Who Knows Two? by Daniel Wenger


The second half of Parshat Pinchas details the Korbanot Mussaf that are to be brought in the Mishkan, and later the Bait Hamikdash, on every Shabbat, Yom Tov, and Rosh Chodesh.  These Korbanot are called Mussaf (literally “additional”) because they were public Korbanot that were brought on these special days in addition to the regular, daily public sacrifices, the תמידים.

The Korban Mussaf that was brought every Shabbat consisted of two lambs.  Upon comparing this Korban to the other Mussafim, one may notice that Shabbat’s Mussaf is the smallest of all the Mussafim.  The reason for this small number is there are a multitude of connections between Shabbat and the number two:

·       We are told to both “remember” (Shemot 20:8) and “guard” (Devarim 5:12) Shabbat.

·       Shabbat’s song is entitled as both a “Mizmor” and a “Shir” (Tehillim 92:1).

·       Shabbat is described as “a delight, a holy day” (Yeshaya 58:13).

·       The punishment for violating the prohibitions of Shabbat is told to us as מות יומת, “You will surely die” (Shemot 31:14).

·       On Shabbat, we make the Beracha of Hamotzi on two loaves of bread.

·       In Bereishit 2:3, the Torah records that on Shabbat, Hashem שבת וינפש, “rested and was refreshed.”

All these references to the number two hint at a double meaning of Shabbat: the aspects of physicality and spirituality.  Although Shabbat is a day of physical rest, it should not be viewed as a day of spiritual rest as well.  Our spiritual side should be very active on this day.  We must make sure to couple these two aspects into one so we can keep the appropriate theme of two in mind.

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