Assembled on Shabbos


A love that is dependent on a cause, will cease when the cause is gone. A love that does not depend on a ‎cause will never cease (Avos 5:19)‎

Love develops amongst people striving for a common goal. Bosses respect their secretaries, doctors ‎admire their nurses,‎‏ ‏and football players love their teammates. However, the feelings of fraternity ‎dissipate when their careers are over. This devotion is a ‘dependent love’; a shallow attachment that does ‎not survive on its own merit. In essence, it only exists to facilitate the cause. ‎

Associations based on specific goals may suffer. Not every member shares equal ambitions and ‎aspirations. Each partner pulls their weight proportionately to their aims. ‎

A team will function better if they relate to each other outside of their working environment. If partners ‎socialize together, a bond develops independent of their common labors.Their efforts will no longer be ‎driven by purpose alone; each person performs out of love and care for their colleagues.‎

In an effort to create greater and deeper interconnection, successful mangers engage their underlings in ‎exotic recreation. They take their employees on golfing trips, visit theme parks and travel on international ‎cruises. These excursions build relationships independent of their joint vocations. The project supervisor ‎moves away from balancing the needs, whims and idiosyncrasies of the individuals, to observing his ‎charges looking out for their fellowman. Group members now sense they are part of unit that has its own ‎independent existence. ‎

This is the rationale behind the old adage ‘the family that eats together stays together’. The family ‎relationship is not based on gratitude or shared responsibilities of cooking, laundry and car pool. By ‎socializing together filial love develops with a life of its own. ‎

Moshe assembled the entire Jewish people to teach them about Shabbos. This was atypical. Moshe did not ‎assemble the people to educate them in the laws of Yom Kippur, Kashrus or Tefillin. Why is Shabbos ‎different? ‎

Shabbos is a day of rest. The Jewish work week is six days long; on the seventh we cease to labor. By ‎definition work requires interaction with others, for example, the diamond-polisher secluded in his room ‎has to meet with buyers and dealers. The six days of work demand human intercourse, but the seventh – ‎the day of rest – could be observed in solitude. ‎

The Torah teaches, for the nation to be a functioning integrated unit, with members who truly care for one ‎another, it is insufficient to merely work together. We need to refresh together. Relationships, strictly ‎founded on job compatibility, will not flourish. A people who socialize, celebrate and relax with one ‎another will develop a caring attitude towards their co-workers. Their friendship and love will thrive as ‎they move away from a dependent relationship to an independent relationship. ‎

Therefore, Moshe assembled the people to teach them about Shabbos, to demonstrate that Shabbos is a ‎time of assembly. Shabbos will have a stronger impact when people congregate and celebrate together. ‎

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