A Sabbatical Study

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

 


A Taste of the Olam HaBa. 1

Shabbat is a Sign of The Covenant 3

Day of Connection. 5

Shabbat Belongs to the Jews. 6

An Interesting Thought 9

Keep Shabbat Holy. 9

The Shabbat Candles. 27

Facts Concerning the Seventh Day. 28

Quoteable Quotes. 39

 

 

In this study I would like to study the Shabbat (Sabbath) and its implications. Let’s start with a definition of Shabbat:

 

The Shabbat begins Friday at sundown and ends at sundown on Saturday. The Shabbat is therefore NOT the same as Saturday, which begins and ends at midnight.

 

A Taste of the Olam HaBa

 

Shabbat is the culmination, the end-point, of all of our labors. It is a taste of the next world.[1] There is an idea that all spiritual realities have at least one tangible counterpart in the physical world so that we can experience them.

 

Shabbat is one sixtieth of the pleasure of the

Olam HaBa.[2] 

 

“It is good to thank G-d” -- you better believe it! As Adam and mankind have learned the hard way:

 

Because Adam blamed Chava for breaking the command not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and, in the process, denied the good that HaShem had done for him, the decree of expulsion resulted. Expulsion from Gan Eden was the first ever exile of mankind, and the “root” of all exiles and oppression to follow, especially for the Jewish people. Therefore showing HaShem gratitude is a crucial key to ending this exile.

 

This is why Shabbat is likened to one-sixtieth of the Olam HaBa, a time when we shall be able to fully appreciate HaShem‘s gift of life to us. On Shabbat, by abstaining from certain “creative activities”, we are compelled to sit back and look at all that HaShem does to keep us going, and if we don’t do that, then we deny both the opportunity of Shabbat and HaShem‘s good, just as Adam did.

 

Hence, the Sages are telling us that, as much as Shabbat is like the Olam HaBa (and it is), still, the experience is so minimal that it is as if it is not there at all? In other words, even if Shabbat is the most wonderful experience, still, the Olam HaBa will become infinitely better.

 

It would be too difficult to relate to these abstract, spiritual things, if we could never have any direct experience of it. So, sleep is a sixtieth of the death experience; a dream is a sixtieth of prophecy. Shabbat is a sixtieth of the experience of the next world. We have these experiences in order that we should understand those things that HaShem has promised.

 

Why specifically a sixtieth? What is unique about the proportion of one in sixty? One who has sensitive ear will hear something very beautiful here. One in sixty is that proportion which is on the borderline of perception: in the laws of kashrut (permitted and forbidden foods) there is a general rule that forbidden mixtures of foods are in fact forbidden only if the admixture of the prohibited component comprises more than one part in sixty. If a drop of milk accidentally spills into a meat dish that dish would not be forbidden if less than one part in sixty were milk, the milk cannot be tasted in such dilution. The halachic borderline is set at that point where taste can be discerned. The beautiful hint here is that Shabbat is one sixtieth of the intensity of Olam HaBa, it is on the borderline of taste: if one lives Shabbat correctly, one tastes the next world. If not, one will not taste it at all.

 

Shabbat is a taste of the Olam HaBa. The 39 forbidden labors are what give it this flavor. It is like a good recipe: The recipe must be followed exactly, down to the smallest detail, if it is to produce the desired results. The 39 forbidden labors are:

 

1. Carrying

14. Plowing

27. Chain-stitching

2. Burning

15. Planting

28. Warping

3. Extinguishing

16. Reaping

29. Weaving

4. Finishing

17. Harvesting

30. Unraveling

5. Writing

18. Threshing

31. Building

6. Erasing

19. Winnowing

32. Demolishing

7. Cooking

20. Selecting

33. Trapping

8. Washing

21. Sifting

34. Shearing

9. Sewing

22. Grinding

35. Slaughtering

10. Tearing

23. Kneading

36. Skinning

11. Knotting

24. Combing

37. Tanning

12. Untying

25. Spinning

38. Smoothing

13. Shaping

26. Dyeing

39. Marking

 

What ‘work’ is forbidden on the Shabbat?

 

Most Americans see the word “work” and think of it in the English sense of the word: physical labor and effort, or employment. Under this definition, turning on a light would be permitted, because it does not require effort, but a Hakham, a Rabbi, would not be permitted to lead Shabbat services, because leading services is his employment. Jewish law prohibits the former and permits the latter. Many Americans therefore conclude that Jewish law doesn’t make any sense.

 

The problem lies not in Jewish law, but in the definition that Americans are using. The Torah does not prohibit “work” in the 20th century English sense of the word. The Torah prohibits “melacha” (מְלָאכָה), which is usually translated as “work,” but does not mean precisely the same thing as the English word. Before you can begin to understand the Shabbat restrictions, you must understand the word “melacha”.

 

Melacha generally refers to the kind of work that is creative, or that exercises control or dominion over your environment. The word may be related to “Melech” (king; מלך). Avodah (permitted labor) comes from the root eved - slave. The quintessential example of melacha is the work of creating the universe, which G-d ceased from on the seventh day. Note that G-d’s work did not require a great physical effort: he spoke, and it was done.

 

The word melacha is rarely used in scripture outside of the context of Shabbat and holiday restrictions. The only other repeated use of the word is in the discussion of the building of the sanctuary and its vessels in the wilderness, in Shemot (Exodus) Chapters 31, 35-38. Notably, the Shabbat restrictions are reiterated during this discussion,[3] thus we can infer that the work of creating the sanctuary had to be stopped for Shabbat. From this, our Hakhamim, our Rabbis, concluded that the work prohibited on Shabbat is the same as the work of creating the sanctuary. They found 39 categories of forbidden acts, all of which are types of work that were needed to build the sanctuary.

 

Malaka is creative work. Avodah is labor that does not create. HaShem rested on the seventh day from creating. We rest on the seventh day from creating as well.

 

Abstaining from melacha on Shabbat is a loyalty test from The King. It is the yardstick of a covenant. That is why the penalty for breaking the Shabbat - is death!

 

Carrying the weight of water is burdensome. But, if you scuba dive and immerse yourself in the water, then bearing the weight of the water becomes a pleasure. Even so, one immersed in Torah and Shabbat will never find its commands to be burdensome. HaShem says that the Shabbat is a precious gift stored away in His treasury for the Jewish people.

 

Shabbat is a Sign of The Covenant

 

As we study the issue of the Shabbat, please remember that the Shabbat was given as a “sign[4] of the covenant“ to the Jews. Shabbat is a sign, which is also, according to Exodus 31, symbolic of the eternal bond between HaShem and the Jewish people.

 

The Shabbat was made for all men to enjoy, when they entered the Mosaic covenant. Gentiles, and Jews, had to enter the covenant before they could enjoy the Shabbat. The Shabbat was part of the contract between HaShem and Israel and a token and sign of that covenant:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 31:12-17 And HaShem spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Shabbats ye shall keep: for it [is] a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that [ye] may know that I [am] HaShem that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Shabbat therefore; for it [is] holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth [any] work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh [is] the Shabbat of rest, holy to HaShem: whosoever doeth [any] work in the Shabbat day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Shabbat, to observe the Shabbat throughout their generations, [for] a perpetual covenant. It [is] a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for [in] six days HaShem made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

 

This covenant that lasts forever is called, in Hebrew, בְּרִית עוֹלָם. Here we see Shabbat identified as a brit olam, a covenant for all time, a term used with respect to circumcision in Genesis 17:7;[5] here Israel is told Shabbat is ot hee le’olam, a sign for all times, parallel to the ot brit of Genesis 17:11. These are the only two commandments whose importance is emphasized by this sort of language.

 

The contract was not made with men before Moses. It was made with ISRAEL in the days of Moses:

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:1-3 And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. HaShem our G-d made a covenant with us in Horeb. HaShem made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, [even] us, who [are] all of us here alive this day.

 

The Shabbat only applied to the Jew, the ger tzaddik, and the ger toshav who was ready to convert. (A Ger toshav is a Gentile who keeps the seven laws of Noah. A ger tzaddik is the name for a Gentile after he has entered the covenant and becomes a Jew.) It did not apply to all people. Some may quote Hakham Shaul:

 

Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Shabbat [days]: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Mashiach.

 

Hakham Shaul is not abrogating the Torah! He is not changing what HaShem did with the Israelites. He does not have the authority or the desire to change this. Therefore we must conclude that the ones keeping the Shabbat are either Jews or proselytes (ger toshav).

 

Hakham Shaul may also have been referring to the festival Shabbats which the Gentiles may keep, except for Shemini Atzeret. Remember that the natural progression would have the Gentiles become ger toshav, then the ger toshav would then convert and become a ger tzaddik.

 

Some may also claim that His Majesty King Yeshua changed this by saying:

 

Marqos (Mark) 2:27 And he said unto them, The Shabbat was made for man, and not man for the Shabbat:

 

We must conclude that Mashiach’s audience were Jews and that this was not meant to apply to those who were not a part of the covenant.

