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Shabbat Themes: Rashbi: The Very Highest

Rabbi Shimon taught: “It is written, “And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and from one Shabbat to another (Isaiah 61:23).” Why is Rosh Chodesh put side by side with Shabbat?


Because both are of one grade, being the time when one is joined to the other. On Shabbat there is joy and an additional soul, because the Ancient One reveals Himself and the wedlock is prepared. So, too, at the renewal of the moon, because the sun illuminates her with the joyful light of the Ancient One above. Therefore the offering of Rosh Chodesh is an atonement above.

It is written, “The burnt offering of Shabbat beside –  al – the continual burnt offering (Bamidbar 28:10).” The word al here signifies that the thought should be directed to the Very Highest more than on other days. Similarly it is written, “And Chanah prayed to – al – God (I Samuel 1:19),” because children depend upon the highest mazal, as we have pointed out.

“Cast your burden – al – upon God (Psalms 55:23),” because food also depends on Mazal. (Zohar III, Acharei Mot 79b)

Shabbat is our opportunity to access the Very Highest, Who controls and influences all the forces of creation, including Mazal. We use Mussaf to focus on the Very Highest, Lechem Mishne to pray for blessing of our food, and the Friday night blessing of the children to pray for them.

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