Drash Cards for Ki Tissa (5774, 2014)
by Marc Mangel
• Read VaShamru (Ch 31, v 16, 17)
• Context: If there was ever anything justifying working 7 days a week it was building of the Miskan. Rashi fills in v 13: (As anxious as you are to finish the Miskan)…observe my Shabbats
• Why? Shabbat is a covenant (brit) with God for all time. Nehama Lebowitz: the Shabbat of v 16, 17 belongs to all Israel. There is no Sabbath where the community does not welcome and make it.
• Shabbat is a covenant with God for all time. Why do we cease work? Because God rested. Not because God was tired or had nothing else to do (since God is continually creating the world with divine energy). There is a positive purpose in resting.
• Each of us needs to find that positive purpose for ourselves. Here are some hints
• Resting gives meaning to the work that preceded Shabbat; we rest not to get ready for the next week to reflect on what we did in the previous one
• Sefat Emet (R.Yehudah Leib Alter of Ger): Shabbat returns each thing to its root. We seek a tranquil rest — leaving one’s work behind should not be a burden, but rather we should create a Shabbat without constriction or confinement. In this way, we take Shabbat and draw it into all of our deeds throughout the next week.