The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Friday, June 18, 2004

Erev Shabbos - The HLML was Correct

In one of my earliest posts, I mentioned that my Rebbe, "in the name of another Tzaddik (whose name escapes me)" said that while we are shomer Shabbos in America, we are not shomer Erev Shabbos.

The Holy Lawyer of Maiden Lane emailed me then that he thought the "Tzaddik" whose name escaped me was the Rav, ZT'L. I responded that I didn't think so.

The HLML was, indeed, correct.

"Even in those neighborhoods made up predominantly of religious Jews, one can no longer talk of the 'sanctity of Shabbat.' True, there are Jews in America who observe Shabbat... But it is not for Shabbat that my heart aches; it is for the forgotten 'erev Shabbat' (eve of the Sabbath). There are Shabbat-observing Jews in America, but there are no 'erev Shabbat' Jews who go out to greet Shabbat with beating hearts and pulsating souls. There are many who observe the precepts with their hands, with their feet, and/or with their mouths - but there are few indeed who truly know the meaning of the service of the heart!" (On Repentance, pp. 97-98)
(Quote contained in a lecture by Rav Ronnie Zeigler on the VBM website)

In the same vein, the Piaczezna Rebbe, HYD, in the third Maimar at the end of Chovas Hatalmidim said that the reason there is chilul Shabbos (he was talking about pre-war Warsaw!!) is that we are "Zocher" Shabbos with our mouths, but are lacking in our "Shomer" Shabbos, with our hearts.

On that note, Gutten Shabbos to all. And, of course, gutten EREV Shabbos.


  • At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My grandfather would not wish someone Gut Shabbos even after he had said mincha because it was possible that the person he saw had not yet said mincha. It was always A Gutten Erev Shabbos from him. In the shtetl there were those who were shomer erev shabbos, and stopped work in early afternoon so that they didn't need to rush around like crazy doing last minute preparations. Some people have jobs where they can telecommute on Fridays, and thus show extra kavod towards the day.

    If someone says Gut Shabbos to me on Friday after Shacharit I say A Gutten Erev Shabbos in return. If after mincha, I will not make a big point of it, and respond with, "Have a good Shabbos."


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