Monday, May 28, 2012

The Power of the Shabbos Table

Our sages teach two important halahchos regarding the shulchan. Firstly, the shulchan may only be inaugurated on Shabbos. In addition, the showbreads are also only sanctified if they are placed on the shulchan on Shabbos. Rav Shmuel Aharon Lider, shlit”a, learns a beautiful lesson from this. “We see from this that Shabbos is the time for us to sanctify and educate our children at the table. The best way to be mechanech and sanctify our children is through the zemiros that we sing and the divrei Torah that we say at the Shabbos table.” Rav Shach, zt”l, had a neighbor—a simple baal habayis who was not too learned—whose sons grew to all be exceptional masmidim and great talmidei chachamim. Rav Shach himself lived and breathed Torah all the time, yet his neighbor’s children appeared to surpass his own in certain ways as far as Torah study was concerned. Rav Shach himself commented on what seemed to him at the root of the distinction. “My neighbor spent a long time at the Shabbos table interacting with his children and singing zemiros. I, on the other hand, was always very engrossed in working through a difficult Rambam or some other intricate Torah argument. One should never underestimate the power of filling the children with a spirit of holiness through the simple singing of zemiros and speaking divrei Torah at their own level at the Shabbos table!”

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