No Shabbat This Week

In Israel, our weekend consists of only one day, Shabbat. Children go to school on Fridays and many adults work. Sunday is a regular work and school day for everyone, the equivalent to Monday in the rest of the world.


This week, there is no Shabbat either. With Yom Kippur being Friday night and Saturday, we will have no Shabbat and no day of recuperation that the rest of the world will have on Sunday.


In Vayikra 23:32, Yom Kippur is called “Shabbat Shabbaton hu lachem”, a day of complete rest for you, as Rabbi Saadya Gaon puts it, a day that is like Shabbat for you.


Chizkuni points out that “a day of complete rest for you” is an interesting concept since a regular Shabbat is not called a Shabbat for Yisrael, but rather a Shabbat for HaShem as it says in Vayikra 23:3 “Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is a Shabbat of solemn rest…it is a Shabbat for HaShem”.


Ibn Ezra explains that the concept of a regular Shabbat being for God comes from the book of Breisheet 2:3 (the words that we say in Kiddush each week) “Vayivarech Elokim et Yom HaShvii Vayikadesh oto ki vo Shabbat mikol milachto asher bara Elokim La’asot”, “And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because in it He rested from all his work which God had created and performed”.


Although we don’t have a traditional Shabbat this week (with food), we have a mitzvah to eat before the fast and that way on the holiday of Yom Kippur we will be able to concentrate on ourselves.