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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.


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