 

There is an important concept here, that we learn from this world. I don’t enjoy the wages and perks of a sports star, because I did not sign the contract and because I did not do the work. The Shabbat was a “sign“ for those who “signed” the covenant, and kept its provision. It was the reward for those folks alone, much as a sports star will not tolerate an interloper. All covenants, or contracts, are like this: Those who sign, and keep the provisions, enjoy the rewards. Those who don’t sign, or don’t keep the provisions, do not share in the reward.

 

While Jews and ger toshav will be part of the Olam HaBa, they both have different roles and functions. This does not have anything to do with enjoying the Shabbat.

 

So, far from being a discouragement, the Shabbat is meant to entice the Gentile to “sign“ the covenant (immerse in the mikveh, brit milah, and agree before a Bet Din to keep the covenant). It is a reward for the man who loves HaShem and is willing to do what it takes. It is NOT for any Tom, Dick, or Harry who decides he wants it. That is outright theft and it negates the covenant.

 

Since circumcision and Shabbat represent special signs between HaShem and Israel, they do not apply to other nations. “A gentile who observed Shabbat deserves death”,[6] and a non-Jew whose foreskin is removed is still considered halachically uncircumcised: “All gentiles are uncircumcised”.[7] 

 

Sanhedrin 58b Resh Lakish also said: A heathen who keeps a day of rest, deserves death, for it is written, And a day and a night they shall not rest,[8] and a master has said: Their prohibition is their death sentence.[9] Rabina said: Even if he rested on a Monday. Now why is this not included in the seven Noachian laws? — Only negative injunctions are enumerated, not positive ones.[10]

 

The Maharsha explains[11] that the Shabbat is, metaphorically, a bride. Indeed, the Talmud refers[12] to the Shabbat as a bride and the Shabbat is greeted in the same way that a bride is greeted This imagery was immortalized by Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz[13] in his classical liturgical song, Lecha Dodi, which is sung just before the reception of the Shabbat. Rabbi Avraham Sperling writes[14] based on this allegorical comparison, that Shabbat is the female companion to the Israelite nation. The Jewish Nation is married to Shabbat. Therefore, when a non-Jew follows the rules of Shabbat, it is as if he is committing adultery with the married bride Shabbat, and so he is liable for the death penalty. However, before the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, Shabbat did not yet have any marital connection to the Jewish Nation, and therefore, the patriarchs of the Jewish Nation, even if they had the halachic status of Noachides, were allowed to observe the laws of Shabbat in its entirety.

 

Please keep this in mind as Your Excellencies study the Shabbat.

 

Maimonides writes[15] that the prohibition of a gentile observing Shabbat is a part of the general prohibition for gentiles not to innovate novel laws.[16] Rabbi David Ibn Zimra[17] explains[18] that according to Maimonides gentiles are not allowed to keep the Sabbath as if they were commanded to do so, rather they are only allowed to observe it as means of acquiring merits, but not as a means of fulfilling a commandment because they have no such commandment. In light of this, Rabbi Moshe Sofer[19] explains the words of an enigmatic Talmudic passage,[20] which states that if a non-Jew rests on Shabbat, he has fulfilled the commandment of resting. A non-Jew is only not allowed to rest when doing so as part of a “religious service”, however, a non-Jew can rest and get the reward for fulfilling the commandment of Shabbat in doing so. This is true if the gentile personally accepts upon himself not to worship idols. Keeping Shabbat and abstaining from idols are really the same because Shabbat is testimony[21] to the fact that HaShem created the world, while idolatry denies this truism. Therefore, a gentile who specially avowed not to worship idols (ger toshav) is also obligated to keep Shabbat and thereby has no prohibition of resting.[22] Perhaps the patriarchs of the Jewish nation before the Sinaitic Revelation had the status of such Noachides, and were thus able to observe properly the Shabbat.

 

Day of Connection

 

Shabbat is the seventh day of the week.[23] This is no accident. Shabbat connects the six days of the week. All of the other days revolve around it. It serves as the center for the three days before it and the three days after it.  Even though the seventh appears to be the final element in a linear progression, it is actually the core around which everything else revolves. Shabbat is a taste of shamayim, the next world, because on Shabbat you connect with your labors of the other six days. We do not go anywhere or do anything on Shabbat.[24] This is a taste of what it means to be there,[25] to be in shamayim.[26]

 

When the Torah wishes to give a name to the first day of the week, it gives it a name that describes its relationship to Shabbat, “the first day of Shabbat”, “the second day of Shabbat”, etc. And so it goes for the other six days. The sixth day is called “Erev Shabbat”, the eve of the Sabbath. Thus Shabbat connects the six days of the week. The following chart illustrates how the days revolve around Shabbat.

 

Tues. 3rd day

Mon. 2nd day

Sun.

1st day

Shabbat 7th day

Fri.

6th day

Thu. 5th day

Wed.

4th day

 

When we are called “the nation that sanctifies the Seventh”, we can understand this to refer to the Jewish people sanctifying that which is at the core, the Shabbat. Shabbat (as well as other “time-sevens” such as the Sabbatical year of Shmita) are about resting and relying on HaShem. This hints to us that the core is about reliance on HaShem, but that the other six, be they days of the week, the six years prior to Shmita, etc. are about a struggle that stays centered on the core.  [Working the six days of the week with an eye toward Shabbat in a way that is holy and spiritual even though it is “ordinary”; working the fields in compliance with Torah, leaving the gleanings, the corners, etc. for six years with the central realization that HaShem is the ultimate Provider not only during the Shmita year, but all of the other years as well]. Zayin, the Hebrew letter with a gematria of seven (7), seems to speak to us about the tension and paradox between struggle and letting go, finding  balance between our effort, active trust in HaShem, and our passive trust in HaShem to provide our needs.

 

The Sages teach us that there are five things that we should strive to accomplish on Shabbat:

 

Shabbat Activity

Each of these seven is used for connection

Eat the best food of the week.

Food connects the soul to the body.

Engage in marital relations.

Marital intimacy connects two physical bodies.

Rest.

Rest allows us to connect with the six days of work.

Pray.

Prayer allows us to connect with HaShem.

Study Torah.

Torah study allows us to connect with a transcendent world.

 

Shabbat is the day of connection, as seven is always associated with connection. Consider that every physical object has seven parts. Six sides: front, back, to, bottom, left and right, and a seventh which is the center that connects the six disparate sides.

 

Shabbat Belongs to the Jews

 

Question one: Who can/must celebrate the “feasts“ and the Shabbats?

 

Shemot (Exodus) 20:1-11 And G-d spoke all these words: “I am HaShem your G-d, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, HaShem your G-d, am a jealous G-d, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, But showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not misuse the name of HaShem your G-d, for HaShem will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. “Remember the Shabbat day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, But the seventh day is a Shabbat to HaShem your G-d. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore HaShem blessed the Shabbat day and made it holy.

 

The Shabbat rules applied to all people, aliens (gerim), and animals within the gates of the Jews. Now, if one were to go to Mea Sharim, in Israel, a city of Orthodox Jews, how many non-orthodox Jews do you think we would find? And of that number, how many would you expect are not ger toshav or ger tzaddik? Judging by appearances, there are no Gentiles and the gerim (plural of ger) all look like Jews. Any non-Jew would feel way out of place and would be VERY uncomfortable when trying to work on the Shabbat. So, when the Torah says that the Shabbat applies to those within the gates of the orthodox Jew, this should be taken quite literally. The Shabbat applies only to the non-Jew who lives, literally, in the midst of an orthodox Jewish city. These non-Jews are almost certainly gerim.

 

(The question: “Who is Israel“, is profound. If you do not know, you need to study further.)

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:34 The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am HaShem your G-d.

 

An alien is a not a native of the land. This is the Hebrewger“, a righteous non-Jew who has been grafted into Israel through Brit Milah, immersion, and the Bet Din.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 23:12Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed.

 

All animals and people were commanded to rest on the Shabbat. The passage does not indicate that they had to be within the gates, but merely owned by a Jew.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 31:13-17 “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Shabbats. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am HaShem, who makes you holy. “‘Observe the Shabbat, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people. For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Shabbat of rest, holy to HaShem. Whoever does any work on the Shabbat day must be put to death. The Israelites are to observe the Shabbat, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.’”

 

The Israelites must observe the Shabbats. Whoever does any work on the Shabbat day must be put to death. The Israelites are to observe the Shabbat as a lasting covenant. The Shabbat day was to be a sign between HaShem and the Israelites forever.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:1-3 HaShem said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, HaShem your G-d, am holy. “‘Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Shabbats. I am HaShem your G-d.

 

HaShem gave the Shabbat day commands to Israel through Moses. The entire assembly of Israel must observe HaShem‘s Shabbats.

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 15:13-16 “‘Everyone who is native-born must do these things in this way when he brings an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to HaShem. For the generations to come, whenever an alien or anyone else living among you presents an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to HaShem, he must do exactly as you do. The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before HaShem: The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.’”

