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Shabbat Prayers: Guarding The Moment

“And the Children of Israel shall keep the Shabbat, to make the Shabbat.” (Exodus 31:16) The phrase ‘making the Shabbat’ parallels, “He had abstained from all His work which God created to make.” (Genesis 2:3)

The sanctity of Shabbat is set and remains steady, just as the days of the week are set. The Festivals are determined by the month, which is declared by Israel. We imbue the festivals with holiness. The sanctity of Shabbat is independent.

This difference between days and months, and Shabbat and festivals, is only temporary. In the Future World even the days of the week will be determined by Israel. The sanctity of Shabbat will be ‘made’ by people. This is the deeper meaning of “God created to make,” that we will even have the ability to shape the days of the week.

When we recite “to make the Shabbat,” we set our sights on that stage of our existence. We guard that moment – “V’shamru” – as the word ‘shamar’ means when the verse describes Jacob as, “v’aviv shamar et hadavar” – “and his father kept that moment in mind.”

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