INSIGHTS INTO THE DAILY DAF
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
When Rav Yirmeyah wanted to get up from learning in order to pray, Rebbi Zeira said about him, "When one turns his ear away from hearing Torah, his prayer is also an abomination" (Mishlei 28:9). This verse teaches that if a person stops learning Torah in order to pray, his prayers are not effective.
The VILNA GA'ON suggests another explanation for the verse. If a person does not want to listen to a Torah teaching because he has already heard that Torah already ("mi'Shmoa" meaning "Mipnei she'Shama"), so, too, Hash-m will not accept his prayers, measure for measure -- because He has already heard them!
QUESTION: The Gemara calls Shabbos a gift that Hash-m kept in His house of hidden treasures which He decided to give to the Jewish people. Where is Hash-m's "house of hidden treasures"? What does He keep there?
(a) The Gemara in Chagigah (12a) relates that the Divine light of Creation was hidden away for the righteous in the World to Come. However, the Midrash (Bereishis Rabah 11:2) teaches that this light appeared on the first Shabbos, for the benefit of Adam and Chavah. The Midrash adds that Shabbos was blessed with the Divine light: "'Hashem blessed the seventh day and sanctified it' (Bereishis 2:3) -- how did He bless it? With the Divine light...." We see from the Midrash that even though the Divine light was hidden away, Shabbos contains a quality of that light that may be experienced in this world.
The Gemara itself teaches that Shabbos is a "sampling (me'Ein) of what is destined for us in the World to Come" (Berachos 57b). Shabbos is considered "one sixtieth of the World to Come" -- it is a taste of the righteous will experience in the World to Come (ibid.). Perhaps the Gemara there is teaching the same lesson as the Midrash. Just as the light that Hash-m hid away from this world will shine and bathe the righteous in the World to Come, so, too, a glimpse of that Divine light shines and is palpable on Shabbos.
Perhaps this is what the Gemara here means when it says that Shabbos is one of the hidden ("Ganuz") treasures of Hash-m. Shabbos holds within it the key to experiencing the Divine light ("Or ha'Ganuz") in this world.
(b) How is the Divine light hidden in Shabbos? The BENEI YISASCHAR quotes sources in Kabalah and writes, "Where did Hash-m hide away the Divine light? He hid it away in the Torah" (Benei Yisaschar, Kislev #1). We can find that light even in this world, in the Torah. (See also Midrash Tanchuma, Parshas Noach #3.)
The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni #408) teaches that we must set aside time for Torah study on Shabbos. Shabbos was given in order for us to take advantage of our physical rest and involve ourselves with spiritual growth. Perhaps this is what the Midrash means when it says that the Divine light shines on Shabbos. Shabbos is the opportunity for the Divine light that emanates from the Torah to shine. (M. KORNFELD)