Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Sabbath is a Time of Joy

by R. Nachman of Breslov

When a person’s communication is complete, that corresponds to the Holy Tongue.

All human languages are incomplete and lack perfection, and are called “barbarous speech” (Isaiah 32:4).

Only the Holy Tongue possesses perfection. And the Holy Tongue is connected to the Sabbath. Thus, our Sages comment on the verse that includes the phrase, “and speak a word” (ibid.), which speaks of the Sabbath, “that a person’s speech on the Sabbath should not be the same as his weekday speech” (Shabbat 113).

Similarly, our sages state that the phrase “Thus shall you bless” (Numbers 6:23) means, “in the Holy Tongue” (Sotah 38). The Holy Tongue incorporates blessing and holiness, due to the fact that it is associated with the Sabbath, which is described as possessing blessing and holiness, as in the verse, “and He blessed … and He sanctified” (Genesis 2:3).

And so by means of the Holy Tongue a person is connected to the Sabbath.

Therefore, by means of perfecting one’s speech, which corresponds to the Holy Tongue, a person draws the joy of the Sabbath to the six days of the week.

The six weekdays are associated with depression, for “the angel Metat rules in the weekdays” (Tikunei Zohar 18, p. 33b), and Metat is a servant, which corresponds to depression.

But the Sabbath corresponds to a son, when “there is rest for those in heaven and those upon the earth.” Then joy is awoken. At that point, all of the commandments that a person performed during the six days of the week are raised and elevated from depression; instead, rest and joy are drawn onto them. This is alluded to by the verse, “A son was born and his name was called Noah, for it was said, ‘This one will comfort us from our deeds and from the weariness of our hands” (Genesis 5:28-29).

That corresponds to the Sabbath, which corresponds to the son, corresponding to Noach, “Rest (i) for those in heaven and those upon the earth” (see Tikun 70 at the end and Zohar Bereishit 58, 59), which comforts and gives joy to everyone instead of depression—thus, “this one will comfort us….”

When a person attains the level of the Holy Tongue, which is connected to the Sabbath, he draws down the holiness and joy of the Sabbath into the six days of the week.

Since the Holy Tongue is connected to the Sabbath, through it the joy of the Sabbath is drawn to the six days of the week. Thus, the verse states, “The Mighty One, God, Hashem, spoke.” The numerical value of this phrase in Hebrew (plus the number of words of which it is composed) is equal to that of the word, simchah, joy. By means of a perfect speech, which is the Holy Tongue, joy is drawn down.

Likutei Moharan II 2:5


shuki said...

reb nachman also discusses the word 'shabbat' has same letters as 'tshuva', if you are tshva, you are happy, nu?

Yaacov David Shulman said...

Works for me.
Yaacov Dovid

Menashe said...

Why should being a servant be linked with depression. As explained by the Rebbe Rashab (of Lubavitch) there is more than one level of servant. One level is the one that is forced to serve his master against his will. Naturally, this can be a depressive role. But a higher level of servant is one that recognizes the maila of his master and all the master does for him; thus he wants to serve him. This can lead to a servant that serves with joy. It is not on the level of "ben" yet but certainly it is not depressing!

Yaacov David Shulman said...

Hi Menashe,
Simply put, in a relative sense, being considered a servant instead of a son is something depressing. And toiling in the things of this world rather than simply receving Hashem's shefa is also, in a relative sense, something depressing. We might say that, relatively speaking, the joy of a servant is within a framework of depression.
Those are some thoughts that come to mind, any any rate.

Ben Bresky said...

Hi Yaacov,

I interviewed you at the Jewish Bloggers Conference. You can listen to it here:
Feel free to post it to your blog. Thanks!