the rhythm of the week of Shabbat

I find myself reinventing the wheel of Shammai–and of Hillel, for that matter.

Babylonian Talmud Beitza 16a

תניא אמרו עליו על שמאי הזקן כל ימיו היה אוכל לכבוד שבת מצא בהמה נאה אומר זו לשבת מצא אחרת נאה הימנה מניח את השניה ואוכל את הראשונה אבל הלל הזקן מדה אחרת היתה לו שכל מעשיו לשם שמים שנאמר (תהילים סח) ברוך ה’ יום יום תניא נמי הכי בית שמאי אומרים מחד שביך לשבתיך ובית הלל אומרים ברוך ה’ יום יום

A teaching: It was said of Shammai, the elder that all his days he would eat in order to honor Shabbat.If he would find a nice calf he would say, “This will be for Shabbat.” If he found one that was nicer, he would set aside the second one and then eat the first one.

Hillel, however, behaved differently, for all his deeds were for the sake of heaven, as it is written, “Praised be God each day.”
It was also recorded in later generations:The House of Shammai said:”Each day should be for Shabbat. “The House of Hillel replied: “Praise be God everyday.”

So, of course I’m all for the praising of G-d every day, and I’m not going to address what’s the difference in the 2 statements of praise, as interesting as it is.

I was looking for the source of the basic halakhah about preparing for Shabbat.  But then I realized that after Shabbat, how it lasts into the next week, is not really part of the halakhah but a part of the value of Shabbat. Here’s a very good shiur about the obligations and various halakhot of Shabbat, if you’re interested.  I’m wondering what category this falls into–maybe into kavod.

I was thinking of this as I realized how long it takes me to clean up after Shabbat these days.  I guess (because I don’t remember anymore) that when the kids still lived at home, I would clean up more quickly from Shabbat, not because I had more help, but because I needed the space/dishes/order.  Now, I find that I’m not in such a rush to clean up.  Oh, the dishes are done, but they’re not necessarily put away for a few days.  So I could say that it’s a way to savor Shabbos into the week, but that would be untruthful.  It’s just a lack of impetus to reorganize everything after having guests.  When it’s just the 2 of us, that doesn’t take very much, so that’s not an issue.

So I can now say that I’m doing it on purpose; I’m stretching the past Shabbos into the next week.  After all, I do it with leftovers from Shabbat meals, so why not with the clean-up?  Surely this is just as important as getting ready for Shabbat!



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