 

The same laws and regulations will apply to both Israelite and the alien living among them.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:14-15 But the seventh day is a Shabbat to HaShem your G-d. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that HaShem your G-d brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore HaShem your G-d has commanded you to observe the Shabbat day.

 

The Shabbat applied to Israelites and aliens within Israel’s gates. The Shabbat applied to the animals within Israel’s gates.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:11-12 When all Israel comes to appear before HaShem your G-d at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. Assemble the people--men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns--so they can listen and learn to fear HaShem your G-d and follow carefully all the words of this law.

 

All Israel and the aliens living in their towns were commanded to follow HaShem‘s law.

 

Yehoshua (Joshua) 8:32-35 There, in the presence of the Israelites, Yehoshua copied on stones the law of Moses, which he had written. All Israel, aliens and citizens alike, with their elders, officials and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of HaShem, facing those who carried it--the priests, who were Levites. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of HaShem had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel. Afterward, Yehoshua read all the words of the law--the blessings and the curses--just as it is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Yehoshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them.

 

The whole assembly of Israel including the aliens who lived among them heard HaShem‘s law.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 14:1 HaShem will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them and unite with the house of Jacob.

 

Aliens will join them in the land and unite with the house of Jacob.

 

Ezekiel 47:21-23 “You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance,” declares the Sovereign HaShem.

 

Aliens, in Israel, and Israelites were given an inheritance in land.

 

Ephesians 2:17-22 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with G-d’s people and members of G-d’s household, Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Mashiach Yeshua himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which G-d lives by his Spirit.

 

Foreigners and aliens, who accept the Lord, are fellow citizens with HaShem’s people. This does not make them Jews or a part of Israel, it makes them citizens.

 

Romans 11:13-21 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry In the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, Do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if G-d did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

 

There is a distinction between a Ger tzaddik and a  Jew, but, they are both part of the olive tree, and called Israel. Ger tzaddik are holy because the Israelites are holy.

 

An Interesting Thought

 

On the Kiddush of the festivals, we say the following:

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:2-3 Speak to the Children of Israel, and tell them these are the Festivals that they shall keep holy. For six days, work may be performed, but on the seventh day, it is a complete rest day, a holy occasion; you shall not perform any work. It is a Shabbat to the Lord in all your dwelling places.

 

Why is Shabbat inserted into the middle of the Festivals?

 

The Vilna Gaon explains that on all the festivals certain types of food related activity are permitted, whereas on Shabbat all melachot[27] are forbidden. However on one Yom Tov no melacha is permitted – Yom Kippurim[28] – which is also known as שַׁבָּתוֹן שַׁבַּת – Shabbat Shabbaton, the same terminology that the Torah uses for a regular Shabbat. Thus the pasuk can be rendered:

 

On six days melacha is permitted – the first and last days of Pesach (2), one day of Shavuot (3), one day of Rosh HaShana (4), one day of Succoth (5), one day of Shemini Atzeret (6). However the seventh is the holy of holiest, no melacha is permitted, not even cooking, this is Yom Kippurim![29]

 

Keep Shabbat Holy

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:2-4 By the seventh day G-d had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And G-d blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When HaShem G-d made the earth and the heavens--

 

It is holy because HaShem rested from His creation work.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 16:12-36 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am HaShem your G-d.’” That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread HaShem has given you to eat. This is what HaShem has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’” The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed. Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much--two omers for each person--and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, “This is what HaShem commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Shabbat to HaShem. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Shabbat to HaShem. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Shabbat, there will not be any.” Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then HaShem said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that HaShem has given you the Shabbat; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” So the people rested on the seventh day. The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. Moses said, “This is what HaShem has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the desert when I brought you out of Egypt.’” So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before HaShem to be kept for the generations to come.” As HaShem commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna in front of the Testimony, that it might be kept. The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan. (An omer is one tenth of an ephah.)

 

The seventh day is the Shabbat. It is a day of rest.

We are to stay where we are and not go out.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 20:8-11Remember the Shabbat day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, But the seventh day is a Shabbat to HaShem your G-d. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore HaShem blessed the Shabbat day and made it holy.

 

The Torah commands us to keep the Shabbat holy.[30] How do we keep the Shabbat Holy?

 

If you look throughout the entire Bible you will never find the place where HaShem defines how we are to keep the Shabbat holy.[31] So, how do we keep the Shabbat holy?

 

Observant Jews do two things to make the Shabbat holy. They light two candles[32] before the Shabbat starts, then they make Kiddush[33] (wine blessing) after Shabbat starts. Then, we make Kiddush just before Shabbat ends and light a candle (havdalah) after Shabbat ends. Thus we perform the candle lighting before and after Shabbat and then we make Kiddush right after Shabbat starts and just before Shabbat ends. This is how we are to sanctify[34] the Shabbat and set it apart from the six work days.

 

The following graphic illustrates these actions:

Since kindling a fire is forbidden on the Shabbat, we kindle the Shabbat candles before Shabbat begins. For the same reason, we kindle the havdalah candle after the end of the Shabbat. Between these two kindlings, we take Kiddush wine[35] at the beginning of the Shabbat and again we take havdalah wine[36] just before the end of the Shabbat.

 

The candles lit on Erev Shabbat[37] are lit during the day, eighteen minutes prior to sundown. The havdalah candle is lit during the night, forty-two minutes after sundown. On the fourth day G-d created the sun, moon, and stars. The sun governs the day (Erev Shabbat candle); the moon governs the night (the havdalah candle). The fourth command (corresponding to the fourth day), of the ten commands, is to sanctify the seventh day which we do by lighting the Erev Shabbat candles and the havdalah candle.

 

The seventh millennium, when all will be Shabbat, is ushered in with the Erev Shabbat candles which are lit eighteen minutes prior to sundown, even as HaShem will have a period of time, known as the time of Jacob‘s trouble, when HaShem will bring fire on His enemies, just before the beginning of the Shabbat millennium. In a corresponding manner, HaShem will destroy His enemies and renew the earth after the Shabbat millennium, even as we light the havdalah candle, forty-two minutes after sundown, after the Shabbat.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 23:12-13Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed. “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.

 

Do no work on the seventh day so that you may be refreshed.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 31:13-17 “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Shabbats. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am HaShem, who makes you holy. “‘Observe the Shabbat, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people. For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Shabbat of rest, holy to HaShem. Whoever does any work on the Shabbat day must be put to death. The Israelites are to observe the Shabbat, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.’”

 

The Shabbat is a sign between the Israelites and HaShem. Any Jew who desecrates the Shabbat must be put to death. Any Jew who does any work on the Shabbat day must be put to death. The Israelites are to observe the Shabbat as a lasting covenant. It is a sign between HaShem and the Israelites forever.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 34:21Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.

 

Jews rest on the seventh day even though work may be critical.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 35:1-3 Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “These are the things HaShem has commanded you to do: For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Shabbat of rest to HaShem. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death. Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Shabbat day.”

 

Jews must work for six days. The seventh day shall be your holy day. Whoever works must be put to death. Do not light a fire in your dwellings on the Shabbat day.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:30 “‘Observe my Shabbats and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am HaShem.

 

The Israelites are to observe HaShem‘s Shabbats.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:1-44 HaShem said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of HaShem, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. “‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Shabbat to HaShem. “‘These are HaShem‘s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: HaShem‘s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month HaShem‘s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present an offering made to HaShem by fire. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’” HaShem said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before HaShem so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Shabbat. On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to HaShem a lamb a year old without defect, Together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil--an offering made to HaShem by fire, a pleasing aroma--and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your G-d. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. “‘From the day after the Shabbat, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Shabbat, and then present an offering of new grain to HaShem. From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to HaShem. Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to HaShem, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings--an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to HaShem. Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. The priest is to wave the two lambs before HaShem as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits. They are a sacred offering to HaShem for the priest. On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am HaShem your G-d.’” HaShem said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to HaShem by fire.’” HaShem said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to HaShem by fire. Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before HaShem your G-d. Anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on that day. You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. It is a Shabbat of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your Shabbat.” HaShem said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month HaShem‘s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present offerings made to HaShem by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to HaShem by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work. (“‘These are HaShem‘s appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to HaShem by fire--the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. These offerings are in addition to those for HaShem‘s Shabbats and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to HaShem.) “‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to HaShem for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest. On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before HaShem your G-d for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to HaShem for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths So your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am HaShem your G-d.’” So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed feasts of HaShem.

 

Six days you may work. The seventh day is a Shabbat of rest. The Shabbat is a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work. The Shabbat applies to Israelites no matter where they live. The Day of Atonement is a Shabbat.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 24:5-8 “Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf. Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before HaShem. Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to HaShem by fire. This bread is to be set out before HaShem regularly, Shabbat after Shabbat, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant.

 

The bread for the Shabbat was a lasting covenant.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:1-10 HaShem said to Moses on Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Shabbat to HaShem. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a Shabbat of rest, a Shabbat to HaShem. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the Shabbat year will be food for you--for yourself, your manservant and maidservant, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, As well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten. “‘Count off seven Shabbats of years--seven times seven years--so that the seven Shabbats of years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan.

