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Shabbos of the Body, Shabbos of the Mind

By: Rabbi Noam Koenigsberg

Had the Tzedukim had the upper hand in their struggle against traditional Judaism, our holidays would appear quite unlike they do today. For the Tzedukim, Sefirat Haomer always begins on a Sunday, as does Chag Shavuot. This is because the tzedukim took the words "Mimacharat hashabat" literally: Start counting "from the day after Shabbos". Of course, we uphold our mesora that in this context, Shabbos refers to the first day of Pesach. Yet the question remains: why does the Torah use the word Shabbos when referring to the day of our exodus from Egypt!?

The Kedushat Levi says that Shabbos does not mean mere "rest" from work, it means the "completion" of work. Resting when work is incomplete may be spoken of as the general term "menucha", but not "Shabbos". "Shavat", in reference to Hashem's action on the seventh day does not mean "He rested", it means "He completed his work." The world was now in place, the physical laws of nature were fixed, creation was complete.
Physical creation, that is.

There is an entirely different level of creation that was still in the making. G-d's "mind", his plan for a world of holiness and goodness, was still in the making! The "soul" of the world was far from complete! What was to cleanse the world from the sin of the tree of knowledge? Of the generation of the flood, of Sodom and Amorah? It was to be Israel, the nation that declares G-d's oneness and sanctifies his name amidst all the darkness. Creation was still in full swing. When was Israel born? On the fifteenth of Nissan! THEN the mind of G-d could rest (k'vyachol)! Israel has been born! The world can be saved! The redemption was a reality, and the world had begun its fixing.