Why isn’t a goy allowed to keep Shabbos? Since Shabbos is zecher l’maaseh breishis, it’s a memorial to the creation of the world, so it should be for everybody?
And the answer is that sometimes there are dignities, there are credentials and honors, that cannot be given to everybody. And I’ll explain that.
Here’s a man who would like to be helpful to humankind. He wants to help people when they’re in trouble and he wants to heal them and to give them advice, so he hangs out a sign on his front lawn so anybody who is ill should come in to him for treatment. You can be sure that he’s going to be visited by the police. They’ll say, “Do you have a medical license? You’re dispensing prescriptions and giving counsel in a matter for which you’re not qualified.” He’ll be arrested. You neeed a diploma to do such a thing.
Now, to speak about the creation of the world from nothing – which is the foundation of Shabbos – you must be a person with credentials. Of course, it’s possible for everybody to believe in a Creator – and everybody should – but to teach it by the example of keeping Shabbos, that’s a special form of preaching. ביני ובין בני ישראל אות היא לעולם – Only between Me and the Am Yisroel do we have this sign. Hakodosh Boruch Hu says, “You have credentials because you are the teachers of the world. You’re a Mamleches Kohanim and a goy kadosh.” Kohanim means teachers. Hashem says to us, “I have chosen you for that purpose. Therefore, you are the ones who will demonstrate to the world by your Shabbos the important principle of ma’aseh bereishis.”
The world can talk about it, surely! But that a gentile should assume the mantle of authority of Shabbos and enter into the sanctuary of the Shabbos?! No! They’re not qualified to do it. Only certain people have been given this privilege.
You can ask the same question: In the Beis Hamikdash why shouldn’t any sincere Jew come in and offer korbanos? Why only kohanim? Let any Jew who wants to serve Hashem come in and offer korbanos. If he would, he has to die. הזר הקרב יומת – If a non-Kohen approaches, יומת – he’s chayav misah bidei Shomayim. Only certain people are qualified to do certain functions.
And therefore, the practice of Shabbos which is a form of demonstration – it’s a professional demonstration in the belief of בריאת העולם יש מאין — it’s only for the Jewish people who are qualified to do it. Gentiles can learn and they can believe and they can talk about it too, but to keep Shabbos, that form of demonstration is limited only to those who have that privilege.
Now that has to be explained more, but we’ll take another question now.
TAPE # 628