 

The land of Israel, itself, must observe a Shabbat every seven years.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:2 “‘Observe my Shabbats and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am HaShem.

 

The Shabbat observance is a command.

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 15:32-36 While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Shabbat day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, And they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then HaShem said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as HaShem commanded Moses.

 

Gathering wood on the Shabbat required the death penalty.

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:9-10 “‘On the Shabbat day, make an offering of two lambs a year old without defect, together with its drink offering and a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This is the burnt offering for every Shabbat, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering.

 

The Shabbat required a drink, grain, and burnt offering.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:12-15Observe the Shabbat day by keeping it holy, as HaShem your G-d has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, But the seventh day is a Shabbat to HaShem your G-d. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that HaShem your G-d brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore HaShem your G-d has commanded you to observe the Shabbat day.

 

Jews observe the Shabbat by keeping it holy. No one is to work, man or beast.

 

I Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles) 23:28-31 The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of HaShem: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of G-d. They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the flour for the grain offerings, the unleavened wafers, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size. They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise HaShem. They were to do the same in the evening And whenever burnt offerings were presented to HaShem on Shabbats and at New Moon festivals and at appointed feasts. They were to serve before HaShem regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.

 

Burnt offerings were proper on the Shabbats.

 

Nehemiah 8:1-12 All the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which HaShem had commanded for Israel. So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Matityahu, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam. Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised HaShem, the great G-d; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped HaShem with their faces to the ground. The Levites--Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah--instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of G-d, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read. Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to HaShem your G-d. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of HaShem is your strength.” The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve.” Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

 

The Shabbat is sacred to HaShem our G-d. Jews ought not to mourn or weep on the Shabbat. We ought to enjoy choice food and sweet drinks on the Shabbat. We ought to share our food and drink with those who have none. We should not grieve on the Shabbat. We ought to celebrate with great joy on the Shabbat. The first day of the seventh month is a Shabbat.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first [day] of the month, shall ye have a Shabbat, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

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7677 shabbathown, shab-baw-thone’; from 7676; a sabbatism or special holiday:- rest, Shabbat.

 

----------------- Dictionary Trace ------------------

7676 shabbath, shab-bawth’; intens. from 7673; intermission, i.e. (spec.) the Shabbat:-(+ every) Shabbat.

 

Nehemiah 9:13-17 “You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. You made known to them your holy Shabbat and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses. In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them. “But they, our forefathers, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving G-d, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them,

 

The Shabbat is part of the commands, decrees, and laws.

 

Nehemiah 10:31 “When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Shabbat, we will not buy from them on the Shabbat or on any holy day. Every seventh year we will forgo working the land and will cancel all debts.

 

Jews will not buy anything on the Shabbat.

 

Nehemiah 13:15-22 In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Shabbat and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Shabbat. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Shabbat to the people of Judah. I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing--desecrating the Shabbat day? Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our G-d brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Shabbat.” When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Shabbat, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Shabbat was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Shabbat day. Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Shabbat. Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Shabbat day holy. Remember me for this also, O my G-d, and show mercy to me according to your great love.

 

Jews ought not to sell food on the Shabbat. Buying and selling food on the Shabbat desecrates the Shabbat. The Levites guarded the gates to keep the Shabbat holy.

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 92:1-15 {A psalm. A song. For the Shabbat day.} It is good to praise HaShem and make music to your name, O Most High, To proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, To the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. For you make me glad by your deeds, O HaShem; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. How great are your works, O HaShem, how profound your thoughts! The senseless man does not know, fools do not understand, That though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be forever destroyed. But you, O HaShem, are exalted forever. For surely your enemies, O HaShem, surely your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered. You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured upon me. My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes. The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; Planted in the house of HaShem, they will flourish in the courts of our G-d. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, Proclaiming, “HaShem is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

 

Jews ought to sing praises to the Lord on the Shabbat.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 56:1-7 This is what HaShem says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Shabbat without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Let no foreigner who has bound himself to HaShem say, “HaShem will surely exclude me from his people.” And let not any eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.” For this is what HaShem says: “To the eunuchs who keep my Shabbats, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant-- To them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And foreigners who bind themselves to HaShem to serve him, to love the name of HaShem, and to worship him, all who keep the Shabbat without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant-- These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

 

The one who keeps the Shabbat holy is blessed. The eunuch who keeps the Shabbat will receive an everlasting name. (eunuch = official) The Lord will give joy to foreigners (the ger within the gates) who keep the Shabbat.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 58:13-14 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Shabbat and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Shabbat a delight and HaShem‘s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, Then you will find your joy in HaShem, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of HaShem has spoken.

 

The Lord’s holy day is the Shabbat.  (This also the Lord’s day as spoken by Yochanan (John) in Revelation 1:10). If you keep the Shabbat holy you will find joy, you will ride on the heights of the land,  and you will feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 66:22-23 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares HaShem, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Shabbat to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says HaShem.

 

The Shabbat will be kept in the new heaven and the new earth.

 

Jeremiah 17:21-27 This is what HaShem says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Shabbat day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Shabbat, but keep the Shabbat day holy, as I commanded your forefathers. Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline. But if you are careful to obey me, declares HaShem, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Shabbat, but keep the Shabbat day holy by not doing any work on it, Then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings, incense and thank offerings to the house of HaShem. But if you do not obey me to keep the Shabbat day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Shabbat day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.’”

 

Be careful not to carry a load on the Shabbat or bring it through the  gates of Jerusalem. Do not bring a load out of your houses on the Shabbat. Do not do any work on the Shabbat. We are to keep the Shabbat day holy. This is a command. There are blessings for Jerusalem if we keep the Shabbat holy. There are curses for Jerusalem if we fail to keep the Shabbat holy.

 

Ezekiel 20:10-24 Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the desert. I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. Also I gave them my Shabbats as a sign between us, so they would know that I HaShem made them holy. “‘Yet the people of Israel rebelled against me in the desert. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws--although the man who obeys them will live by them--and they utterly desecrated my Shabbats. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and destroy them in the desert. But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I would not bring them into the land I had given them--a land flowing with milk and honey, most beautiful of all lands-- Because they rejected my laws and did not follow my decrees and desecrated my Shabbats. For their hearts were devoted to their idols. Yet I looked on them with pity and did not destroy them or put an end to them in the desert. I said to their children in the desert, “Do not follow the statutes of your fathers or keep their laws or defile yourselves with their idols. I am HaShem your G-d; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Keep my Shabbats holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am HaShem your G-d.” “‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws--although the man who obeys them will live by them--and they desecrated my Shabbats. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the desert. But I withheld my hand, and for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries, Because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Shabbats, and their eyes [lusted] after their fathers’ idols.

 

The Shabbat is a sign between Israel and the Lord, so that they would know that HaShem made the Shabbat holy. The one who desecrates the Shabbat will have the wrath of G-d poured out on them.

 

The Israelites did not enter the promised land because they did not keep HaShem‘s laws and  desecrated the Shabbat. Keeping the Shabbat day holy allows the Shabbat to be a sign between Israel and HaShem. The Israelites were scattered through the world because they failed to obey HaShem‘s laws,  rejected HaShem’s decrees, desecrated the Shabbat, and lusted after their father’s idols.

 

Ezekiel 44:24 “‘In any dispute, the priests are to serve as judges and decide it according to my ordinances. They are to keep my laws and my decrees for all my appointed feasts, and they are to keep my Shabbats holy.

 

The priests, the sons of Aaron, are to keep the HaShem‘s Shabbat holy.

 

Ezekiel 46:1-5 “‘This is what the Sovereign HaShem says: The gate of the inner court facing east is to be shut on the six working days, but on the Shabbat day and on the day of the New Moon it is to be opened. The prince is to enter from the outside through the portico of the gateway and stand by the gatepost. The priests are to sacrifice his burnt offering and his fellowship offerings. He is to worship at the threshold of the gateway and then go out, but the gate will not be shut until evening. On the Shabbats and New Moons the people of the land are to worship in the presence of HaShem at the entrance to that gateway. The burnt offering the prince brings to HaShem on the Shabbat day is to be six male lambs and a ram, all without defect. The grain offering given with the ram is to be an ephah, and the grain offering with the lambs is to be as much as he pleases, along with a hin of oil for each ephah.

 

The East gate is to be open only on the Shabbat and on the day of the new moon. The prince is to enter through the east gate. On the Shabbat the people are to worship in the presence of HaShem at the entrance  to the east gateway.

 

Amos 8:1-10 This is what the Sovereign HaShem showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. “What do you see, Amos?” he asked. “A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered. Then HaShem said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer. “In that day,” declares the Sovereign HaShem, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies--flung everywhere! Silence!” Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, Saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Shabbat be ended that we may market wheat?”--skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, Buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat. HaShem has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done. “Will not the land tremble for this, and all who live in it mourn? The whole land will rise like the Nile; it will be stirred up and then sink like the river of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Sovereign HaShem, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your religious feasts into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.

