Friday, April 4, 2008

Night and Day

Rav Tzaddok HaKohen zt”l explains a difference between Shabbos night and the following morning. Although the main preparation that we do to receive the holiness of Shabbos is when it enters at night, we still must accord special honor to the daytime. Daytime is when the sanctity of the day that comes from Above descends in its fullness, so it is fitting that if we have a special food item that suffices for only one meal, it should be reserved for the morning meal. The Ariza”l taught that the kedushah elyonah, the highest holiness, comes during the daytime—but the only way we can internalize it is by making our efforts to sanctify ourselves when Shabbos comes in the evening before.

Two brothers stood humbly before the great Maggid of Mezritch zt”l: the tzaddikim who were later to be known as Rebbe Shmelke of Nikolsburg, and Rebbe Pinchas of Frankfort. They begged the Maggid to teach them the path of serving Hashem.

The Maggid responded by asking the brothers a question.

“When a man puts the tefillin on his arm, he makes the blessing: Who sanctified us with His mitzvos… But the man’s heart is completely blocked-up, and he doesn’t feel any sanctity, any elevation, when he does the mitzvah at all! How can he have the nerve to continue and put the tefillin on his head right away, even though he doesn’t feel any holiness?”

The brothers stood wondering, waiting for the answer.

“Come with me, and I will teach you how to feel the kedushah, and how to bring it into the depths of your hearts…”

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