Wednesday, Feb 8, 2023

Chagigah 22: “Woe to Me…”

On this daf, we find some decrees regarding amei ha’aretz.

Our sages explain that the word “vayinafosh” can also be read as “vay avdoh nofesh”—woe to me because I will lose my extra neshomah after Shabbos. We feel the neshomah yeseirah to the degree that we sense how precious each Shabbos is. Every Shabbos is unique and will never return. The next week’s Shabbos is an entirely different level of connection.

The Komarna Rebbe learns an additional lesson from this verse. “Our sages say that talmidei chachomim retain some level of the sanctity of Shabbos throughout the week. This could be another meaning of the verse, ‘Uvayom hashevi’i shovas vayinofash.’ In light of how our sages learn ‘vayinofash,’ this can be read as a warning: ‘Woe to the ignoramus who completely loses all aspects of his extra neshomah after Shabbos’” (Derech Hamelech; Heichal Habrocha).

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