Embrace Shabbos Chapter 2: Partnering With G-d

Rabbi David Sutton February 29, 2024

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Shabbat has the ability to grant us the greatest of all gifts. Shabbat is about becoming Hashem’s partner, and accessing the endless benefits that this partnership yields.

We begin the Shabbat meal on Friday night with the recitation of Kiddush. All too often, we recite Kiddush mindlessly, by rote, without paying close attention to what we are actually doing. Kiddush is not just a prayer or a formal text. It is a testimony. One of the reasons to stand while reciting Kiddush is that we are like witnesses, and in court witnesses must stand when testifying. We begin the Shabbat meal by proclaiming loudly and clearly to all who are present that Hashem created the world in six days and rested on the seventh.

The Gemara (Shabbat 119b) makes a very powerful statement regarding Kiddush. It states that one who recites the verses of Kiddush becomes a partner with G-d in the world’s creation. Reciting these pesukim is not just a mitzvah; it is a means of becoming G-d’s partner in the greatest “enterprise” of all time — creation!

During World War II, the Nazis were fast approaching Eretz Yisrael, and the Jews there were gripped with fear. Special prayer gatherings were held, and people pleaded to Hashem for protection. There was one Rabbi, Rav Shlomo of Zhvill, who was unaware of the situation. On Friday night, after he recited Kiddush, someone informed him of the imminent threat. He was very upset.

“Why are you telling me this only now?” he asked. “You should have told me this before I recited Kiddush!” He explained that when we recite “Vayechulu” on Friday night, we become Hashem’s partner in creation, and partners can influence each other. When we declare at Kiddush that Hashem created and governs the world, we become His partner, and He then treats our requests more seriously. This, then, is the most opportune time to ask for His help. The Rabbi thus regretted not having known about the crisis before Kiddush, at the moment he forged his “partnership” with the Almighty.


A man once came to Rav Yerachmiel of Alexander for help, as his store was not bringing in enough money.

The Rebbe realized that the man kept his store open on Shabbat. “I want to become a partner with you,” the Rebbe said. “Perhaps this will bring blessing to your store.” The Rebbe asked if he could be given a 1/7 share in the business.

“If you think this will bring berachah, then you can certainly become my partner,” the man said.

“Since I now own 1/7 of the store,” the Rebbi said, “I want to ask for Shabbat. All revenue that comes in on Shabbat is mine. And I decide that the store should be closed on Shabbat.”

The Rebbi proceeded to explain that when one observes Shabbat, he becomes a partner with G-d. Of course, G-d brings blessing, and thus there is no better way to achieve success than by partnering with G-d through the observance of Shabbat.


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Reprinted from Embrace Shabbos by Rabbi David Sutton with permission from ArtScroll Mesorah.