Parshas Bereishis - Shabbos on Mt. Everest

By BJLife/Ori Strum

Posted on 10/01/21

Parshas HaShavua Divrei Torah sponsored by
Dr. Shapsy Tajerstein, DPM - Podiatry Care.
(410) 788-6633

Climbing Mt. Everest is no small feat. According to the National Geographic, “at 29,035 feet, the summit of Mt. Everest has approximately one-third the air pressure that exists at sea level, which significantly reduces a climber’s ability to breathe in enough oxygen.” Along the way up the mountain, climbers do something called acclimatization. This is done in order to become accustomed to a new climate or new conditions.  

As exciting as it is for a climber to “just get to the top already,” smart climbers understand the importance of acclimatizing and stopping along the way up the mountain. A person cannot climb up Mt. Everest without breaking, stopping, and resting along the way up the arduous trek. The human body needs to take it all in, relax, reframe, refocus, revitalize, and only then move onwards. 

We may not all have the opportunity of making that dangerous journey to the summit of Mt. Everest, but if you are reading this, that means that you are alive, and if you are alive, that means that you have the incredible opportunity of making that “trek” through life. Along the way, though, it is easy to get lost and tired out due to a constant push and rush to keeping moving, keep on making money, keep on working, etc.  

The 7th day of creation – Shabbos – teaches us a lesson for success. It is only apropos, then, that this lesson for success is taught by the most successful Being to ever exist, that Being is G-d Himself. After 6 days of creating everything in the universe, G-d hits the breaks and stops. On day 7, G-d takes a breather. He rests. Rashi tells us, “What was the world lacking? Rest. Shabbos came, rest came. The work was completed and finished.” Gur Aryeh (see Artscroll, page 20, note 1) explains that “on the 7th day, Hashem put the finishing touch on His work by having it exist in a state of rest.”  

Many people mistakenly think that the way to be successful is by constantly accumulating more and more, i.e., constantly doing, constantly acting, constantly building, and constantly creating. Although in the short term, this model might see results, it is NOT a strategy for long-term success. 

The creation of מנוחה, rest, on the 7th day of Creation teaches us the importance of acclimatization. It teaches us the imperativeness of stopping, breaking, and resting during the journey through life. The gift of Shabbos, indeed, affords us with this amazing opportunity. It allows us to pause, think, reflect, refuel, readjust, and reacclimate to the busy flow of life. 

Successful people don’t just do and do. They also know when to stop and reflect, refuel, and recharge. This is how Hashem designed the world, and by following this model, we will be in position to live the most productive lives as we possibly can. 

Have a holy Shabbos!