Vayak'hel: Chapter 18

The secrets of Shabbat


The passage begins with "let no man go out of his place on the seventh day," saying that it is a profanation of the Shabbat to work with one's hands or to walk more than 2,000 cubits out of the city limits. Now we hear that it is good to draw out the Shabbat as long as possible. At the end of it the wicked are turned back to Sheol and the demons torture them again in Gehenom. We are told that it is wrong to fast on the Shabbat because it is a day for pleasure and rejoicing; recompense for this error can only be made by fasting on the first day of the week. We learn now of the significance of the 32 paths in Chochmah, the three grades of holy apples and the seventy words in the Testimony of Faith and the Kidush. We read a discussion of the prayers in the morning, the daytime, the evening and the night, and of their different results.