Rav Avigdor Miller on The Two Aspects of Shabbos



In mussaf on Shabbos we say וגם האוהבים דבריה – And those who love her words, her things, will be rewarded. What is meant by דבריה?


Now we have to realize that there are two elements of Shabbos that Hakadosh Baruch Hu wants us to utilize.

The first is מענגיה and טועמיה, enjoying and tasting the Shabbos. That’s why when you walk by a store and you see there’s a window full of challos, beautiful challos for Shabbos, you should think like this. “כולם ישבעו – all frum Jews should be satiated, ויתענגו מטובך – they should all enjoy those challos.”

When you walk by a place and see people shopping for Shabbos, think “כולם ישבעו – Hakadosh Baruch Hu wants them to have a good time eating; pashut in gashmiyus.” Because hame’aneg es haShabbos, if you cause gashmiyusdike pleasure on Shabbos, you’re getting a tremendous reward.

But there’s another part to Shabbos. And that’s to enjoy the Shabbos itself. That’s דבריה. Because the pleasure that you have on Shabbos from eating all good things is meant to give you an inkling, a mashal, what a great happiness Shabbos itself is. Because Shabbos leaves over a kedushah on every Jew. Every Jew who keeps Shabbos is not the same after Shabbos is over – it leaves over something on you. An old Jew has more kedushah than a younger Jew because he went through more Shabbosos.

Of course if you’ll apply your mind to utilize the kedushah, if you ‘love its divareha, its lessons’ you’ll become more kadosh. The more you think about the great privilege of Shabbos, the more you gain. What does Shabbos say? ביני ובין בני ישראל אות היא לעולם. What an honor that is! With Hashem? Between Him and us? He’s the Melech of the whole universe. Who are we? Basar v’dam, flesh and blood. And still He has given us the privilege of a covenant with Him? That’s a great honor. There’s no greater honor in the world than that!

And so Shabbos has two parts, the gashmiyus and the ruchniyus. Now the gashmiyus is easier to accomplish, but it’s a still a big mitzvah and you get a tremendous reward. And the ruchniyus is a bigger mitzvah. When a person, in addition to eating pleasant meals on Shabbos, he also thinks of the great glory of what Shabbos means to the Jewish nation, then that person is going to gain much more.

If he’ll think that Shabbos celebrates that the world was made out of nothing, בדבר השם שמים נעשו – by the word of Hashem the heavens were made, וברוח פיו כל צבאם – by the wind of His mouth all the hosts of heaven came into being. לעולם השם דברך ניצב בשמים – Hashem, Your word stands in the heaven. You said, “Yehi” and that word stands in the heaven. And therefore הוא צוה ונבראו – He commanded and they were created. So the whole world came into being out of nothing. If he thinks about that, so he’s going to gain much more.

The fact is that science proves that, that the world came out of nothing. They have dug down at the bottom of the rocks, in the Cambrian rocks, and they have found that underneath the Cambrian rocks there is nothing at all. No signs of life at all. On top of the Cambrian rocks they find life, organized life. All of a sudden! With no in between! It should be gradual. One-celled animals, two-celled animals. No. All of a sudden on top of the Cambrian rocks, all kinds of animals. Underneath, no animals at all. Which proves conclusively that the world came into being suddenly, not by gradual steps. כי הוא אמר – He said, ויהי – and it came into being. Many scientists today recognize that fact.

And therefore when a person utilizes Shabbos for gashmiyus and ruchniyus, that person is fulfilling וגם האוהבים דבריה. If you love the things of Shabbos – besides the oneg of Shabbos, but the lesson of the Shabbos itself, then גדולה בחרו – you have chosen greatness.

TAPE # E-129 (February 12, 1998)