Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spirit of the Law, Chapter 72:23

23) One should check through his garments Erev Shabbos to ensure that he did not inadvertently leave something muktzeh, forbidden on Shabbos, in his pockets.

The Mekor Chaim explains that Erev Shabbos can refer to the time before one leaves the physical world since Shabbos is likened to the next world. In this context our halacha teaches that one should do a careful moral inventory a day before he dies.

This accounting must include every limb, like that of Chizkiyahu Hamelech who said to Hashem, “I have looked over every limb and have not found any with which I have angered You.” This is our mitzvah the day before we leave the world.

Our sages teach us that one should always carefully check his deeds, y'mashmesh b’maasav. They use this same language when discussing searching through one’s pockets before Shabbos—y’mashmesh—to teach the connection between the two.

But as Rabbi Eliezer teaches, since we do not know what day we will leave the world, we should be involved in teshuvah every day. This is especially true regarding the day before Shabbos, since we are expected to bear witness that Hashem created the world. How can we be considered a proper witness when our actions during the week seem to declare the opposite of our testimony, chas v’shalom?

Even if one finds that he has blemished with every limb he must never give up since “Hashem is not a tyrant.” Rav Nosson of Breslov teaches regarding this: even a person who has violated the entire Torah eight hundred times can still do teshuvah and rectify everything. Yet, we must at least make a special effort to repent before we declare Hashem the Creator on this holy day.

We must do our utmost to cast away any behavior or “baggage” which we would not want to have with us in the next world.

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