 

Keeping the Shabbat holy requires the right attitude. Because the Shabbats were desecrated and sin filled the land, HaShem will judge the land.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 5:17-24 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

 

Yeshua did not come to abolish the law, but, to fulfill it. The law will not disappear until everything has been accomplished. Anyone who breaks the law or teaches others to do so will be called least in the  kingdom of heaven. Whoever teaches and practices the law will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 12:1-13 At that time Yeshua went through the grain fields on the Shabbat. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Shabbat.” He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of G-d, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Shabbat the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Shabbat.” Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, And a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Yeshua, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Shabbat?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Shabbat, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Shabbat.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.

 

It is lawful to harvest the food you eat on the Shabbat. The priests desecrate the Shabbat and yet are innocent. The Son of Man is Lord of the Shabbat. It is lawful to do good on the Shabbat.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 24:20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Shabbat.

 

We ought to pray that the tribulation flight will not take place on the Shabbat. The  Shabbat is obviously to be a factor at the tribulation time.

 

Marqos (Mark) 2:23-3:5 One Shabbat Yeshua was going through the grain fields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Shabbat?” He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of G-d and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Shabbat was made for man, not man for the Shabbat. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Shabbat.” Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Yeshua, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Shabbat. Yeshua said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Yeshua asked them, “Which is lawful on the Shabbat: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.

 

It is lawful to heal on the Shabbat. The Shabbat was made for man, not man for the Shabbat. The Son of man is Lord of the Shabbat. It is lawful to do good and to save life on the Shabbat.

 

Marqos (Mark) 6:1-2 Yeshua left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Shabbat came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!

 

It is lawful to teach the things of HaShem on the Shabbat.

 

Luqas (Luke) 4:14-19 Yeshua returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Shabbat day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Yeshayahu was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

 

Jews ought to read the Torah on the Shabbat.

 

Luqas (Luke) 6:1-11 One Shabbat Yeshua was going through the grain fields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Shabbat?” Yeshua answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of G-d, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Yeshua said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Shabbat.” On another Shabbat he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Yeshua, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Shabbat. But Yeshua knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there. Then Yeshua said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Shabbat: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Yeshua.

 

Luqas (Luke) 13:10-17 On a Shabbat Yeshua was teaching in one of the synagogues, And a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Yeshua saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised G-d. Indignant because Yeshua had healed on the Shabbat, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Shabbat.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Shabbat untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Shabbat day from what bound her?” When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

 

Jews ought to take care of their livestock on the Shabbat. Jews ought to give freedom on the Shabbat.

 

Yochanan (John) 7:22-23 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Shabbat. Now if a child can be circumcised on the Shabbat so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Shabbat?

 

It is lawful to circumcise on the Shabbat.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 13:14-16 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Shabbat they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.” Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship G-d, listen to me!

 

Jews should read from the Law and the Prophets on the Shabbat. It is lawful to preach on the Shabbat.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 13:42-44 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Shabbat. When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of G-d. On the next Shabbat almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.

 

Paul and Barnabas kept the Shabbat. Jews ought to gather together to hear the word of the Lord on the Shabbat.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 15:13-22 When they finished, James spoke up: “Brothers, listen to me. Simon has described to us how G-d at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: “‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, That the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’ That have been known for ages. “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to G-d. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Shabbat.” Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers.

 

Gentiles were required to keep only a minimal part of the law, until they had time to learn the books of Moses on the Shabbat. The Apostles, elders, and the whole church (Israel) kept the Shabbat.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 16:13 On the Shabbat we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.

 

Jews ought to pray on the Shabbat.

 

Colossians 2:9-17 For in Mashiach all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, And you have been given fullness in Mashiach, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Mashiach, Having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of G-d, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, G-d made you alive with Mashiach. He forgave us all our sins, Having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Shabbat day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Mashiach.

 

Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Shabbat [days]:

 

2919 krino, kree’-no; prop. to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by impl. to try, condemn, punish:-avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

 

Romans 14:3-8 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for G-d has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to G-d; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to G-d. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

 

Galatians 4:1-11 What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, G-d sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, To redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, G-d sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, <“Abba>, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, G-d has made you also an heir. Formerly, when you did know G-d, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know G-d--or rather are known by G-d--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

 

Do not let anyone condemn the Jew for keeping the Shabbat. The Shabbat, new moon, and religious feasts are a shadow of things to  come. The reality is found in Mashiach. This does not means that the shadows have gone away!

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 4:4-11 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day G-d rested from all his work.” And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. Therefore G-d again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Yehoshua had given them rest, G-d would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Shabbat-rest for the people of G-d; For anyone who enters G-d’s rest also rests from his own work, just as G-d did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

 

There remains, then, a Shabbat-rest for the people of G-d. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.

 

Question 3: When was Shabbat observance begun?

 

Shemot (Exodus) 16:12-36 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am HaShem your G-d.’” That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread HaShem has given you to eat. This is what HaShem has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’” The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed. Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much--two omers for each person--and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, “This is what HaShem commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Shabbat to HaShem. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Shabbat to HaShem. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Shabbat, there will not be any.” Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then HaShem said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that HaShem has given you the Shabbat; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” So the people rested on the seventh day. The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. Moses said, “This is what HaShem has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the desert when I brought you out of Egypt.’” So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before HaShem to be kept for the generations to come.” As HaShem commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna in front of the Testimony, that it might be kept. The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan. (An omer is one tenth of an ephah.)

 

G-d first commanded Israel to rest on the Shabbat in relationship to the manna, about two months before the Shabbat command was given.. The law was not given until Shemot (Exodus) chapter 20! From this we can understand why a Ger Toshav will be taught by his teacher to observe the Shabbat in preparation for his conversion, his entering the covenant, even as the Jews began practicing before their conversion at Sinai.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 1:31 - 2:3 G-d saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day G-d had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And G-d blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

 

 The Shabbat day was obviously on HaShem‘s mind when he created the world.

 

Question 4: Are we not under grace rather than law?

 

II Luqas (Acts) 15:13-22 When they finished, James spoke up: “Brothers, listen to me. Simon has described to us how G-d at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: “‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, That the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’ That have been known for ages. “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to G-d. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Shabbat.” Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers.

 

Gentiles were required to keep only a minimal part of the law, until they had time to learn the books of Moses on the Shabbat. The Apostles, elders, and the whole church apparently kept the Shabbat.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 21:18-29 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what G-d had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard this, they praised G-d. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, So do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.” The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them. When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, Shouting, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place.” (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)

 

You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. But that you yourself (Paul) are living in obedience to the law.

 

Offering would be made for each of them:

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:1-27 HaShem said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to HaShem as a Nazirite, He must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or from other fermented drink. He must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as he is a Nazirite, he must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins. “‘During the entire period of his vow of separation no razor may be used on his head. He must be holy until the period of his separation to HaShem is over; he must let the hair of his head grow long. Throughout the period of his separation to HaShem he must not go near a dead body. Even if his own father or mother or brother or sister dies, he must not make himself ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of his separation to G-d is on his head. Throughout the period of his separation he is consecrated to HaShem. “‘If someone dies suddenly in his presence, thus defiling the hair he has dedicated, he must shave his head on the day of his cleansing--the seventh day. Then on the eighth day he must bring two doves or two young pigeons to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. The priest is to offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering to make atonement for him because he sinned by being in the presence of the dead body. That same day he is to consecrate his head. He must dedicate himself to HaShem for the period of his separation and must bring a year-old male lamb as a guilt offering. The previous days do not count, because he became defiled during his separation. “‘Now this is the law for the Nazirite when the period of his separation is over. He is to be brought to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. There he is to present his offerings to HaShem: a year-old male lamb without defect for a burnt offering, a year-old ewe lamb without defect for a sin offering, a ram without defect for a fellowship offering, Together with their grain offerings and drink offerings, and a basket of bread made without yeast--cakes made of fine flour mixed with oil, and wafers spread with oil. “‘The priest is to present them before HaShem and make the sin offering and the burnt offering. He is to present the basket of unleavened bread and is to sacrifice the ram as a fellowship offering to HaShem, together with its grain offering and drink offering. “‘Then at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, the Nazirite must shave off the hair that he dedicated. He is to take the hair and put it in the fire that is under the sacrifice of the fellowship offering. “‘After the Nazirite has shaved off the hair of his dedication, the priest is to place in his hands a boiled shoulder of the ram, and a cake and a wafer from the basket, both made without yeast. The priest shall then wave them before HaShem as a wave offering; they are holy and belong to the priest, together with the breast that was waved and the thigh that was presented. After that, the Nazirite may drink wine. “‘This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to HaShem in accordance with his separation, in addition to whatever else he can afford. He must fulfill the vow he has made, according to the law of the Nazirite.’” HaShem said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “‘“HaShem bless you and keep you; HaShem make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; HaShem turn his face toward you and give you peace.”‘ “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

 

Paul was participating in a Nazirite vow and was providing the offering!

 

II Luqas (Acts) 18:18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken.

