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Shabbos 10

When Rav Yirmiyah wanted to get up from learning in order to go Daven, Rebbi Zeira said about him, "When one turns his ear away from hearing Torah, his prayer is also an abomination" (Mishlei 28:9). If a person wants to stop learning Torah in order to Daven, his prayers will not be 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 = Mipnei she'Shama), so, too, Hashem will not accept his prayers measure for measure -- because He has already heard them!


QUESTION: The Gemara calls Shabbos a gift that Hashem had in His house of hidden treasures which He decided to give to the Jewish people. Where is Hashem's "house of hidden treasures?" What does He keep there? ANSWER:
(a) The Gemara in Chagigah (12a) tells us that the Divine Light of Creation was hidden away for the righteous in the World to Come. However, the Midrash (Bereishis Rabah 11:2) tells us that it 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 the Light that may be experienced in this world.

The Gemara itself teaches that Shabbos is a "sampling (m'Ein) of what is destined for us in the World to Come" (Berachos 57b). Shabbos is referred to "as one sixtieth of the World to Come" -- that is to say, a taste of what is to be in the World to Come (ibid.). Perhaps that Gemara is teaching us the same lesson as the above Midrash. Just as the light that Hashem hid away from this world will shine and bathe the righteous in the World to Come, so too that Divine Light -- or at least a certain taste of it -- shines in our Shabbos.

Perhaps this is what our Gemara means when it says that Shabbos is one of the hidden ("Ganuz") treasures of Hashem. 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 B'NAI YISASCHAR tells us, quoting from Kabalistic sources, "Where was it that Hashem hid away the Divine Light? He hid it away in the Torah" (B'nai Yisaschar, Kislev, #1). We can find that Light even in this world, in the Torah. (See also Midrash Tanchuma, Noach, #3)

The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni #408) tells us that time is to be set aside on Shabbos for Torah study. Shabbos was given to us in order to take advantage of our physical rest and busy ourselves with spiritual growth. Perhaps this is what is meant by saying that the Divine Light shines on every Shabbos. On Shabbos, the Divine Light that emanates from the Torah is given an opportunity to shine. (M. Kornfeld)

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