The Shabbat prayer of the holy people consists of three prayers, which correspond to three Shabbatot [the 3 partzufim called Shabbat: bina corresponds to the morning prayer, Zeir Anpin corresponds to the afternoon prayer, and Nukvah corresponds to the evening prayer], as was explained. And all of them are one [in the secret of the light of Ein Sof, who connects and unifies them all together. This is hinted at in the very word "Shabbat".1]

Once the holy nation comes to the synagogue, they are not allowed to concern themselves even with the needs of the synagogue, but with words of praise, prayers and the reading of the Torah as is fitting for them [to engage in on Shabbat].

And whoever is occupied with other things and with worldly matters, desecrates the Shabbat, and has no portion in the people of Israel. Two angels are appointed to deal with that matter on Shabbat. They put their hands on his head and say: Woe to so and so, who has no portion in G‑d. Therefore they should strive to pray, sing and praise their Master, and study the Torah.

Shabbat is the day of the souls
[whose source is in bina], for with it is decorated the bundle of souls [which is the secret of yesod of bina, and through their praises to G‑d, the souls receive the Divine flow, and they are connected to their source in bina. This is their whole desire – to be connected and enjoy the flow of higher consciousness from their source]. To that purpose the praise of the souls is sung 'The soul of every living being shall bless Your name, G‑d our Elokim, and the spirit of all flesh...' ('Nishmat Kol Chai' in the Shabbat Liturgy). All the praises said on Shabbat refer to these levels of ruach and neshama. This is because this day pertains to the ruach and neshama and not to the body [which is related to nefesh].

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

Three lines in the letter Shin of Shabbat. Three meals on Shabbat related to the three Patriarchs to save us from three hardships (travails of Messiah, Purgatory, War of Gog and Magog). Three partuzfim. Three-fold blessing of Priests for Children.

All during the week we think about 2. We and G‑d, or we and others, or we and ourselves. But on Shabbat, we are expanded, for the gift of an extra soul, spirit, and super-spirit in endowed upon us. So there is now us, G‑d and this new soul that strengthens our connection. That is why Shabbat seems so much more "spiritual".

All laws of Shabbat are geared to further this soul's experience in this world, and to open us up more to her revelation. With that in mind, there are no "restrictions" per se. Rather there is only expansion. And that is THE secret to all Shabbat observance.

What does this mean for your Shabbat, and why is it being revealed to you now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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