Bitesize Torah from Rabbi Rosenfeld

One of the most well-known prayers on Shabbat is “Veshamru V’nei Yisrael…..”, which we sing in the Friday evening service and when we begin Kiddush on Shabbat morning. In it, Shabbat is referred to as an “OT Le’Olam ” – “An Eternal SIGN”, one of the only two mitzvot defined in this way. The 20th century Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, better known as The Chofetz Chayim, defines the concept of an “OT” by a parable: If we arrive at the doctor’s to find the door locked, we may assume he or she is out for lunch or something similar. If on the next occasion, the blinds are down, we will think the doctor is on leave. If, however the doctor’s SIGN is no longer on the entrance, it must be that the doctor is no longer in practice. Says the Chofetz Chayim, “As long as the Jewish people keep the Sabbath, there is hope. If, however they do not, then the “OT”- the “SIGN” – is gone, and their future is no longer assured.
Let’s all enjoy a Shabbat Shalom!