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Olelot Ephraim: Shabbat III: World to Come

The 7th of Iyar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Shlomo Ephraim of Luntchitz, author of Kli Yakar and Olelot Ephraim: Observance of Shabbat is the foundation of three principles, past, present, and future: Of the past; God’s creation of the world. In the future; the World to Come. In the present; Torah study.


We explained Shabbat as reaffirming our faith in God’s existence and His creation of the world as expressed in the law of walking differently on Shabbat, and represented by Kiddush. (See “Olelot Ephraim: Shabbat I: The Past: God’s Existence & The Creation”) We also explained the laws regarding speech on Shabbat as expressing our connection to Torah. (See “Olelot Ephraim: Shabbat II: Present: Torah”)

World to Come:

“And you honor it,” that your Sabbath garments should not be like your weekday garments, as Rabbi Yochanan called his garments ‘My honorers.’

Although the Talmud addresses physical clothing, when it adds Rabbi Yochanan’s reflections, it is teaching us that the emphasis is not on our physical clothing, but our internal dignity. A corrupt person may wear expensive and elaborate clothes, but they will not add any dignity to his person.

Our actions are our garments, “At all times, your garments should be (clean and) white.” As the verse says, “See, I have removed your iniquity from upon you and dressed you with clean attire (Zechariah 3:4).” The verse says, “I donned righteousness, and it suited me; my justice was like a cloak and headdress (Job 29:14).”

The instruction to change our garments for Shabbat, echoes that of Jacob to his children, “Discard the alien gods that are in your midst; cleanse your selves and change your clothes,” and in that merit, “Let us go to Bet El (Genesis 35:2-3).”

“Rabbi Chiyya bar Yoseph further stated: The just in the time to come will rise apparelled in their own clothes. This is deduced from a grain of wheat; If a grain of wheat that is buried naked sprouts up with many coverings how much more so the just who are buried in their shrouds (Ketubot 111b).”

Shabbat clothes remind us to remember the garments we will wear in the World to Come; the clothes reflection our actions and attributes.

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