This week’s Parsha, כי תשא, gives us the source for the Thirty Nine מלאכות of Shabbat. It is learned from the words, אך את שבתותי תשמור, “But you shall observe my Shabbat.” This is positioned right in the middle of all of the discussions related to the construction of the Mishkan.  The lesson here is that one might think that building the Mishkan should take priority over the Shabbat laws. We are taught that this is not the case.

Rabbi Soloveitchik points out that we learn from here, the importance of Shabbat. The Jewish people have been able to survive without a בית המקדש, but we cannot survive without Shabbat.

Along with Kashrut and family purity, Shabbat is one of three pillars that Judaism is based on.

With the help of saintly Rabbis, they have managed to create a מקדש מעט, a small sanctuary, during our exile. However, Shabbat attests that Hashem is the true Creator of the universe. Abandoning this affirmation, is an abandonment of all that is sacred to our people.