"Six days shall work be done". (Lev. 23:3) He asks: What are these six days? [Since the verse comes to teach about Shabbat – why does it start by saying that one should work for six days – unless that work itself is also a mitzvah?]

Rabbi Yosi answered, It is written, "for six days G‑d made heaven and earth," (Ex. 20:11) and not 'in six days'. We have explained that each day [supernal days which are the sefirot of the world of Atzilut] did its work [in creation. Thus the first day was created with the attribute of chesed, the second with gevura and so on till the sixth day created with the attribute of yesod]. These [sefirot] are called "days of work" [referring to the six days of creation].

Rabbi Yitzhak said, if that is so, why are they called weekdays [(lit. 'secular days')? If the 6 days of the week are the secret of the 6 extremities of the World of Atzilut, why are they called "secular days"?] Rabbi Yosi said, Now [after creation], the world is conducted by their messengers [the spiritual forces they empower in the lower worlds of Beriya and Yetzira]. Hence they are called secular [in relation to their source in Atzilut]

For those who are not called holy are called secular.

Rabbi Hiya said [the reason why the 6 days are called "secular"] is because it is permitted to work on them. They are not considered holy [like Shabbat]. For those who are not called holy are called secular. This is why our colleagues [the disciples of Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai] have composed the Havdalah [prayer] to mark the separation between the holy and the secular.

[And Rav Yitzchak asked] What does 'Havdalah/separation' have to do with it? [Shouldn’t we be unifying the higher sefirot – not "separating" them?]

[Rav Hiya answered] Holiness [Shabbat] is on its own [Unlike the six "work" days Shabbat receives its flow from from chochma called "Holiness] while all the rest receive from Her. [The six days of the week each receive from the flow of higher consciousness from Shabbat, which is called Holy.] Therefore, these [6 days] are meant for work while these [Holy days of Shabbat] are for safekeeping [and safeguarded from doing work]. When are they found to be kept [as when a festival falls on a week day]? When they are summoned to receive from holiness [they are summoned to receive the flow from Abba/chochma called holiness and the days are called 'Mikra Kodesh', summoned from holiness].

Rabbi Yehuda said that safeguarding and joy on the day of Shabbat is above everything, and since this day [is when Zeir Anpin] is adorned with Abba and Imma, [as Zeir Anpin and Nukva elevate and are vested with Abba and Imma in all their stature] more holiness [through the transmission of higher consciousness] is added to their own holiness, unlike anything found on other days [even Festival days]. For [on Shabbat] there is holiness, and [Zeir Anpin] crowned with holiness [from the higher consciousness of Abba and Imma] and this adds holiness to the holiness [of Zeir Anpin]. For that reason that day is the joy of the upper and lower beings. Everybody rejoices in it, since it fills all the worlds with blessings all the worlds are nurtured from this day. On this day there is repose for higher and lower beings. On this day there is respite for the wicked in Purgatory.

Like a king who held a [wedding] feast for his only son [a parable of the King as Supernal Abba, and Imma which are included in Abba called King, have a feast for Zeir Anpin who is united with malchut on Shabbat] and put a superior crown on him [from the consciousness of Abba and Imma] . The king put him in command over everything [of all the worlds through the unification of Zeir Anpin and Nukva, from the power of the flow that is received from Abba on Shabbat]. That day there is joy to all. A certain officer [Sam-kel] in charge of punishing people had in his care people who should be put to death and people who should be flogged, but for the glory of the king's joy, he disregarded his punishments and kept the king's joy [on Shabbat].

So is Shabbat that day of the feast of joy of the King with the Queen...

So is Shabbat that day of the feast of joy of the King with the Queen [in the unification of Zeir Anpin and Nukva] and the joy of Abba and Imma [for Zeir Anpin and Nukva elevate and vest themselves in Abba and Imma]. The higher and lower beings rejoice in it. Everyone has joy and have no pain in it. It is therefore written, "and you [affectionately] call the Shabbat a delight" (Isaiah 58:13) [when Zeir Anpin and Nukva are in the aspect of Shabbat and receive flow of the consciousness of Abba and Imma]. What is oneg/delight? Delight only exists above, where supernal holiness dwells [in Abba and Imma called holiness], as written, "then shall you delight yourself in ('above') G‑d" [for delight is in Abba and Imma which is above Zeir Anpin, called 'G‑d']. For that delight is above G‑d. That day which is the feast of joy of the King, is adorned with that crown of delight. This is the meaning of, "and you shall call the Shabbat a delight," which is not the case in other days [which receive a lower form of flow from above].

On that day it behooves the King's children to prepare three meals and set the table in honor of the King, as we explained.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Today we get a Wednesday reminder that Shabbat is coming! All of us need work on how to make our Shabbat a day of complete ceasing of earthly work, and a day of delight both above and below. We learn that this light is "above G‑d"? Besides the mystical meaning described above, what does that mean to us and our Shabbaton? If G‑d's Name Havaya has been "defined" as it were as IS-WAS-WILL BE, then the concept of "delight" is actually "higher" than this definition. Which means that when we experience delight on Shabbat, recognize that there is a far superior supernal delight that is connected to the instant pleasure. That is why food, drink, lovely clothing, sleep, and marital relations are emphasized on Shabbat. As too are singing and learning. Truly a taste of the World to Come!

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.