Sunday, January 6, 2008

Feeling the Shabbos During the Week

The Avnei Nezer of Sochatchov zt”l taught that we are permitted to make havdalah up until, but not including, Wednesday, because the influence of Shabbos takes some time to subside. On Sunday, the highest neshamah level of the extra soul of Shabbos departs; on Monday, the level of ruach leaves, and it is followed on Tuesday by the lower level of nefesh. As long as there is still some remnant of the neshamah yeseira, the additional Shabbos soul, present—one may still make havdalah. But once it is gone completely, the opportunity is lost. Some people, however, are gifted to feel the light of Shabbos through the joy of mitzvos alone.

Once, Rav Chayim of Sanz zt”l was invited to a seudas mitzvah, and many other illustrious guests were in attendance. Among them was Rabbi Shimon of Yuroslav zt”l, one of the great students of the Chozeh of Lublin, zy”a. By that time, Rabbi Shimon of Yuroslav was very aged and could barely see. When he heard that Rav Chayim of Sanz had arrived, he stood up, approached him, and gave him a warm hug. “Shalom aleichem, Chayim—the light of my eyes!”

They spoke a few minutes more, when Rabbi Shimon suddenly interjected: “You must excuse me, my beloved Chayim, for calling you by your first name only instead of the “Rebbe Chayim” that you deserve. But my own Rebbe, the Chozeh of Lublin, would never use a title with anyone he really loved! I myself haven’t reached this level—except that I do attain a taste of it on Shabbos kodesh. Thank G-d, today’s simchah has lifted me up to the level of Shabbos, and so I couldn’t help but call you by your first name!”

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