 

Paul also apparently took a Nazirite vow! (with the associated sacrifices)

 

II Luqas (Acts) 20:1-7 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, Where he stayed three months. Because the Jews made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days. On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

 

Paul apparently observed the “Feast of Unleavened Bread”. Paul also kept the Shabbat as he was conducting a Havdalah service to conclude the Shabbat.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 28:13-28 From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. There we found some brothers who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked G-d and was encouraged. When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him. Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar--not that I had any charge to bring against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of G-d and tried to convince them about Yeshua from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Yeshayahu (Isaiah) the prophet: “‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ “Therefore I want you to know that G-d’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”

 

Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors.

 

We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you.

 

The Shabbat Candles

 

Procedure:

 

Lighting Candles

 

Lighting candles for Shabbat was originally a practical move. Before electricity was invented candles were the only source of light, and had to be lit before Shabbat started. In the centuries since then, however, the lighting of Shabbat candles has developed into a strong custom which has been invested with more spiritual meaning. Light is a symbol for peace, joy and the Divine presence, which descend on our homes during Shabbat.

 

On the sixth day of creation, HaShem created mankind in the form of Adam and Eve. On that very same day they were tempted to eat from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and were punished. The end of the sixth day had come and Adam and Eve were about to leave the Garden for a life of toil and hardship. It was Erev Shabbat and HaShem took pity on them and allowed them to remain in the Garden for Shabbat. He also prolonged the soft glow of the primordial light, existent since before Creation, to give Adam and Eve some comfort in the darkness of their punishment. The primordial light was extinguished from the world after that first Shabbat, as a punishment for humanity. Each week, however, when we light candles, we recapture some of the sparks and they illuminate our day of rest.

 

Midrash

 

The most common custom is to light at least two candles, corresponding to the two forms of the fourth commandment: to remember (zachor: Shemot (Exodus) 20:8) and to observe (shamor: Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:12) the Shabbat day to keep it holy.

 

How do you light Shabbat candles?

 

1. Light the candles

2. Wave your hands over the flame, symbolically drawing the light towards yourself and into your home. (The light is symbolic of Kedusha, or holiness).

3. Cover your eyes. (see below for reason)

4. Say the brachah (blessing).

 

Baruch ata, adonai, eloheinu melech haolam, asher kdishanu be mitzvotaiv, vetzivanu lehadlik ner shel Shabbat

 

Blessed are You, HaShem, our G-d, Sovereign of the world, who sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to kindle the light of Shabbat.

 

The reason that we cover our eyes is that technically a brachah is recited before the performance of a mitzva. However, since Shabbat begins as soon as the brachah is recited, we light first to ensure that we do not violate Shabbat by kindling fire. We cover our eyes when saying the brachah so that when we open them and see the light it is as if we lit the candles after saying the brachah. [On Yom Tov we look at the candles as we say the brachah, because we are permitted to use fire.]

 

Facts Concerning the Seventh Day

 

1. After working the first six days of the week in creating this earth, G-d rested on the seventh day.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day G-d had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And G-d blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

 

This stamped that day as G-d’s rest day, or Shabbat day as Shabbat day MEANS rest day. To illustrate: When a person is born on a certain day, that day becomes his BIRTHDAY. So when G-d rested upon the seventh day, that day became His rest, or Shabbat, day. Therefore the seventh day must always be G-d’s Shabbat day. Can you change your birthday from the day on which you were born to one on which you were not born? No. Neither can you change G-d’s rest day to a day on which He did not rest. Hence the seventh day is still G-d’s Shabbat day.

 

2. The Creator blessed the seventh day.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:3 And G-d blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

 

3. He sanctified the seventh day. (He never sanctified the first day!)

 

Shemot (Exodus) 20:11 For in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore HaShem blessed the Shabbat day and made it holy.

 

4. He made it the Shabbat day in the Garden of Eden.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day G-d had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And G-d blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

 

It was made before the fall; hence it is not a type; for types were not introduced till after the fall.

 

5. It is a memorial of creation.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 20:11 For in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore HaShem blessed the Shabbat day and made it holy.

 

Every time we rest upon the seventh day, as G-d did at creation, we commemorate that grand event.

 

6. Evident reference is made to the Shabbat and the seven-day week all through the patriarchal age.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day G-d had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And G-d blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 8:10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 29:27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.” And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.

 

7. It was a part of HaShem‘s law before Sinai.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 16:4 Then HaShem said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 16:23-29 He said to them, “This is what HaShem commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Shabbat to HaShem. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Shabbat to HaShem. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Shabbat, there will not be any.” Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then HaShem said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that HaShem has given you the Shabbat; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out.”

 

8. Then G-d placed it in the heart of His law.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 20:1-17 And G-d spoke all these words: “I am HaShem your G-d, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, HaShem your G-d, am a jealous G-d, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, But showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not misuse the name of HaShem your G-d, for HaShem will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. “Remember the Shabbat day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, But the seventh day is a Shabbat to HaShem your G-d. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore HaShem blessed the Shabbat day and made it holy. “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land HaShem your G-d is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

 

Why did He place it there if it was not like the other nine precepts which all admit to be immutable?

 

9. The seventh-day Shabbat was commanded by the voice of the living G-d.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:12-13 Then HaShem spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.

 

10. Then He wrote the commandment with His own finger.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 31:18 When HaShem finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of G-d.

 

11. He engraved it in the enduring stone, indicating its imperishable nature.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:22 These are the commandments HaShem proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.

 

12. It was sacredly preserved in the ark in the holy of holies.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:1-5 At that time HaShem said to me, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden chest. I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the chest.” So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. HaShem wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And HaShem gave them to me. Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as HaShem commanded me, and they are there now.

 

13. G-d forbade work upon the Shabbat, even in the most hurrying times.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 34:21Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.

 

14. G-d destroyed the Israelites in the wilderness because they profaned the Shabbat. Notice that G-d has not destroyed any Gentiles for non-observance of the Shabbat.

 

Ezekiel 20:20-25 Keep my Shabbats holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am HaShem your G-d.” “‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws--although the man who obeys them will live by them--and they desecrated my Shabbats. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the desert. But I withheld my hand, and for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries, Because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Shabbats, and their eyes [lusted] after their fathers‘ idols. I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by;

 

15. It is the sign of the true G-d by which we are to know Him from the false gods.

 

Ezekiel 20:20 Keep my Shabbats holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am HaShem your G-d.”

 

16. G-d promised that Jerusalem should stand forever if the Jews would keep the Shabbat.

 

Jeremiah 17:24-25 But if you are careful to obey me, declares HaShem, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Shabbat, but keep the Shabbat day holy by not doing any work on it, Then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever.

 

17. He sent them into the Babylonian captivity for breaking it.

 

Nehemiah 13:18 Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our G-d brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Shabbat.”

 

18. He destroyed Jerusalem for its violation.

 

Jeremiah 17:27 But if you do not obey me to keep the Shabbat day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Shabbat day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.’”

 

19. HaShem has pronounced a special blessing on all the ger tzaddik who will keep it.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 56:1-12 This is what HaShem says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Shabbat without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Let no foreigner who has bound himself to HaShem say, “HaShem will surely exclude me from his people.” And let not any eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.” For this is what HaShem says: “To the eunuchs who keep my Shabbats, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant-- To them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And foreigners who bind themselves to HaShem to serve him, to love the name of HaShem, and to worship him, all who keep the Shabbat without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant-- These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The Sovereign HaShem declares--he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.” Come, all you beasts of the field, come and devour, all you beasts of the forest! Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain. “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better.”

 

20. G-d has promised to bless all who keep the Shabbat.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 56:2 Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Shabbat without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

 

21. The Lord requires us to call it “honorable.”

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 58:13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Shabbat and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Shabbat a delight and HaShem‘s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

 

Be you who take delight in calling it the “old Jewish Shabbat,” “a yoke of bondage,” etc.?

 

22. After the holy Shabbat has been trodden down “many generations“ it is to be restored in the last days!

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 58:12-13 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. “If you keep your feet from breaking the Shabbat and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Shabbat a delight and HaShem‘s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

 

23. When the Son of G-d came, He kept the seventh day all His life.

 

Luqas (Luke) 4:16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Shabbat day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.

 

Yochanan (John) 15:10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

 

Thus He followed His Father’s example at creation. Shall we not be safe in following the example of both the Father and the Son?

 

24. The seventh day is the Lord’s day.

 

Revelation 1:10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,

 

Marqos (Mark) 2:28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Shabbat.”

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 58:13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Shabbat and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Shabbat a delight and HaShem’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

 

Shemot (Exodus) 20:10 But the seventh day is a Shabbat to HaShem your G-d. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.

 

25. Yeshua was Lord of the Shabbat

 

Marqos (Mark) 2:28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Shabbat.”

 

26. He vindicated the Shabbat as a merciful institution designed for man’s good.

 

Marqos (Mark) 2:23-28 One Shabbat Yeshua was going through the grain fields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Shabbat?” He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of G-d and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Shabbat was made for man, not man for the Shabbat. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Shabbat.”

