Is Shabbat Universal? (Copy)

Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

To set apart one day a week for freedom, a day on which we would not use the instruments which have been so easily turned into weapons of destruction, a day for being with ourselves, a day of detachment from the vulgar, of independence of external obligations, a day on which we stop worshipping the idols of technical civilization, a day on which we use no money, a day of armistice in the economic struggle with our fellow men and the forces of nature—is there any institution that holds out a greater hope for man's progress than the Sabbath?

The solution of mankind's most vexing problem will not be found in renouncing technical civilization, but in attaining some degree of independence of it.

(ה) טוּרְנוֹסְרוּפּוּס הָרָשָׁע שָׁאַל אֶת רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, אָמַר מַה יּוֹם מִיּוֹמַיִם,

אֲמַר לֵיהּ וּמַה גְּבַר מִן גּוּבְרִין.

אֲמַר מָה אֲמָרִית לָךְ, וּמָה אֲמַרְתְּ לִי.

אֲמַר לֵיהּ אֲמַרְתְּ לִי מַה יּוֹם מִיּוֹמַיִם, מַאי שְׁנָא יוֹמָא דְשַׁבַּתָּא מִכָּל יוֹמָא, וַאֲמָרִית לָךְ וּמָן גֶּבֶר מִגּוּבְרִין, מַאי שְׁנָא טוּרְנוּסְרוּפּוֹס מִכָּל גּוּבְרִין.

אֲמַר לֵיהּ שֶׁרָצָה הַמֶּלֶךְ לְכַבְּדֵנִי. אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַף זוֹ שֶׁרָצָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְכַבְּדָהּ.

אֲמַר לֵיהּ מְנָאן אַתְּ מוֹדַע לִי,

אֲמַר לֵיהּ הֲרֵי נְהַר סַמְבַּטְיוֹן יוֹכִיחַ, שֶׁמּוֹשֵׁךְ אֲבָנִים כָּל יְמוֹת הַשַּׁבָּת, וּבְשַׁבָּת הוּא נָח.

אֲמַר לֵיהּ לְנַגְדָא אַתְּ נָגֵיד לִי, אֶתְמְהָא.

אֲמַר לֵיהּ וַהֲרֵי הַמַּעֲלֶה אֶת הַמֵּת בִּזְכוּרוֹ יוֹכִיחַ, שֶׁהוּא עוֹלֶה כָּל יְמוֹת הַשַּׁבָּת וּבְשַׁבָּת אֵינוֹ עוֹלֶה, וְהַהוּא גַּבְרָא לֶהֱוֵי בָּדַק בַּאֲבוּהִי.

חַד זְמַן צָרִיךְ וּבָדַק בַּאֲבוּהוֹ, וּסְלֵק כָּל יוֹמָא דְּשַׁבַּתָּא, וּבְשַׁבַּתָּא לָא סְלֵק. בְּחַד שַׁבַּתָּא אַסְקֵיהּ, אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַבָּא מִן דְּמִיתַת אִתְעַבְדֵית יְהוּדִי, אֶתְמְהָא. מִפְּנֵי מָה עָלִיתָ כָּל יְמוֹת הַשַּׁבָּת, וְשַׁבָּת לֹא עָלִיתָ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ כָּל מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְשַׁמֵּר אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת אֶצְלְכֶם בִּרְצוֹנוֹ, כָּאן הוּא מְשַׁמֵּר אוֹתוֹ בְּעַל כָּרְחוֹ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ וְכִי עָמָל יֵשׁ לָכֶם שֶׁאַתֶּם עֲמֵלִים כָּל יְמוֹת הַשַּׁבָּת, וּבְשַׁבָּת אַתֶּם נוֹחִין. אֲמַר לֵיהּ כָּל יְמוֹת הַשַּׁבָּת אָנוּ נִדּוֹנִין וּבְשַׁבָּת אָנוּ נוֹחִין. חָזַר אֵצֶל רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, אָמַר לוֹ אִם כִּדְבָרֶיךָ שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְכַבֵּד אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת, אַל יַשֵּׁב בָּהּ רוּחוֹת, אַל יוֹרִיד בָּהּ גְּשָׁמִים, אַל יַצְמִיחַ בָּהּ עֵשֶׂב. אֲמַר לֵיהּ תִּפַּח רוּחֵיהּ דְּהַהוּא גַבְרָא, אֶמְשֹׁל לְךָ מָשָׁל, לִשְׁנַיִם שֶׁהָיוּ דָּרִין בְּחָצֵר אַחַת, אִם אֵין זֶה נוֹתֵן עֵרוּב וְזֶה נוֹתֵן עֵרוּב, שֶׁמָּא מֻתָּרִין לְטַלְטֵל בֶּחָצֵר. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה אֶחָד דָּר בֶּחָצֵר, הֲרֵי הוּא מֻתָּר בְּכָל הֶחָצֵר כֻּלָּהּ, אַף כָּאן הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְפִי שֶׁאֵין רְשׁוּת אַחֶרֶת עִמּוֹ, וְכָל הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ שֶׁלּוֹ, מֻתָּר בְּכָל עוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ. וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹכְלֵי הַמָּן מְעִידִין עָלָיו, שֶׁכָּל יְמוֹת הַשַּׁבָּת הָיָה יוֹרֵד וּבְשַׁבָּת לֹא הָיָה יוֹרֵד.

