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The Light of Shabbos

by Yehudis Golshevsky
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

“Charity only comes to its full illumination by virtue of the light of Shabbos.
(Likutei Moharan I:17)


What does this mean to me?
This sounds so beautiful, but what, really, is the light of Shabbos? Rebbe Nachman explains that the light of Shabbos is that of faith in G-d’s creation of the universe. The weekly observance of Shabbos allows us to constantly refresh our faith in this fundamental principle of Judaism.

When we reaffirm this faith, it alters our relationship with our activities of the working week; since G-d is the source of all that exists and all of our ability to act, He is the Owner of everything—including the earnings gained by our labors. The light of Shabbos that illuminates charity is the awareness that I am only the trustee over G-d’s assets, and it is my duty to share them as He directs. When I’m really aware of this, it is isn’t me giving, but G-d; I’m just a trustworthy custodian.


A prayer:

Dear G-d, may my charity be founded
Upon fulfilling Your will
So it is truly precious in Your eyes.

May I help deserving people
With what they need for Shabbos,
And let me have worthy guests at my table.
For it is the light of Shabbos
That enhances the beauty of our giving.

(Between me and You, p. 54)

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