“Among all the sacred treasures in which Judaism blesses its adherents, none is as sacred, none is as rich in blessing and bliss, as the treasure of the oldest institution on earth, the treasure of the Shabbos,” states Harav Samson Raphael Hirsch, zt”l.
“[The Shabbos] transforms the poorest hut into a paradise and fills the darkest night with radiance of its glory,” he writes. “With a loving hand it guides him safely over the most slippery paths and removes all obstacles before him. It dries his tears, heals his wounds, eases his pain, makes the poorest rich and teaches the rich to be master of his riches and to enjoy them…”
Tragically, due to ignorance and assimilation, the vast majority of Jews in the world have never been enriched by the loftiness of Shabbos, their souls have never experienced the joy of keeping Shabbos — the eternal sign between Hashem and Am Yisrael.
As described in our special feature on pp. C8–C9, when Rabbi Ze’ev Warren Goldstein, the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, first introduced “The Shabbos Project” — an effort to convince large numbers of his brethren to keep a Shabbos in full, in accordance with all details of the Shulchan Aruch — many were skeptical. They argued that it couldn’t be done. Yet, as previously reported in these pages, estimates are that a significant majority of South Africa’s 75,000 Jews kept the Shabbos of Parashas Lech Lecha.
In the days and weeks that followed, Rabbi Goldstein was contacted by leaders of Jewish communities around the world who want to try and implement The Shabbos Project in their own cities.
In response, an international organization is now being established to facilitate, direct and execute the Shabbos Project in communities around the world on Shabbos parashas Lech Lecha 5775. While that may seem like a long time from now, Rabbi Goldstein correctly points out that there is much to do to prepare advertising and marketing campaigns to reach out to as many Jews as possible, and therefore there is no time to waste.
When Hagaon Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlita, was consulted about the idea, he declared, “This can bring Moshiach!”
As indicated in Chazal, Shabbos is a mitzvah that has the power to bring about the Geulah Shleimah. We have no inkling of the effect that keeping even a single Shabbos has on the soul of a Jew and we can’t fathom how many desperately needed merits this amasses for Klal Yisrael.
We know that mitzvah goreres mitzvah — one mitzvah brings another. Certainly the keeping of one Shabbos will influence the keeping of many other Shabbosos and additional mitzvos.
We urge our readers to join this momentous project and support it in every way possible.