Beshalach – A Bit of Heavan
Shabat is a wonderful time. Towards the end of a days work on Friday we stop working. No matter what we are in the middle of we should regard all of our work as if it is done. [This is a suggestion which is even in the Shulchan Aruch. (306)]
This is part of the Statement “Zecher Lema’aseh Bereshit – In memory of the act of creation.” Remembering the act of creation is important to us because it should make us realize that G-d runs the world. During the week we work very hard. We drive cars, purchase things, sell our wares. We feel as if we are making the world run. On Shabbat we sit back, relax and have a nice dinner. Incredible as it may seem, the world still turns without our intervention.
When we eat during the week we have to stop to answer the phone. Even if the phone does not ring the TV is probably blasting. During the week it is difficult to even think about the fact that G-d runs the world. On Shabbat with a little bit of quiet it is possible to think.
This is the lesson from the Mann which is given to B’nai Yisrael in our Perasha. B’nai Yisrael benefitted by being able to realize that G-d runs the world every day. They were told that each person should take a particular amount each day. Many did not listen and some took more while others took less. When they measured the Mann each one had the same amount. This was certainly an interesting way to see the hand of G-d.
They were told to eat it all up before the next day. Whoever did not listen found that worms had already eaten it. For Shabbat they were told to collect up twice the amount. Not only was there twice the amount of Mann every Friday morning but worms did not eat up the left-overs until Sunday. While in the desert they were able to see G-d’s work every day.
Zecher Lema’aseh Bereshit was really a constant part of their lives. Every day they had to rely on G-d to give them sustenance. They had to finish all of there food leaving nothing for tomorrow. On Friday they had to be bold and actually leave some over. They must have feared that the worms would eat their treasure.
They had to constantly rely on G-d just to eat every day. Although we do not live in the desert if we open our eyes we can see how G-d constantly helps us to live. This is one of the reasons we keep Shabbat.
On Shabbat when you kick back and relax you will see that your business does not go under. Keep it out of your mind and you can actually come closer to G-d.
Although our food has preservatives and worms will not generally get to our food by morning we can think about how G-d takes care of us constantly.
Chovot Halevavot was written in Spain about a thousand years ago. He said that we can see G-d’s great wisdom in the fact that G-d created air around us to breath. This is found all over the place. He created water in many places because we need it less than air. Food is needed even less than liquid so that requires a lot of preparation. If you think about these things daily you can come as close to G-d as the Jews who wandered in the wilderness.