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DAY 11: "טועמיה חיים זכו" - A TASTE OF SHABBOS

Updated: May 31, 2020

As the end of the exile draws near, our task is to furnish “vessels” (i.e., means of expression) for the revelations of the impending Redemption. Since in time to come “they will all know Me,” now too we should in some measure anticipate this destiny. Simply stated, this means that everyone should exert himself toward gaining an intellectual grasp of G‑dliness.

In the writings of the AriZal there is a well-known teaching, which is also cited in the Halachah, that on the afternoon of the eve of Shabbos one should taste something of the delicacies that have been prepared for Shabbos. This practice gives tangible expression to the phrase in the Mussaf prayer of Shabbos, “Those who savor it will merit eternal life.” Since according to the cosmic weekly calendar it is now late on Friday afternoon, we should already savor a foretaste of the innermost dimension of the Torah that will be revealed in time to come. In this spirit it is written, “He will kiss me with the kisses of His mouth,” and on this Rashi comments: “We have G‑d’s promise that He will again appear to [the Jewish people as at Sinai] and elucidate for them the secrets of [the Torah’s] reasons and its hidden mysteries.”

The Torah at All Its Levels

Since the Redemption must occur in all the spiritual worlds, and since every spiritual occurrence is actualized by means of the Torah, it follows that it is essential in these last days of the exile that our Torah study should penetrate the worlds of all levels. And this is achieved through studying all four levels of the Torah together, for these four levels whose acronym is פרד"ס [pshat — the plain meaning of Scripture; remez — meanings implied by allusion; derush — insights arrived at by means of a non-literal, homiletic interpretation, as in the Midrash or Talmudic Aggadah; and sod — the Kabbalistic mysteries of the Torah] correspond [in reverse order] to the Four Worlds — Atzilus, Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.

In our days, therefore, how vital it is to study the revealed levels of the Torah together with its inner dimensions.

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