Emor; Shabbes v Yom Tov
This week’s sedra discusses the priests’s laws and at the end of the sedra talks about the festivals. (23).A few questions can be asked about this latter section… The perek kicks off with the grand introduction (23;2) ‘these are my moadai (appointed festivals)’ and then starts off immediately with Shabbes (3), only then discussing the Yamim Tovim (4-44). Why is Shabbes called a moed? Next question; the main Shabbes sections in the Torah are Shemos 16, 31, and 35 (by the manna and mishkan parshiyos respectively). Why is the main Yom Tov section in Emor whilst the Shabbes section is in other sedras?
This allows us to contrast Shabbes and Yom Tov, here goes…
A moed means meeting (Ohel Moed = Tent of Meeting). Now there are two ways that far away friends can meet; either A can come to B, or B can come to A. That is exactly the difference between Shabbes and Yom Tov;

on Yom Tov we go up to HaShem. And on Shabbes HaShem brings Himself down into this world. And this is why both are called moed because both are means of meetings between us and HaShem. Let’s give examples… Firstly, on Yom Tov we all (in beis hamikdash times) used to go up to offer korbanos in HaShem’s home; aliyah leregel - we go up to Him, and even sleep overnight there one night. And there is no such mitzvah of this on Shabbes, because HaShem comes to us. So too, whilst there are many zemiros for Shabbes (because HaShem comes to our homes) there are none on Yom Tov - because it is not fitting for us to spontaneously sing in His Home (R’ Soleveitchik). Moreover, whilst in Yom Tov davening we say ‘mekadesh yisrael vehazmanim’ (beis din declare when the festival will be by there declaring the new month), on Shabbes we say ‘mekadesh hashabbes’ because HaShem fixes Shabbes alone, whilst our job is to do the moving in declaring Yom Tov (Pesachim 117b). We see the same crop up in the respective Kiddushes we do; Shabbes is ‘a remembrance to Creation’ whilst yom tov is ‘a remembrance to the Exodus from Egypt’ - again at yetzias mitzrayim we went up (the word used often in the Torah is maaleh - went up vayikra 11;45) like we do on Yom Tov, whilst the Creation marks the clear sign of HaShem ’coming down’ to this world - as He does on Shabbes. In fact, Tosfos (Yevamos 5b ‘kulcheim’) says that Kavod HaShem is greater when we keep Shabbes than any other mitzvah, for one is testifying that HaShem created the world, and Eiruvin (69b) says that the desecration of Sabbath is like denying Creation (see also mishnah berurah 31;3 for yom tov being based on yetzias mitzrayim and shabbes on creation of the world). But the idea goes a bit further…Rav Hutner said that the same principle applies to davening vs learning Torah. Davening is based on us bringing ourselves up spiritually towards shamayim, whilst learning Torah focuses on bringing HaShem’s Presence down to this world. This is why Yom Tov is strongly connected to Tefillah; tefillah is in place of korbanos (mishna berurah 53;51), and the 3 regalim are named (regalim) after the fact that we go up to the Beis Hamikdash to offer up korbanos. Thus, tefillah is called ‘avodah She’belev’ (service of the heart - taanis 2a); Avodah literally means the service of Korbanos. And unsurprisingly, Shabbes is linked to learning Torah; The Torah was actually given on a Shabbes (Shabbes 86b), and Shabbes is described as a day of rest from work to allow us to devote time to Torah study (psikta rabbasi). And Mattan Torah again was the ‘descent of HaShem onto a mountain;’ into this world (shemos 19;18 & 20). In fact, the three things that Bnei Yisrael did before Mattan Torah - mental preparation, putting on fresh clean clothes, and going out of one’s place to greet HaShem (Shemos 19; 7-17) are mirrored in the Shabbes preparations (Rambam hil. shabbos 30;1, Brisker Rav Parshas Yisro).
Maybe this is also why one's Yom Tov clothing should be more elegant than that of Shabbes (Shulchan oruch orach chaim 529;1), as reflective of the fact that one wears better clothing when going out to someone's house than when in one's own house - even if a guest comes. How much more so when we are going up to HaShem's House.
With this great distinction we can go back and answer our original questions. Why is Shabbes called a moed too? Well, as we said, because Shabbes and Yom Tov embody the two different ways of meeting between us and HaShem (moed = meeting). And why is the main Yom Tov section of the Torah here in Emor whilst the Shabbes sections are placed by the manna and Mishkan building? Let’s suggest that this too is connected to the above concepts. The sections regarding Shabbes are thematically connected to their surrounding sections; just like Shabbes is when HaShem comes down as it were into the world, so to is manna the coming down of HaShem’s Providence from Heaven to this world. (manna was crystallised shechinah; R Tatz). And this is the entire point of the Mishkan too; “Make for Me a mishkan that I should be able to dwell amongst you” (Shemos 25;8) - just like Shabbes. (As an aside though, Shabbat and Mishkan embody different dimensions of HaShem’s occupying this world. Shabbes is in the dimension of time and the Mishkan is that of space, and time holds/beats space in spirituality - hence no Mishkan work to be done on Shabbat; Rav Munk). Let’s also suggest that the main Yom Tov section was placed here in Vayikra because this is the chumash that deals with korbanos - when we elevate the physical is service of HaShem just like Yom Tov is the elevation of ourselves (which is possibly why Yom Tov is described together with its Korbanos, but Shabbes in its initial sections is not).
In fact this Shabbes theme is present across the different parts of Shabbes. There are three parts of shabbes; Friday night, Shabbes morning ,and Shabbes afternoon - and they are reflected in the different amidah’s we say.

The Friday night amidah is about the Creation (vayechulu HaShamayim vehaaretz…), the shabbes morning one about giving of the Torah (ushnei luchos avanim…) and Shabbes mincha about Moshiach (ata echod…). All these centre around HaShem showing His presence in this world. The point is that these two paths go together in the life of a Jew; bringing HaShem’s Presence into this world and elevating ourselves into more spiritual worlds.

This might be the strong partnership of Yissachar and Zevulun; one learnt and the other supported him financially, I.e. one elevated the physical (money, possessions) and the other brought HaShem’s Presence down into this world via learning. And it hit me that this might also be present regarding the two paragraphs of Aleinu we say three times each day; the first paragraph centres around our elevation (’You did not make us like the other nations…our lot is not like theirs…’) and the second about HaShem’s Presence in this world (’to see speedily the glory of Your strength…to remove idols from the world’).

Perhaps this is the meaning of that which Rebbi Levi says at the end of moed katan (29a) that ‘one who goes straight from the shul to the beis hamedrash or vice versa will merit and receive the Shchinah’ - because the point is to combine the two world of tefillah and Talmud Torah; of bringing oneself up and increasing HaShem’s Presence in this world.
Please G-D the time should come soon where we can say the end of Aleinu as ‘this day...is’ as opposed to ‘on that day HaShem will be One...’
Have a great Shabbes Daniel and Janine

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