Given The Capacity to Cope

It is very hard to detach ourselves from the lofty atmosphere of the month of Tishrei, and to return to the routine of the regular days of the year. It was exalting to pass from one special time to another. It was exhilarating to be in an atmosphere of Selichos and rachamim, and then to reach the day of kapara, selicha and tahara. It was invigorating to reside in the Sukkah, under the shadow of emunah, with Hakodosh Boruch Hu Himself spreading His wings over us. Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah were exciting experiences, as we danced with all our might in honor of the Torah. After that we glided into Shabbos Bereishis, an exalted Shabbos on which we learned about man’s special place in the Creation, and the place he occupied in Gan Eden. From now on, we are embarking on a way filled with the difficult trials and with coping with the many aspects of daily living. No matter how we look at life in this word, it is not always a garden of roses. Each person has his own problems with which he must cape.

One person must cope with a never-ending race to support his family honorably, which causes stress and lack of tranquility. Another must struggle against complex trials which place him before situations which make it difficult to rise in spiritual matters. Certain people must contend with inner conflicts at home, and with a lack of peace in his family.That’s the way life is, from the time Adam Harishon was decreed to eat from the sweat of his brow and to sow thorns and thistles. How does one cope with all this?

That’s the way life is, from the time Adam Harishon was decreed to eat from the sweat of his brow and to sow thorns and thistles. How does one cope with all this?

Hakodosh Boruch Hu gave us a mighty vehicle, a vessel filled with blessing, which can give the capacity to cope. When a Jew enters Shabbos, the day of rest and kedusha, a day on which all the races and the travails cease, he returns home from Ma’ariv at ease and happy. He is wearing his best clothing. The Shabbos table is covered by a white tablecloth, and the candles spread their brilliant light. Now hat time the father of the household is like a king in his palace and the mother like a queen. He and the family welcome the ministering angels by singing Shalom Aleichem. At that exalted moment, if he is wise he will perpetuate them throughout the entire Shabbos, in a calm and tranquil manner, and by relating stories of emunah and mussar, sweet divrei Torah, and singing pleasant and clear songs. If he behaves in this manner, this atmosphere will reign in the home during the following week, even amidst the situations which prevail then. Indeed there is nothing like the light of Shabbos which accompanies those special moments which recharge his spiritual batteries with treasures of Torah, mussar, Chassidic insights and wisdom for the ensuing week, easing his ability to contend with his trials and tribulations.

Shabbos he forgets about his difficulties with earning a living,, and doesn’t have to cope with the complex trails he encounters on the street every day. These are hours when he can delve into the study of the parsha and the commentaries, or by learning Gemara and halacha, or any other aspect of Torah he wishes to probe. These are hours too, during which a person’s true spiritual status is revealed, as well as the type of inner life he strives to achieve. Even when the new week begins, and he resumes the former trials, his inner status, which was disclosed on Shabbos kodesh, continues to illuminate him even during the weekdays. In order to truly grasp the ray of light which shines forth from the Shabbos, there is nothing better than entering Shabbos in a calm and serene manner, having prepared well in advance. This is the guarantee that when he returns from shul, he will find a Shabbos table glowing with the brilliant light of Shabbos.