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On your own

Written by d fine

On my own
Rav Pinkus used to borrow a pasuk from our sedra (16:17) to answer an age-old Shabbos question. In the pre-Kiddush shalom Aleichem sing-song, we end off by telling the angels to ‘go in peace.’ Now this doesn’t seem to be pleasant etiquette at all – we have just welcomed the angels in and a minute later we are asking them to leave? In certain places in England you’d be shot for such poor manners (joke). Rav Pinkus used to answer via Rav Avigdor Miller’s principle that Shabbos matches the Beis HaMikdash (e.g. they both have special clothes, candles, song, and easy death penalties, amongst other similarities). Now since the highest point of the avodah in the Mikdash is the Yom Kippur ketores service, when ‘no man is to be in the ohel mo’ed when he comes in to atone…’ (16:17) – for HaShem mandates a direct connection between Him and the Kohen Gadol (acting on behalf of Klal Yisrael), so too on Shabbos does HaShem want a direct connection and relationship with us – with no angels in the way. So the angels are asked (politely) to ‘leave in peace’ so that we can ‘live with HaShem’ alone, and experience that direct relationship with Him that is part and parcel of who we really are.

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