Thursday, January 31, 2013


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Yisro
21 Shevat 5773/Febuary 1, 2013

The buzz is in the air. Get your hoagies and chips ready. It’s ‘Erev Super Bowl Sunday’. You may not even know which teams are playing; you may not even like football at all. But if you’re a good American, your gearing up for the great event.  
On Sunday our family enjoyed a pizza lunch with our friends, the Kraus family. They mentioned that after lunch they were heading to Saperstein’s Purim store to pick out costumes for their children. Later that afternoon I met my Rabbi Saperstein himself and I wished him a “Happy Erev Purim”. He smiled and replied that it has been Erev Purim for him since the last day of Chanukah.
A few hours later I met Menny Schwab, the director of Camp Fun. I wished him “Happy Erev Camp”. He smiled and replied that indeed that was true for him. He was busy with his reunion and was already accepting applications. This past Shabbos we hosted some friends from Camp Dora Golding, where we spend our summers. One of our guests was Binyamin Daiches, assistant director of the camp. Talking to him over Shabbos makes it apparent that it’s been Erev Camp for him for a few months already.
For many women the holiday of Tu B’Shvat ushers in Erev Pesach, as they begin to anticipate the great chometz purge. [I know there are women who begin Erev Pesach right after Chanukah, but we aren’t talking about those people right now. Their poor families are forced to live in a succah behind their home throughout the winter to ensure that they don’t bring any chometz into the house.]  
Although the word ‘Erev’ literally means ‘eve’, we refer to the entire excited frenzy that precedes any Yom Tov as ‘Erev’.
There are people who spend years thinking that they are ‘Erev retirement’, and that’s how they get through their day.
The most fulfilling life of a Jew is when he/she lives the entire week as if it’s Erev Shabbos. This does not necessarily refer to buying food, setting the table, or he other necessary physical preparations for Shabbos. Rather, it refers to one who lives his week in anticipation of the sanctity of the day and what it stands for, as well as in reflection of the growth of the previous Shabbos. 
Ultimately we know that the greatest merit is for one to attain the eternal shabbos, in a world where one spends eternity ‘delighting in the splendor of His Shechinah’ (Mesillas Yesharim – chapter 1).
The bottom line is that whatever we live our lives in anticipation of becomes our Erev. It’s that erev which ushers in the ‘boker’ – the subsequent day which lights up and becomes an integral part of our lives.

EREV Shabbat Shalom & Good EREV Shabbos,
   R’ Dani and Chani Staum

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