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.