Our Sages tell us (Mekhilta, Sh’mot 20:9) that for six days we should work; when Shabbat comes, we will have finished our work. After working hard for six days, when Shabbat comes, we stop thinking about work, as if it’s all completely done. This is a good way to enjoy Shabbat.
However, the more observant we are, the more worried we become, because Shabbat is more important than all the other mitzvot. The Zohar tells us that the word b’reishit means the first, the most important thing. B’reishit has the same letters as yarie Shabbat (fear Shabbat) (Tikkunei Zohar 9, 24b). The Torah (Vayikra 19:30) says, “You should observe the Shabbat, Ani Hashem (I am Hashem). If you do so, the Arizal says, “you will see My Beit HaMikdash (Temple) built, Ani Hashem.
The future of a Jew as one who will see the coming of Mashiach is dependent on Shabbat Kodesh (Holiness). Hence, Shabbat is the most important mitzva, the most pleasant, but also the most dangerous. There are many, many mitzvot dealing with Shabbat. How can we possibly remember them all, let alone keep them all? Yes, we must strive to learn and keep all of the mitzvot, especially regarding Shabbat. But how can we enjoy Shabbat with so many mitzvot, let alone the importance of keeping Shabbat?
Rebbe Nachman tells us:
“Before each Shabbat and festival, I also place my observance in Hashem’s hands, asking that it all be as He would wish. I can then celebrate it without worrying that I am perhaps not doing something properly. I am completely reliant on Hashem, and everything is in His hands.” (Sichot HaRan 2)
We can give all of our problems of the weekdays to Hashem, as we discussed in A Short Prayer to Start the Day. We can also give all of the problems of Shabbat and the festivals to Him. If we strive to learn about the proper observance of Shabbat and the festivals in order to keep them, we can then hand our problems of proper observance of them to Hashem. With emuna (faith) and bitachon (trust) in Hashem, we can allow Hashem to guide us and be in control of everything!
Based on Rebbe Nachman’s Soul: A Commentary on Sichos HaRan from the Classes of Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld Z”l