The Rabbeinu Bechaya explains the double usage of the word "Mishkan" in the first verse of this week's Parsha, as alluding to the "earthly Mishkan" and the spiritual Mishkan/universe- created by G-d. He then lists tens of verses that use similar wording in the building of the Mishkan and the creation of the world, drawing clear connection between the two. With this in mind, we present the following essay from Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner (Pachad Yitzchak, Shabbos 6):
"Im tashiv m'Shabbos raglecha, asos chetzeicha b'yom kadshi... v'chibatito m'asos drachecha, mi'mtzoh cheftzicha v'daber davar, az tis'aneg al Hashem...etc." "If you restrain your foot on Shabbos; refrain from accomplishing your own needs on my holy day... and you honor it by not engaging in your own affairs, from seeking your own needs, or discussing the forbidden - then you will 'delight' in G-d." (Isaiah 58:13 -14)
Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner asks why these laws were selected from the many laws of Shabbos to express the reward of "then you will delight in G-d?" These laws are not the fundamental 39 melachos (forms of labor) forbidden on Shabbos!?
To answer this question, Rabbi Hutner poses another: We find in the Mincha prayerof Shabbos the request "Yakiru banecha va'yeidu ki m'itcha hi menuchasam," "[May] Your children recognize and understand that from You comes their rest [on Shabbos]."We don't find such a request regarding any of the other mitzvohs in the Torah?
In many places in the Torah we find exhortations to act, that are not counted as "mitzvahs". For example, the Torah tells us "Sheishes yamin ta'avodu." "You shall work for six days" (Shemos 20:9). Yet, there is no actual mitzvah to work for six days. The commentaries explain that this "commandment" alludes to the concept of "B'chol darchecha da'eiu." "In all your ways know Him" (Mishlei 3:6)." This is expressed in the Mishna as "Kol ma'asech yiyu l'shem shomayim." "All your actions should be for the sake of heaven." The juxtaposition of "Sheishes yamim ta'avodu" and "v'yom hashvi'i Shabbos (and the seventh day is Shabbos)", hints to this lofty perspective regarding one's daily routine. Yet the fact that this lesson is not readily apparent, creates the need for further explanation.
The Mechilta teaches that a guiding principal when studying Torah is that all the commandments reflect the actions of G-d. Therefore, when the Torah commands us to "Rest on the seventh day," the definition of "rest" mirrors the "rest" of G-d. This task is quite difficult, for G-d rested from creating a world. The solution is found in the Mishkan. The common denominator between Mishkan and World, is that both were created as a place to serve G-d. Refraining from the "work" necessary in the building of the Mishkan is therefore a true reflection of G-d's "rest" from creating the world.
This understanding results in another profound concept. The only way the world can be entirely similar to the Mishkan, is if the world too is viewed solely as a place to serve G-d. The solution to any disparities in the link between the Mishkan and the world, is through the lens of "B'chol drachecha de'iu - sheyiyu kol ma'asecha l'shem shomayim," "In all your ways know Him - all your actions should be for the sake of heaven." The startling ramification of this viewpoint is that the connection between Mishkan and Shabbos is entirely dependent on our understanding of the role of the seemingly mundane of this world. This also helps us better understand the "commandment" to work for six days of the week, as well as the six days being an introduction to Shabbos!
We can now explain the very unique request of "Yakiru banecha va'yeidu ki m'itcha hi menuchasam," "[May] Your children recognize and understand that from You comes their rest [on Shabbos]."We now realize that the whole world depends on this understanding. Lacking this fundamental concept, our service of G-d doesn't begin!
Let us now revisit the question posed at the beginning of this essay. The Talmud in Tractate Avodah Zara states, "Mi shetarach b'erev Shabbos, y'ochal b'Shabbos," "one who exerts himself on the eve of Shabbos, shall reap its benefits on Shabbos." The quality of the honor given to Shabbos - on Shabbos, is entirely dependent on the work we put in before Shabbos. If we strive to maintain the understanding that everything of the mundane in "the six days" has one purpose - to be a part of serving G-d - than we can also understand this about the entire day of Shabbos. Everything included. The parts of Shabbos that seemingly have no spiritual relevance, the walking, talking, eating and thinking must also be devoted to Hashem's service. The prophet Yeshaya tells us that to understand the world as a place solely to serve G-d, every part of Shabbos should be distinguished in its role of honoring Shabbos. Therefore, the prophet Yeshaya reveals to us the necessity to change the way we walk and talk, the time we eat, how we greet people, how we dress... all in the spirit of Shabbos. It is in this "minor" aspect of Shabbos, that the reward of "Az tis'aneg el Hashem," "then you will 'delight' in G-d,"is entirely dependent on. For it speaks to the Jewish people's fundamental role in the universe. Recognition of this idea sets one on the right path of getting closer to G-d - the ultimate delight of this world and the next, a Shabbos Mei'ein Olam Habah!