Simcha on Shabbos 

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By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

                 The posuk in Bamidbar 10:10 says, “On the day of happiness, they should blow the trumpets in the Mishkan.” The Sifri explains this posuk to be referring to Shabbos.  The Zohar says that a person is happy on Shabbos by eating three meals. The Bais Yosef in Orach Chaim 281 brings in the name of the Shibolei Haleket that the reason we say Yismechu Bemalchuscha in Shemoneh Esrei on Shabbos is based on the above posuk that the day of happiness is referring to Shabbos. This is also why we end the bracha with veyismechu becha Yisroel. The meforshim ask the following question based on the gemara in Pesachim 119a that says there is a din of simcha on Yom Tov whereupon men have a requirement to eat meat and drink wine and women to get colorful new clothing. Why are there no such requirements regarding Shabbos?

               There are a number of answers to this question. The first answer is that most poskim hold that there is no chiyuv simcha on Shabbos. It could very well be that the above-mentioned Sifri would even agree. It is proper to have simcha on Shabbos, but there is no chiyuv to have simcha. The Gra explains the reason we use the terminology of yismechu bemalchuscha is going on the future; in the zchus of keeping Shabbos properly, we will be zocheh to be happy with the Shechinah Hakedosha. The Rosh, at end of Perek Daled in Rosh Hashana, and the Mordechai say that the posuk “On the day of happiness” is not referring to Shabbos, but rather to Rosh Hashana. This is why we don’t say lesasson ulesimcha in the birchas Haftorah on Shabbos.

                The Baal Halachos Gedolos argues with this point and says that there is a chiyuv to have simcha on Shabbos. In his count of Mitzvos Asseh he counts oneg Shabbos and simchas Shabbos as two separate mitzvos. The reason there is no chiyuv to eat meat and drink wine, like any other Yom Tov, is that it could be that on Shabbos there is only a chiyuv to have a little simcha.

                The third tirutz is based on the Shailos Utshuvos Lev Chaim who says the reason there was simcha on Shabbos was because they blew the trumpets during the Korbanos on Shabbos. The Simcha came as a result of the korbanos. Therefore, in tefilla which corresponds to the korbanos, we say simcha, but not that one has a chiyuv of simcha by eating meat or drinking wine,

                The fourth and final answer could be that on Yom Tov we have a chiyuv of simcha that is physical, whereas Shabbos is a celebration to remind us that Hashem created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day. The ikar mitzvah of Shabbos is not to do melacha. We are commanded to leave the physical and strive to reach a spiritual level of simcha and kedusha, which is why we have a neshama yeseira on Shabbos that we don’t have on any other Yom Tov. There is therefore no chiyuv of simcha with meat and wine. On Shabbos there is a separate chiyuv of oneg. On Yom Tov we have a chiyuv of physical pleasure. The Chinuch explains that just like a person needs a break sometimes from his regular routine, so too a person needs to get simcha of the guf on Yom Tov. On Shabbos, the simcha is ruchniyus, hence the words we say on Shabbos –Veyismechu “becha” Yisroel; the simcha is to connect with the Shechina which is a spiritual simcha and not a physical simcha.

                May we be zocheh to be happy on Shabbos the correct way!


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