 

27. Instead of abolishing the Shabbat, He carefully taught how it should be observed.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 12:1-13 At that time Yeshua went through the grain fields on the Shabbat. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Shabbat.” He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of G-d, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Shabbat the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Shabbat.” Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, And a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Yeshua, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Shabbat?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Shabbat, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Shabbat.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.

 

28. He taught His disciples that they should do nothing upon the Shabbat day but what was “lawful”.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 12:12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Shabbat.”

 

29. He instructed His apostles that the Shabbat should be prayerfully regarded forty years after His resurrection.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 24:20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Shabbat.

 

30. The pious women who had been with Yeshua carefully kept the seventh day after His death.

 

Luqas (Luke) 23:56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Shabbat in obedience to the commandment.

 

31. Thirty years after Mashiach’s resurrection, the Holy Spirit expressly calls it “the Shabbat day”.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 13:14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Shabbat they entered the synagogue and sat down.

 

32. Paul, the apostle to Gentiles called it the “Shabbat day” in A.D. 45.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 13:27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Yeshua, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Shabbat.

 

Did not Paul know? Or shall we believe modern teachers, who affirm that it ceased to be the Shabbat at the resurrection of Mashiach?

 

33. Luqas (Luke), the inspired Jewish Historian, writing as late as AD 62 calls it the “Shabbat day”.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 13:44 On the next Shabbat almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.

 

34. The Gentile converts called it the Shabbat.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 13:42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Shabbat.

 

35. In the great Jewish council, the Sanhedrin, A.D.49, in the presence of the apostles and thousands of disciples James calls it the “Shabbat day”.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 15:21 For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Shabbat.”

 

36. It was customary to gather together on that day.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 17:2-3 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Shabbat days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, Explaining and proving that the Mashiach had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Yeshua I am proclaiming to you is the Mashiach,” he said.

 

37. Paul read the scriptures in public meetings on that day.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 17:2-3 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Shabbat days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, Explaining and proving that the Mashiach had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Yeshua I am proclaiming to you is the Mashiach,” he said.

 

38. It was his custom to preach upon that day.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 17:2-3 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Shabbat days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, Explaining and proving that the Mashiach had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Yeshua I am proclaiming to you is the Mashiach,” he said.

 

39. The book of II Luqas (Acts) alone gives a record of his holding eighty-four meetings upon that day.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 13:14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Shabbat they entered the synagogue and sat down.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 13:44 On the next Shabbat almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 16:13 On the Shabbat we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 17:2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Shabbat days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,

 

II Luqas (Acts) 18:4 Every Shabbat he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 18:11 So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of G-d.

 

40. There was never any dispute between the Christians and the Jews about the Shabbat day.

 

41. In all their accusations against Paul, they never charged him with disregarding the Shabbat day. Why did they not, if he did not keep it?

 

42. But Paul himself expressly declared that he had kept the law. “Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.”

 

II Luqas (Acts) 25:8 Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.”

 

How could this be true if he had not kept the Shabbat?

 

43. The Shabbat is mentioned in the Nazarean Codicil fifty-nine times and always with respect, bearing the same title it had in the Tanach, “the Shabbat day.”

 

44. Not a word is said anywhere in the Nazarean Codicil about the Shabbat’s being abolished, done away, changed, or anything of the kind.

 

45. G-d has never given permission to any Jew to work upon it.

 

46. There is no record that G-d has ever removed His blessing or sanctification from the seventh day.

 

47. As the Shabbat was kept in Eden before the fall, so it will be observed eternally in the new earth after the restoration.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 66:22-23 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares HaShem, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Shabbat to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says HaShem.

 

48. The seventh-day Shabbat was an important part of the law of G-d, as it came from His own mouth, and was written by His own finger upon stone at Sinai.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 20:1-17 And G-d spoke all these words: “I am HaShem your G-d, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, HaShem your G-d, am a jealous G-d, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, But showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not misuse the name of HaShem your G-d, for HaShem will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. “Remember the Shabbat day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, But the seventh day is a Shabbat to HaShem your G-d. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore HaShem blessed the Shabbat day and made it holy. “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land HaShem your G-d is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

 

When Yeshua began His work, He expressly declared that He had not come to destroy the law. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets.”

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

 

49. Yeshua severely condemned the Pharisees as hypocrites for pretending to love G-d, while at the same time they made void one of the Ten Commandments by their tradition. In the same way men of today have made their own traditions in the keeping of Sunday, or the first day of the week. For, worshipping on Sunday is only man’s tradition.

* * *

 

Bible Facts Concerning the First Day of the Week

 

1. The very first thing recorded in the Bible is work done on Sunday, the first day of the week.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 1:1-5 In the beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of G-d was hovering over the waters. And G-d said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. G-d saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. G-d called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day.

 

This was done by the Creator Himself. If G-d made the earth on Sunday, can it be wicked for us to work on Sunday?

 

2. G-d commands men to work upon the 1st day of the week.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 20:8-11 “Remember the Shabbat day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, But the seventh day is a Shabbat to HaShem your G-d. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore HaShem blessed the Shabbat day and made it holy.

 

Is it wrong to obey G-d? By the express command of G-d, His holy people used the first day of the week as a common working day for 4,000 years, at least.

 

3. G-d Himself calls it a “working” day.

 

Ezekiel 46:1 “‘This is what the Sovereign HaShem says: The gate of the inner court facing east is to be shut on the six working days, but on the Shabbat day and on the day of the New Moon it is to be opened.

 

4. G-d did not rest upon it.

 

5. He never blessed it.

 

6. Yeshua did not rest upon it.

 

7. Yeshua was a carpenter

 

Marqos (Mark) 6:3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

 

and worked at His trade until He was thirty years old. He kept the Shabbat and worked six days in the week, as all admit. Hence, He did many a hard days work on Sunday.

 

8. The Apostles never rested upon it.

 

9. This was a work day for the Apostles.

 

10. Yeshua never blessed it.

 

11. It has never been sanctified.

 

12. It has never been blessed by any divine authority.

 

13. No law was ever given to enforce the keeping of it, hence it is no transgression to work upon it. “Where no law is, there is no transgression”

 

Romans 4:15 Because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

 

I Yochanan (John) 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.

 

14. The Nazarean Codicil nowhere forbids work to be done on it.

 

15. No penalty is provided for its violation.

 

16. No blessing is promised for observance.

 

17. No regulation is given as to how it ought to be observed. Would this be so if the Lord wished us to keep it?

 

18. It is never called the “Christian” Shabbat.

 

19. It is never called the Shabbat day at all.

 

20. It is never called the Lord’s day.

 

21. It is never called even a rest day.

 

22. No sacred title whatever is applied to it. Then why should we call it holy?

 

23. It is simply called “first day of the week.”

 

24. Yeshua never mentioned it in any way, never took its name upon His lips, so far as the record shows.

 

25. The word Sunday never occurs in the Bible at all.

 

26. Neither HaShem, Yeshua, nor inspired men ever said one word in favor of Sunday as a holy day.

 

27. The first day of the week is mentioned only eight times in all the Nazarean Codicil.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 28:1 After the Shabbat, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

 

Marqos (Mark) 16:2-9 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb And they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Yeshua the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. When Yeshua rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.

 

Luqas (Luke) 24:1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.

 

Yochanan (John) 20:1-19 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Yeshua loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, As well as the burial cloth that had been around Yeshuahead. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Yeshua had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to their homes, But Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb And saw two angels in white, seated where Yeshuabody had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Yeshua standing there, but she did not realize that it was Yeshua. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Yeshua said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Yeshua said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my G-d and your G-d.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Yeshua came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

 

II Luqas (Acts) 20:7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

 

I Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

 

28. Six of these texts refer to the same first day of the week.

 

29. Paul directed the saints to look over their secular affairs on that day.

 

I Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

 

30. In all the Nazarean Codicil we have a record of only one religious meeting held upon that day, and even this was a night meeting.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 20:5-12 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days. On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

 

31. There is not an implication that they ever held a meeting upon it before or after that.

 

32. It was not their custom to meet on that day.

 

33. There was no requirement to break bread on that day. We have an account of only one instance in which it was done.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 20:7-11 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left.

 

That was done as part of a Havdalah service from right after sunset till midnight. Yeshua celebrated it on Tuesday evening:

 

Luqas (Luke) 22:7-21 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Yeshua sent Peter and Yochanan (John), saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, And say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.” They left and found things just as Yeshua had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When the hour came, Yeshua and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of G-d.” After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of G-d comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.

 

and the disciples sometimes did it every day.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 2:42-46 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,

 

34. The Bible nowhere says that the first day of the week commemorates the resurrection of Yeshua. This is a tradition of men, which contradicts the law of G-d.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 15:1-9 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Yeshua from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Yeshua replied, “And why do you break the command of G-d for the sake of your tradition? For G-d said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to G-d,’ He is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of G-d for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Yeshayahu (Isaiah) was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’”

 

Baptism commemorates the burial and resurrection of Yeshua.

