What’s pshat in the statement of Chazal that Moshiach won’t come on Erev Shabbos?
“Kvar muvtach la’hem l’Yisroel sh’ein Eliyahu bah b’erev shabbos.” [Eiruvin 43b] Eliyahu Ha’Navi won’t come to the Am Yisroel to be mi’vaser the good tidings of the Geulah on Erev Shabbos. Why not?
The reason is because the Shabbos is too important for us – for our growth – and we need time to prepare ma’adanim and ta’anugim for this most special day. We can’t have Eliyahu Ha’Navi interrupting such important preparations. The recognition of the chasdei Hashem and the da’as – the internalizing – of the concept of briyah yesh mei’ayin which is what Shabbos means to us, is so important that even the Geulah is delayed to teach us this lesson.
When you sit down on Shabbos to eat you’re thinking – you should be thinking – “bi’dvar Hashem shamayim na’asu” – all this came by the dvar Hashem. “Ki Hu amar va’yehi” – He spoke and it came into existence. While you’re eating you should be thinking these thoughts. It’s a geshmaka sugya. A geshmaka chulent. You’re eating and enjoying it. But don’t skip the thinking. Because Hashem wants you to learn this sugya with a cheishek.
And therefore, Eliyahu has no business interfering with that. It’s too important. So on Erev Shabbos he won’t come. It would spoil the lesson. And that lesson is so important that even Eliyahu Ha’Navi has to wait.
By the way, it’s a very important lesson and we should be sure to utilize that lesson. When we sit down to the seudah on Shabbos and we’re enjoying the ma’achalim we should be thinking – “Boruch Hashem, that He gave us the Shabbos.” What a great blessing the Shabbos is for the Am Yisroel. And among the blessings is “Ki os hee beinee u’veineichem.” The Shabbos is a special sign of recognition for the Am Yisroel. It’s a sign of kavod bestowed upon us by Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Suppose a man came over to you and gave you a gold medal to hand on your chest – you’d be very excited. You’d wear it every day – except for Shabbos when you can’t. Shabbos is a gold medal for us. And we’re so happy with it. And therefore you have to really enjoy the Shabbos and feel what a pleasure and kavod it is for the Am Yisroel.
“Ki os hee beinee u’veineichem.” And therefore Eliyahu Ha’Navi cannot come on Erev Shabbos and spoil the geshmakeit of that seudah.