The wicked Turnus Rufus asked R. Akiva: How does this day differ from other days?

The latter replied: How does one man differ from other men?

He said to him: What did I say to you, and what did you say to me?

Akiva: You said to me, how does this day differ from other days, why is the Sabbath day different from all other days, and I said said to him, how does one man differ from other men, how is Turnus Rufus different from other men.

Rufus: In that the emperor chooses to honor me [and not other men].

R. Akiva: So, too, the King of kings chooses to honor it.

Rufus: How do you know this?

R. Akiva: It is proved by the fact that the river Sambatyon, which flows so swiftly on weekdays that it pulls up stones from its bed does not pull them up on the Sabbath, when it rests.

Rufus: Are you trying to lash me?

R: Akiva: A necromancer will be my proof, for he can raise a ghost on any weekday, but not on the Sabbath.

You should check this with your very father..

At that, Rufus went off and made the test with his own father. Every day he raised him, but on the Sabbath he could not raise him.

After the Sabbath he again raised him and asked him, “Have you become a Jew since you died? Why did you rise all the days of the week but not on Shabbat?"

The father replied, “He who does not observe the Sabbath when he is in your world can do so by his own choice, is here compelled to observe it.”

Rufus: And what labor do you perform on weekdays such that you need to rest on Shabbat?

The father: On weekdays we are punished, but on the Sabbath we are allowed to rest.

Rufus came back to R. Akiva and asked him: If God wishes to honor the Sabbath, as you say, let Him not cause winds to blow on that day, let Him not cause rain to come down on that day, let Him not cause grass to grow on that day.

R. Akiva: May the breath of such a man be blasted out! I will tell you a parable comparing this to two who live in a courtyard. If this one sets up an eruv and this one does not set up an eruv, are they allowed to carry in the courtyard? But if only one dwells in the courtyard, he may carry in the entire courtyard. So too God, since there is no other power but him, may carry throughout the world.

And moreover, those who ate the manna can testify, that it came down all of the days of the week, but it did not come down on Shabbat.

(טז) וְשָׁמְר֥וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּ֑ת לַעֲשׂ֧וֹת אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּ֛ת לְדֹרֹתָ֖ם בְּרִ֥ית עוֹלָֽם׃ (יז) בֵּינִ֗י וּבֵין֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל א֥וֹת הִ֖וא לְעֹלָ֑ם כִּי־שֵׁ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֗ים עָשָׂ֤ה יְהוָה֙ אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם וְאֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ וּבַיּוֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י שָׁבַ֖ת וַיִּנָּפַֽשׁ׃ (ס)
(16) The Israelite people shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout the ages as a covenant for all time: (17) it shall be a sign for all time between Me and the people of Israel. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased from work and was refreshed.

ביני ובין בני ישראל – ולא ביני ובין אומות עו”א.

"Between Me and the children of Israel it is a sign forever": and not between Me and the peoples of the world.

א"ר יוחנן משום ר' שמעון בן יוחי כל מצות שנתן להם הקב"ה לישראל נתן להם בפרהסיא חוץ משבת שנתן להם בצנעא שנאמר (שמות לא, יז) ביני ובין בני ישראל אות היא לעולם

Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: All the mitzvot that the Holy One, Blessed be He, gave to the Jewish people, He gave to them in public [parhesya] except for Shabbat, which he gave to them in private. As it is stated: “It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever” (Exodus 31:17),.

(כ) וְלֹא נְתַתּוֹ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ לְגוֹיֵי הָאֲרָצוֹת, וְלֹא הִנְחַלְתּוֹ מַלְכֵּנוּ לְעוֹבְדֵי אֱלִילִים, גַּם בִּמְנוּחָתוֹ לֹא יִשְׁכְּנוּ עֲרֵלִים, כִּי לְעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל נְתַתּוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה, לְזֶרַע יַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר בָּם בָּחָרְתָּ:

And You, Lord our God, did not give it to the nations of the world, nor did You bequeath it it idol worshipers. And in its rest the uncircumcised shall not dwell, for You gave it to your people Israel with love, for the descendants of Jacob whom you chose.

