At first glance, the words of V’shamru, which come from the book of Exodus, may seem innocuous - the Israelites will guard Shabbat and make Shabbat a symbol of their covenant with God for all time. But in the second verse, we read, “שבת וינפש - God stopped working and was refreshed.” If we look back at the story of creation in Genesis, God is not refreshed, God just stops working. The great rabbinic commentator Rashi says of this notion that God rests, “As if it was possible!” This idea that God rests is not meant to be literally understood; rather, it is there so that we might learn from this that we humans who work hard, who labor day in and day out, who stand up to injustice, who literally build a better world for our neighbors, that we should stop working and rest on Shabbat.
 


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