks he will miss out on isn't really a true livelihood. If one life lacks true purpose then there is no real fulfillment from ones' livelihood, the person is living life as a hedonist and life becomes a life of endless frustration. God proves that it is He who is the ultimate provider of our livelihood when He gave a double portion of manna on the sixth day to provide what was needed for both days. How perfect is the Creator?!
God has provided us with this Sabbath day on which we can elevate our soul and renew our covenant so to speak. Chazal describe this elevated state of the soul by saying that the Sabbath provides the Jew with an "extra soul or a "super soul." We dedicate ourselves especially to His service and on every Sabbath He rejuvenates our soul and gives our lives meaning and fulfillment. So the Sabbath is a recurring time of holiness and elevation. It is the time when we are asked to refrain from all of our daily tasks and work. We withdraw from our need for security from the physical world, which enslaves us and we redirect our energies to the Creator. How great is it to be free to serve God?!

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