A large segment of the laws found in Parshas Mishpatim are elaborated in the Mesechta Baba Kamma which begins with the Four main categories of damages שור בור מעבה הבער the ox, the pit, the tooth, (Man according to Rav) and the fire. The Yaaros Dvash interprets these four damages on a deeper level to parallel Four spiritual and esoteric historical damages as follows.
The first damage is מבעה Man referring to Adam who ate from the forbidden fruit which caused a cataclysmic repercussion in creation and the dwarfing of Man’s physical and spiritual former dimensions. The second falling was the Shevatim’s throwing Yosef into a בור pit leaving him to die and their subsequent selling him as a slave to Mitzrayim. The third event which had a major compromising effect on Am Yisrael was theשור which was the sin of the Golden Calf which is described as an oxשור אוכל עשב . During this tragic episode the Luchos that Moshe received from Hashem at Har Sinai were shattered and destroyed. The fourth episode which placed Am Yisrael at the brink of annihilation was the Meraglim the spies who brought back a negative report of Lashon Harah on Eretz Yisrael. Any member of the nation over twenty years old perished during the 40 years of wandering in the desert. This is represented in the element of damaging fireאש on Tisha B’av the date on which the two Batei Mikdashos were destroyed by fire. For by accepting this horrific slander on Eretz Yisrael Hashem told them that they cried for nothing, therefore I will give you something to really cry about every year.
Continuing with Rabbe Yonason Eibshitz’s thought, we can say that these four shocking events parallel the four things that remove a person from this world קנאה תאוה כבוד and avodah zarah. The selling of Yosef after throwing him into a pit left to die aligns itself with קנאה jealousy as the Torah openly suggests as it writesויקנאו בו the brothers were jealous of him. Chava and Adam ate from the Tree of Daas as she saw its fruit to be תאוה הוא לעינים lustful to the eyes. In the chait of the Meraglim the Zohar says that they lied about Eretz Yisraelbecause they did not want to lose their prestigious positions of kovod when they would arrive in Eretz Yisrael. And the worshipping of the Aigel was sufficient reason to annihilate them for seeking another deity.
If we add the gematriah of all four נזיקין events as follows עגל (שור) בור (מכירת יוסף) מבעה (אדם הראשון) הבער (חורבן הבית) we come to the gematriah of שבת with its three letters. This alludes to the atonement that Shabbos gives for these three debased middos and avodah zarah.
After the chait of the Aitz Hadaas Shabbos pleaded on behalf of Adam that he should not die immediately but rather live 1000 years which is also called a day כי אלף שנים כיום אתמול. Filled with gratitude Adam composed מזמור שיר ליום השבת thanking Shabbos for her intervention.
Worshipping of the Aigel was preceded in the Torah by the giving of the mitzvah of Shabbos serving as the refuah before the makkah. Chazal (Shabbos 118b) also say on the passukשומר שבת “מחללו” that it can be read also that one who preserves the Shabbos by not transgressing itמחול לו he is forgiven even for the sin of avodah zarah.
Yosef corresponds to the Korban Mussaf of Shabbos as his name suggests. The Torah hints to Yosef’s observance of Shabbos in the passuk וטבוח טבח והכן. The Ohr Chaim Hakadosh openly states that Yosef corresponds to Shabbos (Vayikrah 19 in the name of Zohar Chadash Toldos). Yosef therefore in the spiritual capacity and representative of Shabbos forgave them for their non brotherly actions and said אני יוסף אחיכם אשר מכרתם אותי מצרימה I still felt like “your” brother even during your selling of me to Mitzrayim. The word מכרתםwith its five letters is the gematriah of שבת with its three letters.
The Meraglim caused the Beis Hamikdash to be destroyed but because the churban happened on the Shabbos the Yaakos Dvash writes that this meant that Shabbos connected all Yisrael in such a deep way even at the time of the Churban. This Shabbos connection was displayed by the scene of the two angels on top of the aron uncharacteristically hugging each other (symbolic of Hashem and Yisrael) when in truth they should have turned their backs to each other as if to say there is no more relationship between us. This Shabbos connection at the time of the Churban allowed for the Shechinah to accompany Yisrael into the galus in order to protect them throughout their exile until the geulah. Shabbos is what preserved the relationship and bond between Yisrael and Hashem.
