Translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum



The joy of Shabbat is the gateway to true freedom.

Likutey Moharan II, 17

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Shabbat joy

Be very careful to feel only joy on Shabbat. There is nothing to compare with the greatness and holiness of Shabbat. The key to honoring the Shabbat is joy. Don't show even a hint of depression or anxiety on Shabbat.

Treat yourself to all kinds of delights in the food you eat, what you drink, your clothes... whatever you can afford. The food of Shabbat is completely holy. It is purely spiritual and filled with Godliness. It rises to a totally different place from that of the food of the six working days.

Make an effort to feel the joy of Shabbat and you will find true happiness.

Likutey Moharan II, 17

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Only through the joy of Shabbat can we elevate fear of God to the level of awe. You may be stringent in what you practice, but this is elevated only through Shabbat joy.

Do everything you can to bring yourself to joy on Shabbat. All of a person's income is decreed from the beginning of the year, but what he spends on Shabbat and festivals is not included in the decree ( Beitzah 16a) . Even a simple family man can make himself happy with tasty food such as fish and good soup.

Sing many songs at the Shabbat table. Pay no attention to any obstacles. Others at the table may show little desire to sing, but you should still do your part. Make a determined effort to sing happily. Conduct the Shabbat table in a happy mood, because the main thing is the joy of Shabbat.

Sichot Haran #155

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The Shabbat food

And Moses said, "Eat it today , for today it is Shabbat for HaShem." (Exodus 16:25) .

One should eat the Shabbat meals only for the sake of today - the Shabbat day itself. People sometimes eat because they are hungry from yesterday, and sometimes in order not to be hungry tomorrow. But at each of the three Shabbat meals you should only eat for the sake of today - this meal - and not because of before or afterwards. Eating on Shabbat is very precious indeed. On Shabbat one should eat and drink plentifully, because the food of Shabbat is all Godliness and all holy.

Likutey Moharan I, 125

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We eat on Shabbat not to gratify our physical appetites, but in order to open the channels of blessing for the other six days of the week.

Likutey Moharan I, 276

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Thirsting for God

On Shabbat night the world experiences a great thirst for God.

Siach Sarfey Kodesh 1-80

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Foundation of faith

Keeping Shabbat is the foundation of true faith. All our acts of charity and other good deeds radiate to perfection only through Shabbat, which is the very essence of faith. Charity can bring many blessings and good influences into the world but they are only actually revealed through Shabbat. As the essence of faith, Shabbat is the fountain of blessings, bringing everything in the world to its ultimate perfection. Without Shabbat and the faith it brings, everything is lacking, including our Godly understanding and knowledge of the Torah. Genuine wisdom and Torah understanding can thrive only through the influence of Shabbat and faith.

To experience the essential holiness of the Shabbat, which is the foundation of true faith, it is necessary to observe the purity of the Holy Covenant. Shabbat is deeply bound up with the Covenant, and this is why it is customary to spend Shabbat with Tzaddikim, whose holiness derives from their observance of the Covenant in purity in every way. Spending Shabbat with a Tzaddik enables us to experience the true holiness of Shabbat and deepen our faith.

Likutey Moharan I, 31

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Loving others

On Shabbat everyone experiences a certain enhancement of their Godly understanding and awareness, and this increases their ability to show love to others.

For a person's capacity to give love is related to his level of Godly knowledge and awareness. And one who offers love to others receives a flow of heavenly love.

Likutey Moharan I, 119

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Joy of the Festivals

The joy of the three major festivals, Pesach, Shavuot and Succot, gives us a share in the Inner Light of God, bringing new life to the mind and soul and enhancing our perception of God.

On the festivals we should return to God out of joy. On each of the festivals the world is judged ( Rosh Hashanah 16a) . A time of judgment is a time to return to God. Through repentance, the forces of holiness are released from the hold of the evil husks, speeding the final redemption.

Likutey Moharan I, 30

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Honoring the festivals

There are many different ways of honoring the festivals - with fine food and drink, beautiful clothes, pure and holy thoughts, joy and open-heartedness.

Honoring the festivals can bring you to the knowledge of God, enabling you to draw this knowledge down into the heart, the seat of passion and desire.

Three main desires are the root of all others: the desire for wealth, the sexual appetite and the impulse to eat. Each of the three festivals has the power to rectify one of these desires. Pesach rectifies the appetite for wealth, Shavuot sexual lust, and Succot the impulse to eat to excess.

It is because the festivals have these special powers that one should be so careful to celebrate them with the proper respect in order to be freed from these desires. Each Jew has the task of subduing and refining these aspects of his character, and when he succeeds, he becomes receptive to the spirit of prophecy and can attain true prayer and healing and see the sparks of Mashiach. In the end he will come to rule over the angels, which is the very purpose for which the people of Israel were created and their ultimate destiny.

Likutey Moharan II, 1

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By Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
© AZAMRA INSTITUTE 5767 - 2006-7 All rights reserved