Rabbi, thank you so much for BINA’s ‘7 for Seven’ education program, leading up toThe Shabbat Project at the end of October. I came yesterday to the first lecture and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can feel the buzz and excitement in the air and many of my friends have already signed up to observe that Shabbat.
But I am still not sure that I will join in and pledge to keep that one Shabbat. My problem is that it almost seems hypocritical just to do it one time. I don’t think at this stage I am ready to commit to the ongoing observance of Shabbat and I can’t see great value in a once off experience. What are your thoughts?
This is a great question and I am happy that you raised it because I suspect that others are thinking the same thing.
Of course Shabbat is a mitzvah which applies on an ongoing basis every week. However, if one for whatever reason does not do it every week there is still tremendous value in keeping it even once. The other weeks will certainly not take away or undermine that one time we do it properly.
There is a fundamental Jewish concept that every Mitzvah stands alone and is eternal. Every time we do something good or refrain from something negative, we generate a powerful Divine energy into the environment which will last forever and can never be undermined by anything else. The observance of one good deed can never be damaged by its absence somewhere else. Any new step is another rung on the ladder of growth.
This principle should be a driving force in everything that we do. If sometimes we make a mistake and lose our temper it doesn’t detract from the times that we worked hard to refrain from exploding. Every time we talk positively about someone else instead of gossiping we have achieved something great which cannot be affected by those times that we mistakenly say things we shouldn’t. Praying one day creates a bond between the human being and G-d that will not weaken because of other times we might forget. Every good thing and every positive experience is like a precious jewel that has its own intrinsic and everlasting value.
So I hope that you will come on board joining the rest of the community and indeed the rest of the world in this amazing united effort to perform this beautiful mitzvah even if it is only this once.