Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Shabbos M'ein Olam HaBah -- Mamash

At the end of the first siman on Shabbos (242), the Rema notes an interesting custom about which he has heard, but never seen anyone actually do it.  The minag he mentions (from the Maharil) is to serve "pashtida" for the Shabbos meal.  Pashtida is something like a meat pocket, covered above and below with dough and is "zecher l'mahn" - a memorial to the angelic food we ate in the midbar.  The memorial, of course, is because the mahn was found each morning covered above and below in dew.  Seems like quite a beautiful minhag and one wonders why we don't do it.

The Bi'ur Halacha, though, says that on the face of the matter, one is astounded by this minhag.  After all, he says, since the mahn did not actually fall on Shabbos, that would be the one day of the week not to server pashtida!  He notes the answer of Tosafos -- that since the mahn didn't fall, that's exactly why we need a memorial -- is a bit of a forced answer.  Moreover, if that were the explanation, then the custom should have extended to Yom Tov as well, since the mahn also didn't fall then.  Don't worry, the Bi'ur Halacha is not going to abandon us, he is merely whetting our appetite for the beautiful and fitting explanation brought by the Tosafos Shabbos.

There are really three Shabbosim: Shabbos B'reishis, the weekly Shabbos, and Shabbos l'Asid Lavo, the Shabbos of the future that is wholly Shabbos.  The Shabbos we celebrate weekly is really a testimony to Shabbos B'reishis to demonstrate to the world that we know the world has a Creator.  In addition, however, since Shabbos B'reishis itself is actually a model of the Shabbos l'Asid Lavo, we do several things that are also an echo of that future which is wholly Shabbos.  We have meat and fish in expectation of the main courses of that meal, the Livyason and "Shor Habar".  We have wine in expectation of the wine being preserved in grapes for the tzadikim at that s'uda.  Finally, Chazal have told us that one of the names of heaven is "sh'chakim" (grinders) because they are grinding mahn to serve to the tzadikim at that great s'uda of the future.  It comes out, then, that the pashtida is not a memorial of the mahn eaten in the midbar, but in expectation of that grand s'uda for tzadikim in the future, the time that is entirely Shabbos.

Seems like quite a beautiful minhag and one wonders why we don't do it.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…