Saturday, November 11, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitzah 16 - Remembering and anticipating Shabbos all week

From Shabbos: Taam HaChaim Vaeschanan 5766. For more inspirational thoughts on Shabbos and other topics, please visit
In this week’s parashah it is said: safeguard the Shabbos day to sanctify it, as HaShem your G-d has commanded you. The Torah here uses the word shamor, whereas in Parashas Yisro it is said: remember the Shabbos day to sanctify it. The Gemara states that both zachor and shamor were said by HaShem simultaneously. How are we meant to understand this enigmatic statement? Let us examine the meaning of the words zachor and shamor. Zachor means to remember. How does one remember the Shabbos? Shammai would remember the Shabbos by purchasing a nicer animal every day in honor of the Shabbos. When one takes action during the week for Shabbos, he is remembering the Shabbos. How does one fulfill shamor during the week? Shamor means to observe the Shabbos. How can one observe the Shabbos during the week? Another definition of shamor is to anticipate, as it is said: vaviv shamar es hadavar, and his father kept the matter in mind. One can anticipate the Shabbos during the week. Thus, zachor and shamor were mentioned in one utterance, because one can both remember and anticipate the Shabbos during the week. The reason the Gemara states that they were uttered simultaneously is to teach us that we must constantly talk about the Shabbos during the week so we will be properly prepared when Shabbos arrives.