 

Romans 6:3-5 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Mashiach Yeshua were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Mashiach was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

 

35. Finally, the Nazarean Codicil is totally silent with regard to any change of the Shabbat day or any sacredness for the first day.

 

Quotable Quotes

 

“Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, the Shabbat, but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day (Sunday) they shall honor, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Mashiach.” - Canon 29, Council of Laodicea, 364 C.E.

 

“All things whatsoever it was the duty to do on the Shabbat, these we have transferred to the Lord’s day (Sunday)... because it is more honorable than the Jewish Shabbat.” - Eusebius of Caesarea, 4th century

 

“Question: Which is the Shabbat day?

 Answer: Saturday (Friday sundown till Saturday sundown) is the Shabbat day.

 

 Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

 Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”

 - Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine

 

“Every Shabbat on account of the burial (of Yeshua) is to be regarded in execration (denunciation) of the Jews... In fact it is not proper to observe, because of Jewish customs, the consumption of food and the ceremonies of the Jews.”

- Pope Sylvester 314-335 C.E.

 

“The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.” - The Catholic Mirror

 

When is the Shabbat? How can we be sure of the day?

 

Just before the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, three million people saw bread from heaven (manna) for six days with a cessation on the Shabbat. This went on for forty years!

 

Nineteen hundred years ago, Yeshua affirmed the Shabbat as it had been observed since that time:

 

Luqas (Luke) 4:16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Shabbat day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.

 

We have secular sources as well:

According to the “Encyclopedia Americana” - 1953 edition, volume 24, page 78:

 

“The Shabbat was the seventh day of the Hebrew week and lasted from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday.”

 

Our modern calendars, for the most part, still show Saturday as the seventh day.

 

The Software Toolworks Multimedia Encyclopedia say the Shabbat is:

 

“The seventh day of the Jewish week--from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday--the Shabbat commemorates the seventh day of creation, on which G-d rested. It is a divinely appointed day of rest (Exodus. 20:8), to be devoted to prayer and study, and its observance is a mark of Jewish faith.”

 

and:

 

“The Shabbat, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, is observed by refraining from work and by attending a synagogue service. Friday evening is marked in the home by the lighting of a lamp or candles by the woman of the household, the recital of the Kiddush (a ceremonial blessing affirming the sanctity of the day) over a cup of wine, and the blessing of children by parents. The end of the Shabbat is marked by parallel ceremonies called havdalah. Similar home ceremonies occur on the festivals.”

 

* * *

 

First of all, the Mishkan itself is a micro-world. Each and every detail, along with the 39 types of labor necessary for its construction, model the seven days of creation. As an aside, it now makes sense why the Torah forbids us to do those very same thirty-nine (forty less one) types of labor on Shabbat. Just as HaShem completed His activities of creation on the 7th day, so too we must stop our acts of labor on the 7th day. We are emulating the Creator!

 

 

* * *

 


This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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Send comments to Greg Killian at his email address: gkilli@aol.com

 



[1] Shabbat is described as “meeyn olam haba” - a small degree of the experience of the next world.

[2] Shabbat 57b

[3] Shemot (Exodus) 31:13.

[4] The Hebrew word for sign, ot - אות, gives us significant insight into HaShem‘s plans. Ot - אות, Has a vav between an alef and a tav. The vav (ו) is the Hebrew letter that is often used for the prefix ‘and’. It is the letter of connection. The alef (א) is the first letter of the Hebrew alefbet. The tav (ת) is the last letter of the Hebrew alefbet. Thus the Hebrew word ‘ot – אות’, sign, carries the connotation of something that connect the beginning and the end.

[5] Thus we see that circumcision and Shabbat are connected.

[6] Sanhedrin 58b

[7] Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) 9:25

[8] Bereshit (Genesis) 8:22. ‘They’ is here made to apply to men, and ‘shall not’ is taken to mean ‘may not’.

[9] Eisenstein, J. E., V. p. 623. suggests that this may have been directed against the Christian Jews, who disregarded the Mosaic law yet observed the Sabbath, and quotes Maimonides who advances the following reason: ‘The principle is, one is not permitted to make innovations in religion or to create new commandments. He has the privilege to become a true proselyte by accepting the whole law.’ (Yad. Melakim, X, 9.) He also points out that ‘Deserves death’ expresses strong indignation, and is not to be taken literally; [cf. the recurring phrase. ‘He who transgresses the words of the Sages deserves death.’ Ber. 6b.]

[10] The seven Noachian laws deal with things which a heathen must abstain from doing. But when we say that a heathen must not observe a day of rest, we bid him to do a positive action, viz., work.

[11] To Sanhedrin 58b

[12] Bava Kama 32a

[13] A 16th century poet and Kabbalist from Tzfat.

[14] Ta’amei HaMinhagim, pg. 502 (Eshkol Ed.)

[15] Maimonides, Laws of Kings 10:9

[16] Maimonides writes that although this prohibition is not punishable with death, only floggings, gentiles should be warned that they could be liable for the death penalty as a means of deterring them from sinning through rest.

[17] 1479-1573

[18] Radbaz ibid. 10:10

[19] Chatam Sofer to Chullin 33a

[20] Nedarim 31a

[21] This is why in Halacha the recitation of Genesis 2:1-3 on Friday night is to be done with at least two men because in Halacha witnesses in a legal setting can only come in pairs.

[22] See Rashi to Yevamot 48b who says that a Ger Toshav is supposed to observe Shabbat; however, see Tosafot there.

[23] The Sages teach us that what Shabbat, Sabbath, is to time, so Eretz Israel, the land of Israel, is to space.  The Shmita, or Sabbatical, year connects these two. Space and time come together in a Shmita year.

[24] In this world we still have a taste of the Olam HaBa through their honoring and guarding of Shabbat. We use our labor of the six days to connect to the Shabbat. They picture the six thousand years of labor followed by the Messianic age when all will be Shabbat. This seventh millennium is itself a prelude to the Olam HaBa. In this seventh millennium, we will still have going and doing. Never the less, in the messianic age we will be connecting with Shabbat through all of our actions.

[25] The climax of the act of marital intimacy brings with it a sharp sense of arrival, of being there. This is the sensation we get when we arrive in the next world, of which Shabbat is just a bare taste, as we shall soon see.

[26] Shamayim, heaven, is a euphemism for the next world because HaShem will dwell with us in that place, where now He dwells in shamayim.

[27] Creative labors, the labors of a king.

[28] The Day of Atonement.

[29] The weekly Shabbat and each of the festivals, in Vayikra chapter 23, are described as containing festival Shabbats. These festival Shabbats have the same actions and prohibitions as the weekly Shabbat. The only difference between the weekly Shabbat and the festival Shabbats is that we are allowed to cook on the festivals, if the fire is lit before the festival.

[30] Shemot (Exodus) 20:8 Remember the Shabbat day, to keep it holy.

[31] The answer to this question is found in the oral Torah.

[32] The most common custom is to light at least two candles, corresponding to the two forms of the fourth commandment: to remember (zachor: Shemot (Exodus) 20:8) and to observe (shamor: Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:12) the Shabbat day to keep it holy. There are other customs, for example one candle for each of our children.

[33] The Friday night Kiddush is where we declare that the purpose of Shabbat is “to remember creation and to remember the Exodus.” Because while HaShem created the entire world, it was through the Exodus from Egypt that mankind came to appreciate HaShem as the guiding hand of history.

[34] Keep it holy.

[35] The Maharal developed a numerical approach in his study of the entire Written and Oral Law. He noted that numbers contain special significance. A numerical connection between two Hebrew words is not simply a random connection; it illustrates a deep conceptual bond. In the Maharal’s system, multiples of ten do not change the character of the number; therefore we can relate to seventy as a large seven. But, before we understand the number seven, let’s talk about the number six. In the three-dimensional physical world, everything has six sides, as in the sides of a cube; the number six relates to the six sides of the physical existence in which we live. Seven, however, is the point at the center of the cube; it is the hidden place where everything in the physical world has its spiritual source. It is the point that represents unity and the inner essence of all existence. Now we can understand the Maharal’s statement that wine comes from the place of concealment. The numerical value of the word for wine (yayin - יין) points us to the hidden, inner essence of Creation. It also illustrates our appointed task in the world: bringing the seven, the elusive ideal, into the six, the physical nature of existence. This is a reason why wine is present for almost every significant Jewish lifecycle event, as well at every Shabbat and festival. At these central moments, wine sits at the center of our table and reminds us all about our hidden, infinite potential.

[36] Drinking wine has other deep meanings as well. Why is it that we always start a spiritual holiday with Kiddush over wine? Well a Holiday such as Shabbat is a mix of physical and spiritual entities. The point of holidays is to lift our physical activities to the level of the spiritual. A persons spiritual level gets better with time (if he/she works on his/herself), however all physical things get worse with time. The only exception is wine. Wine is a physical entity which gets better with time thus symbolizing the mixture of the physical and spiritual.

[37] Friday afternoon just before Shabbat starts (Erev Shabbat means the eve of the Sabbath).