Pearls of Rashi – Beshalach II

This week we read Parshas Beshalach. It tells us, among other miracles, Manna – Mon. This was food from heaven, which sustained the Jewish nation for the 40 years in the desert.

Each day every Jew would find his allotted amount; neither more nor less. No one was allowed to “put away Mon for a rainy day.” Each day they received the exact amount needed what they needed.

The only exception to this was Shabbos. Every Friday the Jews received a double portion of Mon; enough for Friday and Shabbos[1]. The Torah describes this as follows. Moshe told the Jews that[2] “See that Hashem has given you the Shabbos. Therefore, on the sixth day (Friday), He gives you Mon for two days. Each person should remain in his place; let no man leave his place on the seventh day.” Rashi cites the words “let no man leave, etc.” He writes that “these are the 2,000 cubits of the Sabbath limits.” This means that on Shabbos one may not travel 2,000 cubits outside of his place, i.e. outside of his city. In modern units of measure that is the equivalent of approximately 3,000 feet.

There is a spiritual explanation to the prohibition of going outside of the Techum – the limit of 2,000 cubits.

The Torah commands us that[3] “Six days may you work and perform all your labor.” There is a period of time, namely the six weekdays, that one may be occupied with mundane activities. During this time, one may perform acts which are not related directly to Torah and Mitzvos. The only condition is, that[4] “if you eat the toil of your hands, you are praiseworthy, and it is good for you.”

This means that during the time that one may be occupied with mundane toil, he may only do so with his hands. His head and heart must be occupied with Torah and Mitzvos.

When may our hands be involved with matters involving this world? This is only true during the weekdays. However, on Shabbos, which is totally dedicated to Torah and Mitzvos, obviously one’s hands may not be used for mundane matters. However, even one’s feet one may not be used for mundane purposes! This means to say that all of one’s faculties may only be immersed in Torah and Mitzvos.

May we learn from this to use our entire being purely for Torah matters.  This certainly true of Shabbos, but even throughout the week, our heart and brain must be immersed in Torah. In this manner, we will certainly bring Moshiach now!

Wishing one and all a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 11, Page 71

Mr. Shalom Moshe Hacohen ben Tzivia Cohen
May he have a complete and speedy recovery
* * *
לזכות אבינו
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן מרת צבי’ שי’ כהן
לרפואה שלימה וקרובה
יוצא לאור ע”י בני משפחתו שיחיו

[1]. That is why we recite a blessing over two loaves of bread, called Challah, on Shabbos.

[2]. Our Parshah, Shemos 16:29.

[3]. Parshas Yisro, Shemos 20:9.

[4]. Tehillim 128:4.

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