What a simple, but genius, directive: “Let no man go out of his place on the seventh day”. This is the only Mitzvah which appears in this week’s Portion – to stay in one place during the Shabbat. Throughout the week we run around, travel from place to place, walk, run, fly, move between the parking spot and the mall, between the car and the elevator. Even when we are already in one place physically, our consciousness can still “surf-away”, literally. We can sit in the class or in the car, but wander between numerous worlds of content in one minute. Shabbat makes us focus, stop the race, stay in one place for one whole day, and have our thoughts be there with us rather than run around, once a week. Sefer Hachinuch explains this Mitzvah and writes: “It is proper that we should rest in one place”. This ancient cure was given to us as a gift years ago, and it seems that every week anew it is more and more relevant.
Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.