Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, February 14, 2022

The Fourth Commandment – part 2  More On Shabbat

The commandment in Exodus 20:8(7 in the Hebrew Scriptures) is to Remember (Zachor) the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  The phrase “to keep it holy” is the translation of just one Hebrew word, “L’Kad’sho.”  “Kadosh” means “holy.”  The “L’” prefix means to/for/toward and the “O” sound at the end is a contraction of “Lo” (the “L” drops off) meaning “to or for Him.”  So then, this one word could also be translated as “for (the sake of) His holiness.”  Or perhaps, now that I think about it, an amplified version would be, “Keep the Sabbath day holy, as it will direct you toward His holiness.”

The same commandment is found in Deuteronomy 5:12 with one significant difference.  The first word is “Shamor” instead of “Zachor.”  Shamor is the same Shoresh as Shomair, meaning to keep/protect/defend/stand guard, over the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  On Friday night we sing “L’cha Dodi” (to you my beloved).  The first line of the first verse reads, “Shamor V’Zachor B’dibur Echad,” meaning “keep and remember, in one word.”  It is a reference to the two ways we are commanded concerning both remembering and keeping Shabbat.

However; the Shabbat is not introduced to us in the 10 Commandments.  We first hear about it in the creation story of Genesis.  The last 2 words of Genesis chapter 1 are “the sixth day” indicating the sixth day of creation was complete.  The next thing given to us is the first 3 verses of Genesis chapter 2.  This is the first description of the day of rest.  Genesis 2:1 So the heavens and the earth were completed along with their entire array. 2 God completed—on the seventh day—His work that He made, and He ceased—on the seventh day—from all His work that He made. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on it He ceased from all His work that God created for the purpose of preparing.

Shabbat is the sign of the Mosaic Covenant

We also get a good description of Shabbat in Exodus 31.  Here, I’ll quote it for you… The Lord is speaking… Exodus 31:16 “So Bnei-Yisrael is to keep the Shabbat, to observe the Shabbat throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and Bnei-Yisrael forever, for in six days Adonai made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased from work and rested.’”  We will sing this again in Hebrew (V’Shamru) this coming Shabbat at the beginning of the service.

The last Hebrew word in verse 17 is “VaYinafash,” which is commonly translated as He (God) rested or was refreshed.  But, that’s not the fullness of the meaning.  A “Nefesh” is a soul.  In resting on the 7th day, God didn’t rest, because He needed to, He wasn’t tired.  God rested to give us a gift.  God gave us Shabbat as weekly respite from the toil He already knew was coming our way.  In setting the 7th day aside, God gave the world a soul, something more than physical existence.

The refreshing that takes place on Shabbat transcends the physical and becomes spiritual.  It is rest on the holy 7th day that refreshes the soul and makes the struggle of the other six days worthwhile.  This is God’s blessing.  It’s His gift of the 7th day, a commanded day to value the creator of heaven and earth.

Yeshua is Lord of the Sabbath

Psalm 24 is a special part of the liturgy for Rosh Hashanah, but there is no greater holiday than the 7th day Sabbath.  It alone (every week) is the greatest of all.  Read the entire Psalm.  I’ll give you the last 2 verses here.  Psalm 24:9 Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, you everlasting doors: that the King of glory may come in. 10 “Who is this King of glory?” Adonai-Tzva’ot—He is the King of glory! Selah  Honor the Lord on Shabbat and be refreshed physically and spiritually.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 14-Feb-2022 13th of Adar I, 5782
Ex 31:18-33:11 2 Ki 7 Ps 119:49-72   Jn 12:1-25 (Heb 2)

Week 8
Memory Verse: Exodus 20:1 Then God spoke all these words saying, 2 “I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

36    2/14     Monday:         Exodus 19-20
37    2/15     Tuesday:        Exodus 24-25
38    2/16     Wednesday:   Exodus 26-27
39    2/17     Thursday:       Exodus 28-29
40    2/18     Friday:            Exodus 30-31