“The Israelites must guard the Sabbath, establishing the Sabbath throughout the generations as an everlasting covenant.” (31:6)

The phraseology of the passage implies that there are two dimensions to the Sabbath: One is that we are intended to “guard” (or “protect”) and another that we are intended to “establish” (or “make”).

The Sabbath is intrinsically holy, inasmuch as G-d sanctified it when He created our world. Our task with respect to this intrinsic holiness is simply to “protect” it, that is, be careful not to counteract or sabotage it. This we do by not performing forbidden types of work, and, more subtly, by aligning our demeanour with the holy character of the day.

Beyond this however, we can also infuse additional holiness into the Sabbath, over and above its own, intrinsic holiness. We do this by studying Torah, praying, or performing acts of kindness to a greater extent or more intensely than usual. In this way, we also “make” the Sabbath holier than it is and of itself.

With heartfelt prayers for the safety and security of our IDF soldiers and the speedy release and return of our hostages to their families embrace, with  long term security for the whole of the people of Israel.

Wishing you a meaningful Shabbat and a successful week to follow.