It is written: "and He rested/ vayinafash," (Ex. 31:17) which is interpreted as, "woe for the loss of the Nefesh" [vayi-nafash = Oy leNefesh!]. This is correct, but if this is so, it should have been said, "woe to the body for losing the Nefesh." The secret of the matter is that in each person there is a Nefesh, which receives and draws to itself the Ruach from Shabbat eve. And that Ruach dwells and rests in the Nefesh throughout the Shabbat day. Then the Nefesh has greater stature and more purposeful than it used to be. Therefore we learned that every Nefesh of Israel is adorned on the day of Shabbat, and their crown is that Ruach which dwells inside them.

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

Do you feel "taller" on Shabbat? Or perhaps more "shiny"? That is because you are. And correspondingly, do you feel a loss on Saturday night after Havdalah? That is because you have lost a level of elevation. We smell sweet spices with a nice Reiach/smell to comfort our lost Ruach/extra Shabbat soul. On Shabbat, our normal physical level soul Nefesh is gifted with an extra spirit Ruach that dwells within us, opening us up to greater soulful experiences. Food tastes better—we are feeding this extra Ruach. Sleep is more appreciated—we are resting this extra Ruach. Marital relations are often postponed until Friday night—we are pleasuring this extra Ruach.

And yes, we have loving family quality time—this too satisfies the extra Ruach. If you have a legitimate craving, on Shabbat do not hold back—it is your higher self requesting!

This week is Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of "comfort" after Tisha B'Av. So too is the reason why we smell spices after Shabbat, to "comfort" for the loss of our extra soul, Oy LeNefesh! As we have left the 22 Days of restriction, perhaps try to use this Shabbat to try to sense this special extra something we have been gifted with for the next 30-some hours [from the 5th hour on Friday morning until after the 4th meal].

What does the above mean to you for your Shabbat observance?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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