Ki Sisa 5774
“However guard My Shabossos.” (31:13)
Why is the word Shabbos mentioned in the plural? If “Remember the Shabbos” and “Guard the Shabbos” were said “in one statement”, why was “remember” written on the first luchos and “guard” on the second? Secondly, why is the reason for Shabbos on the first luchos “for in six days Hashem made the heavens…” but for the second luchos the reason was “and you will remember that you were slaves in Mitzrayim”?
The Zera Shimshon answers that with the giving of the first luchos the Jews became free of the yetser hara and domination of the nations. When the Jews were still basking in the glory of the first luchos the Jews were told to remember the Shabbos, that is, to sanctify the Shabbos with positive actions like a festive meal and Torah study. They were on a lofty spiritual plane where actual labor was not a concern.
However, after the sin of the golden calf, they descended into the physical world and they needed to be careful about not performing labor.
At the time of the first luchos they would not have to go into exile, therefore the reason for Shabbos was the creation of the world. But after the sin of the golden calf, which renewed the possibility of exile, they were told the reason for Shabbos was to remember they were slaves in Mitzrayim. The fact that they needed to leave Mitzrayim early and they did not complete the 400 years opened them up to future exiles. This is why it is emphasized that “you will remember that Hashem redeemed you with a strong hand and an outstretched arm”, which is indicative of Hashem bringing them out before their time.
This is why here, after the sin of the golden calf the word Shabbos is used in the plural. Now, after their sin, they are subject to the yetser hara and the nations. Their rectification is to keep both aspects of Shabbos. Perhaps this is what the Gemara means when it says that if the Jews keep two Shabbosos they will be redeemed — both aspects must be fulfilled.
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