Chapter: Shabbat

Laws of Shabbat

01. Shabbat Rest – The Completion of Creation

It took six days for God to create the heavens, the earth, and all within them. At first glance, an additional day seems unnecessary. Nevertheless, God created the seventh day and designated it for rest and cessation of labor. As … Continue reading

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02. Shabbat and the Jewish People

The Sages ask: Why does the Torah’s description of the end of the sixth day of creation conclude with “And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day” (Bereishit 1:31), with the definite article? They explain that the … Continue reading

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03. The Link Between the Exodus and Shabbat

During the first two millennia after creation, humans learned how to sustain themselves; to find food, clothing, and shelter; and to organize a society that could cope successfully with the challenges of their surroundings. Yet apart from a select few … Continue reading

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04. The Uniqueness of Israel and Shabbat

Shabbat reveals the special connection between God and Israel, as is stated: Nevertheless, you must keep My Shabbatot, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout the ages, that you may know that I the Lord have consecrated … Continue reading

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05. The Six Days of Creation and Shabbat

The six weekdays and Shabbat are interconnected. Just as every person has a body and a soul, so too the week has a body and a soul: weekdays are its body and Shabbat is its soul. Just as a wholesome … Continue reading

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06. Blessing and Holiness

Shabbat is a repository of blessing and holiness, as it is stated: “And God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that He had done” (Bereishit 2:3). Similarly we … Continue reading

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07. Manna on Shabbat

During the forty years that our ancestors wandered in the desert, God provided them with food from heaven. This food was known as man (manna), and through it God taught Israel how they should relate to food and to livelihood. … Continue reading

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08. Zakhor and Shamor

Two mitzvot constitute the basic elements of Shabbat: Zakhor (“commemorate”) and Shamor (“observe”). “Shamor” is a negative commandment to refrain from all labor. For six days, one must take care of his needs and productively engage the world, but on … Continue reading

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09. Zakhor – Foundations of Faith

With the commandment to “Commemorate the day of Shabbat to sanctify it” (Shemot 20:8), we are enjoined to recall the foundations of faith. This is why the mitzva of Shabbat is the fourth of the Ten Commandments. First we are … Continue reading

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10. Shamor – Cessation from Crafting the Mishkan

During the six weekdays, one must take care of his needs and productively engage the world. Most of his abilities and energies are directed toward working his fields, providing food, shelter, and clothing, and other productive activities. As much as … Continue reading

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