Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Ohr Makif (II)
I wanted to share n idea I said over the first Shabbos after one of my children was born that relates to this idea. The gemara in Beitzah darshens the pasuk by Shabbos which says Vayinafash (Hashem rested) to read "vy avdah nefesh", woe for the spirit is gone, and derives from that we are each given an additional spirit or soul on Shabbos, called the neshama yeseira, which then departs after Shabbos. The reason we smeel besamim during havdalah is to comfort us for the loss of this extra neshoma. The Ba'al Shem Tov questions the basis for the gemara's derashs: the pasuk of Vayinafash is written at the ONSET of Shabbos, yet it is only AFTER shabbos when this additional neshoma departs that we should cry "vy advah nefesh"? The Sefas Emes (P' Tazriya) offers the best answer I have seen. He explains that only a certain amount of neshoma can be extant in the body at one time. Therefore, to make room for the extra holiness of Shabbos and the extra dose of higher neshoma we are given, at the onset of Shabbos a bit of the weekday neshoma is pushed out. The cry of "vy avdah nefesh" is for this bit of the weekday nefesh we are so used to having about. Perhaps this is why the first Shabbos after a child is born is so special (shalom zachor). The descent of the neshoma into thw world is incomplete until this first Shabbos when the higher neshoma yeseira comes into the world.