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Why do we observe the Shabbat?


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Rabbi Shlomo Chein: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?

Rosie: hi.. i'm 14 years old and i was wondering why we obserbe the Shabbos [Ed. note: Shabbat]?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: In the Aseres Hadibros [Ten commandments] there are two reasons given for Shabbos. Once it says to keep Shabbos becuase G-d created the world in six days and rested on the 7th, and the second time it says to keep Shabbos because Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim [Egypt]. These two different episodes tell us one tremendously important thing:

Rosie: k..

Rosie: (just as a side question how does shabbas and miztrayim connect?)

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: (that is not a side question - that is what we are getting to :-)

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: tell me, do you ever go on trips?

Rosie: yes

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: have you ever gone somewhere and seen an artist at work - or a sculpturer or carpenter etc.?

Rosie: ya..tzfat [Safed]

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: kewl - that is a beautiful city!

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: so did you get to watch any of the artist or craftsman make their stuff?

Rosie: ya!!! :)

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: did you notice how much attention they pay to their work?

Rosie: yup

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: and did they produce nice pieces of work?

Rosie: yes

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: were you impressed?

Rosie: yes

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: did you like Tzfat in general...all the mountains and hills?

Rosie: loved it!!!!! if it were up to me i would live there! (or at least somewhere in israel)

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: fantastic - maybe one day :-)

Rosie: :)

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: have you ever been to the ocean, or seen waterfalls

Rosie: yes

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: where?

Rosie: by the beach and in xxxxxxxxxx and in israel and in xxxxxxxxxxx

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: what is your favorite natural site you've seen?

Rosie: ein gedi

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: nice! I have been there too - loved it...

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: the world is one fantastic piece of art! Isn't it?

Rosie: ya..

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: and of course you know who the artist is ;-)

Rosie: yup

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: so G-d must be very busy concetrating on His beautiful masterpiece

Rosie: right..but it's not like it takes very much effort on His part

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: well true - for G-d is infinite, but it is of course impressive to look at all his magnificent work - deserts, mountains, oceans, rivers, canyons etc.

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: in other words, G-d is a very "High End" artist - he creates the most fantastic and sophisticated art

Rosie: right

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: ok... now let's get back to Shabbos.

Rosie: k...

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: at the beginning of Shabbos, and then again Shabbos morning one should sit down in a quite spot for a few moments and think of the two reasons we keep Shabbos... First, because G-d created the world... meaning you sit down and picture all the beautiful things in the world, all the oceans and beaches, mountains and valleys, hills and canyons etc. plus the sophistication of the world, how little seeds turn into big trees, and tiny ants know how to build big nests, and of course the sophistication of having babies... you think about this "art" and you take a moment to remember the artist!

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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Shabbat » A Day of Rest

(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
"The Name." Out of respect, we do not explicitly mention G-d's name, unless in the course of prayer. Instead, "Hashem" is substituted.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.