Sunday, February 03, 2013

shabbos and shivti b'veis Hashem

I've done posts (link) before on linguistic insights found in the sefer HaKsav v'haKabbalah that shed new light on pesukim that we familiar with.  This past week's parsha had another great example.  The word "shabbos" is usually understood to mean a day of rest.  HaKsav V'haKabbalah suggests that the word "shabbos" has an additional connotation: "iyun v'chakirah," reflection and thought.  The root of the word "shabbos" is "shuv," to return.  When one reflects, one turns an idea over again and again in one's mind, constantly returning to it.  I think the English word that best captures the idea is to ruminate -- just like when an animal ruminates it constantly chews its food again and again, when one ruminates over an idea, one keeps bouncing it around in one's head.  The term "yishuv ha'da'as" does not mean having a settled mind, with "yishuv" related to the root y-sh-v, "to sit," but rather "yishuv ha'da'as" means having the ability to ruminate and reflect, from the same root as "shabbos," sh-vav-b, to return.  If you're like me, you probably always though Dovid haMelech's request of "Shivti b'veis Hashem kol ymei chayai" had something to do with his settling down in the beis Hashem, with the word "shivti," coming from the root y-sh-beis, to sit, and being a metaphor of sorts.  Now that we know the root sh-vav-beis relates to rumination and reflection, the pasuk takes on a whole new meaning.  The word "shivti" has nothing to do with sitting , but is rather related to the same root sh-vav-beis as shabbos, having to do with thinking.  Dovid HaMelech wanted to always have the "beis Hashem" on his mind, to always be reflecting on and ruminating about G-d.


  1. Anonymous3:09 AM

    "Shivti b'veis Hashem kol ymei chayai"

    v'kara bo kol-ymei chayawv, Devarim 17:19

    1. Anonymous1:11 PM

      do note that the actual juxtaposition in psalm 23:6
      is '"kol ymei chayai" v'shavti...l'orech yamim', as we find
      'y'arich yamim' in 17:20

    2. Anonymous9:02 AM

      could it be that the sheepwise pesukim (1-4) of 23, spring from David's relation to the Everyman Torah that's kept in his treasury, that's 'ha'nechemadim mizahav u'mipaz rav' (psalm 19:11), more desirable than a king's wealth, when pesukim 5-6 then spring from David's returns to the Torah that everywhere dines with him (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 21b), 'ta'aroch l'fanai shulchan'* ('neged tzorai', & ever wars with him, 21b), that should everywhere accompany 'hu u'vanav' until 'tov va'chesed' never cease to overtake their extended kingship?

      *& the oral law, the shulchan aruch, implicit in the scroll

  2. Just a שלשים יום קודם החג thought: maybe an issur שבות is actually a לאו הבא מכלל עשה דרבנן telling you not be distracted from the contemplation required on שבת.

    An interesting parallel is the dual interpretation of שינה בשבת תענוג