(1) ויברך אלוקים את יום השביעי. G'd blessed the seventh day. We need to know the exact nature of this blessing which the Torah does not spell out in this instance. Our sages (Mechilta Exodus 20,3) suggested that the blessing was the fact that while the Jewish people were in the desert an extra portion of manna descended on Fridays and they did not have to pick it up on the Sabbath. Such allusions are, of course, not the plain meaning of the verse. The plain meaning of the verse has nothing to do with isolated events two and half millenia in the future. (2) The fact is that this present world can function only on the basis of an adequate supply of life-sustaining food and drink. All man's physical needs are attained only through toil and a great deal of effort on his part. Such activities are of a very mundane nature. Inasmuch as G'd wanted to sanctify the Sabbath, He first bestowed a blessing on that day so that it should not be devoid of anything. Although the amenities of this "lower" world are not normally attained through asceticism, withdrawal into the four walls of the Torah academy, etc., but through preocccupation with the profane and the mundane, G'd provided His blessing so that not only would there be no lack of the physical comforts but an abundance. This abundance is expressed by the halachah requiring us to have two whole loaves of bread when reciting the benediction over the Sabbath meal, to eat at least three meals on that day, and to enjoy delicacies not eaten on the days of the week. One might have expected the blessing to be of a purely spiritual nature. By not mentioning a spiritual kind of blessing, the Torah alludes to the Sabbath having been endowed by G'd with blessings of a physical nature. This is also what the Zohar meant when it speaks about the abundance of all the six days of creation being channelled into the Sabbath. (3) כי בו שבת, for on it He rested, etc. Here too we must explore exactly what the Torah had in mind. We fall back on what we wrote earlier, that the world had lacked the ingredients which assured it of permanence until the Sabbath came into existence. Assuming that this was so, we must ask what had enabled the world to continue up until the Sabbath? Since the world obviously was able to carry on without the נפש it received on the Sabbath, why would its continued existence have been endangered only then? (4) We find that G'd has revealed the answer to this question in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20,11) where the Torah writes: כי ששת ימים עשה השם את השמים ואת הארץ This means that at the time G'd created the universe He invested it with only enough power to endure six days for reasons known only to Himself and some kabbalists. G'd created one day which would be able to invest the world with staying power for another six days. If G'd had not created the Sabbath, the Tohu Vavohu preceding those six days would have returned and G'd would have had to start the process of creation ex nihilo all over again. Due to the infusion of the "soul" of the Sabbath the universe was placed on a more permanent basis, enabled to renew its batteries, so to speak. The words ובו שבת, mean that by means of this special day, the Sabbath, He was able to rest from all His work. The work referred to is that which only G'd could perform namely to create ex nihilo, something out of nothing. Had it not been for the Sabbath and its נפש, G'd would have had to repeat the process of בריאה, creation. The word עשה refers only to תיקון, improvement, repair. G'd rested from both aspects of creative activity. (5) When viewed in this light we can understand the statement of our sages that by reciting the benediction over wine on the Sabbath one becomes a partner to G'd in His creation of the universe (Shabbat 119). At first glance these words appear very forced. Who has ever heard of man becoming a retroactive partner in G'd's handiwork, something that He had long since completed? Besides, the act of reciting this paragraph from the Torah does not appear to be such a world-shaking effort that it would qualify us to become G'd's "partners!" What is the source of the statement in the Talmud? If the sages meant that the reward for reciting Kiddush is so great, should it not be awarded in public such as longevity, wealth, and physical prowess being granted to Sabbath-observers? (6) When we keep in mind my explanation thus far, it will be seen that the Talmud's statement is indeed most appropriate. In view of the fact that the Sabbath provides a secure existence for the six days following it after which another Sabbath repeats the same function, it follows that the very existence of the Sabbath equates with the existence of the universe. Unless there are people who observe the Sabbath there is no Sabbath, i.e. its existence has lost its meaning. Our rabbis have legislated that when one's life is in danger unless one desecrates a law of the Sabbath, one should desecrate a single Sabbath in order to remain alive and observe many subsequent Sabbaths. Assuming that there were no other Sabbath-observers at the time, what good would it do for the person whose life was in to skip the one Sabbath? The world would disintegrate before he would have a chance to observe another Sabbath! It follows that only Sabbath-observers keep the universe going. Therefore the Sabbath-observers have become G'd's "partners" by ensuring that G'd's universe survives for another six days. Observing the Sabbath means to preserve its holiness according to all its laws and customs. Ever since the creation of man the world did not lack at least one person who observed the Sabbath. Adam did so, his son Sheth, and many righteous people after him. Whenever one righteous person died, G'd had already arranged for another righteous person to be born. This chain of individual Sabbath-observers continued through Methusela, Noach, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., until the Jewish people introduced collective Sabbath-observance. According to our sages, The Israelites observed the Sabbath even while in exile in Egypt (Shemot Rabbah 1,32). The word בהבראם, when they were created, is the reminder that whatever the earth or the waters produced was possible only due to the act of creation G'd performed on the day they were created themselves. (7) When we wrote earlier (2,1) that the spherical world is kept in balance and thus in existence due to the desire of the respective creatures to cleave to the light which surrounds this sphere provided by the Creator, this does not contradict what we have written. Were it not for the Sabbath, no creature would have had sufficient intelligence and desire to want to cleave to the Creator. On that day they were provided with the potential to produce what they produced subsequently.