Another spiritual interpretation of the Four Damages is given by the Metzritzer Maggid. The damage of שור symbolizes the damage that comes from seeing and looking at inappropriate things that can cause one spiritual harm. This is alluded to in the word שור which can also mean to see אשורנו (Bamidbar 23,9). Every time we say the Shmah we are reminded to watch our eyes carefully לא תתורו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם especially in such a culture as ours which doesn’t ask us permission if we are ok with seeing their in your face obscene advertisements.
The second damage בור also can be interpreted to mean an עם הארץ, a boor, one who is not learned in Torah. He might look upon his ignorance to be a short term bliss but he is likened to an empty pit which can cause permanent damage not only to himself but also to others. Without Torah learning one lacks the spiritual armament to wage battle against his biggest arch enemy his yetzer harah and he can therefore be easily defeated.
The third damager is מבעה which means tooth which symbolizes eating. The saying goes You are what you eat. However the Torah iis more demanding than that, You are also how you eat, the self control, discipline, and derech eretzwhile you are eating. After all, the source of all our problems since the beginning of Man came from “eating” the forbidden fruit of the Aitz Hadaas. How much are we diligent to ensure that the restaurants and hotels meet the strict standards of hashgacha ensuring that throughout one’s stay short or long that all aspects of Hashgacha were not compromised? And even in our own kitchens do we do the necessary checking for insects in our foods and follow through with the instructions on the hashgacha packages that still say it must be rinsed and checked even though we give the hashgacha on it what ever it is worth?
A fourth major damage is הבער fire when one gets angry and loses his temper thereby displaying an adult tantrum. With one outburst of כעס one can blurt out a statement that can cause irrevocable damage in a relationship. Chazallabel such a reaction tantamount to avodah zarah which is far from a slight spiritual damage. Think ten times before one lets unbridled destructive words or bodily actions emerge.
In essence one who has any of these four characteristic flaws walks around with damaging energy. Here again Shabbos has the power to repair these shortcomings. On Shabbos eating is a mitzvah even if one has pleasure while doing so. And the mitzvah protects the individual from losing his yirasshamayim while he eats especially when he adorns his table with Zemiros and songs and stories.
Shabbos is an opportunity to fill in the gaps of his Torah ignorance since he does not go to work and one has plenty of time on his hands especially when there are many shiurim given on Shabbos even after his Shabbos sleep. Even reviewing with one’s children the parsha sheets brought home or really listening to a devar Torah that he or she prepared is a true Torah learning experience for the parent if one pays attention.
The Torah prohibits lighting a fire on Shabbos. The sefarim say that this issuralso alludes to not getting angry especially on Shabbos. Shabbos is called shalom ופרוס עלינו סוכת שלומיך. This means that Shabbos showers a person with the extra ability to control his anger since it is a day of increased emunah in Hashem’s creation of the world and His continuous Hashgacha amongst us. On Shabbos we can come to realize that it is not other people who are pushing your buttons but rather they are our tests sent to us by Hashem through them. With this understanding, anger and becoming upset is much easier to handle and control.
As far as one’s eyes being protected from seeing inappropriate material on Shabbos technology is prohibited. Secondly, with the increase of emunah and bitachon that Shabbos gives, one’s eyes are much easier to control. As the passuk says by the manna ראו כי נתן לכם השבת one has the siyata dishmayaability to use his eyes properly, viewing Hashem’s wonderful incredible miraculous world in which His providence can be seen if one truly has the patience to look beyond the surface.
These damages of negative energy שור בור מבעה הבער become rectified and repaired on the gifted day of Shabbos. This is all hinted in the gematria אכילה (מבעה שן) עין (שור) , חסר לימוד (בור) and כעס (הבער) which all add up to בשבת. The acronym of the four ניזקין above spell התיקון שבת מעשה בראשית