Shabbos Kodesh is the Heritage of Yaakov
The gematriya of Yakov equals 7 times
shem “HVY”H” revealed on Shabbos!
The Sefer “Ahavas Shalom” by Harav Menachem Mendel of Kosov zatza”l shows us an amazing hint in the possuk: “Vayatza Yaakov mebeair sheva, vayelech charana” – Yaakov went out from Beer Sheva and went to Choron. This teaches us that Shabbos is the heritage of Yaakov. He bases this on the gemoro (Shabbos 118B) teaches that: “whoever delights in Shabbos is granted a boundless heritage”, as it says in the Navi (Yeshaya 58:14) talking about Shabbos: “then you will delight in Hashem, and I will mount you astride the heights of the world, I will provide you the heritage of your forefather Yaakov.”
The explanation for this is that Yakov has the gematriya, the numerical value of 7 times the “Shem HVY”H” (182) representing Shabbos, the seventh day, the day on which Hashem revealed the Midas Harachamim, Mercy. This hint fits so beautifully into the words of the possuk: “Vayatza Yakov“, the name of Yakov representing 7 times HVY”H,went out – was revealed, “mebeair sheva”, from Shabbos the seventh. ”vayelech charana” and then “charon”, the anger, dissipated since mercy was now revealed.
We can add another idea to the fact that Yakov is equivalent to 7 times to HVY”H, it should remind us to keep Shabbos halachically correctly. Because Hashem’s middah of mercy does not only exist on Shabbos but extends throughout the week, As the Zohar teaches that all bracha emanates from Shabbos.
The Arizal teaches us, that this is why on Shabbos we say the psalm from Tehilim (92): “Mizmor shir lyom hashabbos”, which contains the Shem HVY”H 7 times, to remind us that Shabbos is the heritage of Yakov whose name equals the Shem HVY”H 7 times. The Yalkut Shimoni even points out that this is why the Shmona Esray that we say all week with its 18 broches is replaced with one that contains only 7. All these are to continuously remind us that the attribute of mercy that we enjoy all week emanates from Shabbos.
Looking back at the words of the gemara in Shabbos that we started with, the gemoro in Shabbos (118B) which teaches: “whoever delights in Shabbos is granted a boundless heritage”, the boundless heritage is the mercy that extends from Shabbos through the entire week. as we can see in the words of the possuk in Yeshaya: “Oz tisaneg al Hashem” someone who takes pleasure in the fact that the Shem HVY”H was revealed on Shabbos, will merit the heritage of Yakov whose name equals 7 times the Shem HVY’H , representing the 7 days of the week.
To make this thought even sweeter we can look at the words of the Rm”a (OC 271:10) who points out that Friday night’s Kiddush starts with the words: “Yom Hashisi vayechulu hashamayim “. The first letters of the first 4 words are Y-H-V-H. And when we make kidush, the challos, the lechem mishna, are already on the table. Lechem twice is equal to 6 times the Shem HVY”H (156). By starting kidush with “Yom Hashisi vayechulu hashamayim” we add a seventh HVY”H to make it equal to the value of Yakov to remind us that the attribute of mercy, revealed on Shabbos, can extend throughout the week.
But to get that protection we must truly delight in Shabbos, keeping it halachically properly and enjoying its special spiritual beauty. So let’s take advantage of this enjoyable way to earn Hashem’s mercy for the coming week.