"Remember the Shabbat day to keep it holy". (Ex. 20:8) Rabbi Yitzhak cited the verse: "And G‑d blessed the seventh day". (Gen. 2:3) Of the manna, it is written: "Six days you shall gather it but on the seventh day, which is Shabbat, on it there shall be none". (Ex. 16:26) If there was no food on that day, what blessing is attached to it?

Rather, we have learned that all blessing from Above and from below depend upon the seventh day, and we have also learned that there was no manna on the seventh day because all the six supernal days derive their blessing from it, and each of them sends forth nourishment to the world below from the blessing it received from the seventh day.

[The days of the week correspond to cosmic sefirotic days Above. Sunday through Friday symbolize respectively chesed through yesod. On each weekday, the world is nourished by its supernal day, all six of which are blessed by the 7th day. On Shabbat no manna appeared because on this special day that provides the six sefirot with new sustenance for the coming week, nothing appears in the world below.]

Therefore, he who has attained the level of Faith must prepare a table and a meal on Shabbat eve so that his table may be blessed all through the other six days. For at that time, blessing is prevalent for all the six week days, as no blessing is found at an empty table. Therefore, one should make ready the table on Shabbat eve with bread and other foods. Rabbi Yitzhak said: Also on Shabbat day [to maintain the flow of blessing throughout Shabbat].

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

"Come let us go to greet the Shabbat, for she is the source of blessing." (Lecha Dodi)

It may seem like Shabbat is the week-end, but actually, it is the week's epicenter:

"To the right and to the left, and in between the bride." (Azamer Bishvachin)

In Shabbat (69b), there is a discussion between Rav Huna and Rav Chiya bar Rav concerning if one is in the desert and does not know when is Shabbat, does one count the next day as Shabbat, and then count 6 days, or does one count 6 days, and then keep the 7th as Shabbat? An additional question is how much work must one do on each day? The answer to the latter is that one may work just enough to provide for one's sustenance, because if it really is Shabbat, we don't want to overly-desecrate it, although Pikuach Nefesh demands that we break one Shabbat [and thus live] to celebrate further ones.

R. Eliyahu deVidas ( Reishit Chochma, Gate of Holiness) takes this discussion one important step further. Quoting his teacher the RaMaK for support, he notes that we are all in the desert—this is the 6 days of the week. And each day has a bit of Shabbat in it, since Shabbat is the source of all the blessing of the week, as per our Zohar above.

So, in his opinion, we need to work only for our needs, and no more, even on the workday, in order to align ourselves with the Holiness of Shabbat. Which is why we count days as "The First Day since the Holy Shabbat", 'The Second Day since the Holy Shabbat", etc.

In this way, we fulfill the commandment to "Remember the Shabbat Day, to sanctify it". [Ben Ish Hai, Ki Tissa #17; see also Ramban to Exodus (20:8)] In so doing, we also note the pouring of the flow of spiritual sustenance that benefits each weekday from the Holy Sabbath.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
Copyright 2003 by KabbalaOnline.org, a project of Ascent of Safed (//ascentofsafed.com). All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.