ביני ובין בני ישראל אות היא לעולם. במה שאוה״ע רואין שישראל נזהרין בשבת ממלאכה בזה אות היא לכל העולם כי ששת ימים וגו׳ שישכילו דרק משום זה הזהיר הקב״ה לישראל ומזה יגיע כבוד ה׳ לכל הארץ וזהו התכלית מכלל הבריאה ע״כ החמיר הקב״ה בקדושת שבת כ״כ:

"Between me and the children of Israel, it is an eternal sign."

Since the nations of the world see Israel observing the Sabbath not to perform work on it, this is a sign for the whole world that in six days [God created the heavens and the earth]. That they should know that this was the only reason that God warned Israel [not to work on the Sabbath] and from this the glory of God will reach the whole wold. And this is the goal of all of creation, and this is why God was so strict about the sanctity of Shabbat.

(ו) נָכְרִי שֶׁבָּא לְכַבּוֹת, אֵין אוֹמְרִים לוֹ כַּבֵּה וְאַל תְּכַבֶּה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין שְׁבִיתָתוֹ עֲלֵיהֶן, אֲבָל קָטָן שֶׁבָּא לְכַבּוֹת, אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁשְּׁבִיתָתוֹ עֲלֵיהֶן:

(6) [If] a gentile comes to extinguish [the fire], one may not say to him: "Extinguish" or "do not extinguish," because it is not their [Jews'] responsibility to ensure his Shabbat rest. But [if a Jewish] child comes to extinguish [it] they do not allow him because it is their responsibility to ensure his Shabbat rest.

הֲלָכָה אָדָם מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהָיָה מְהַלֵּךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ עֶרֶב שַׁבָּת וְחָשְׁכָה לוֹ, וְהָיוּ בְּיָדָיו מָעוֹת אוֹ דָּבָר אַחֵר, הֵיאַךְ צָרִיךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת, כָּךְ שָׁנוּ חֲכָמִים, מִי שֶׁהֶחְשִׁיךְ לוֹ בַּדֶּרֶךְ נוֹתֵן כִּיסוֹ לְנָכְרִי, וְלָמָּה מֻתָּר לוֹ שֶׁיִּתֵּן אוֹתוֹ לְנָכְרִי, אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי כְּשֶׁנִּצְטַוּוּ בְּנֵי נֹחַ לֹא נִצְטַוּוּ אֶלָּא עַל שִׁבְעָה דְבָרִים וְאֵין הַשַּׁבָּת מֵהֶן, לְפִיכָךְ הִתִּירוּ שֶׁיִּתֵּן אוֹתוֹ לְנָכְרִי. וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בַּר חֲנִינָא עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁשָּׁמַר אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת עַד שֶׁלֹא קִבֵּל עָלָיו אֶת הַמִּילָה חַיָּב מִיתָה, לָמָּה, שֶׁלֹא נִצְטַוּוּ עָלֶיהָ. וּמָה רָאִיתָ לוֹמַר עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁשָּׁמַר אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת חַיָּב מִיתָה, אָמַר רַבִּי חִיָּיא בַּר אַבָּא אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בְּנֹהַג שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם מֶלֶךְ וּמַטְרוֹנָה יוֹשְׁבִין וּמְסִיחִין זֶה עִם זֶה, מִי שֶׁבָּא וּמַכְנִיס עַצְמוֹ בֵּינֵיהֶם אֵינוֹ חַיָּב מִיתָה, כָּךְ הַשַּׁבָּת הַזּוֹ בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות לא, יז): בֵּינִי וּבֵין בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְפִיכָךְ כָּל עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁבָּא וּמַכְנִיס עַצְמוֹ בֵּינֵיהֶם עַד שֶׁלֹא קִבֵּל עָלָיו לִמּוֹל חַיָּב מִיתָה.

The halakhah is: A Jew who was walking on the way erev Shabbat and it grew dark, and he had in his hand coins or something else, what should he do? This is what our sages taught? One for whom the path grows dark [erev Shabbat] he should give his wallet to a non-Jew. And why is it permitted to give it to a non-Jew? R. Levi said, when the children of Noah were commanded, they were commanded only about seven things, and Shabbat was not one of them, therefore they allowed it to be given to a non-Jew.

And R. Yose bar Hanina said: A non-Jew who keeps Shabbat before he accepts upon himself circumcision is obligated for the death penalty. Why? For they were not commanded to keep this. And why did you says that a non-Jew who keeps Shabbat is liable for the death penalty? R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Yohanan: It is the way of the world that a king and a matron are having a discussion, and one who sticks their head in, are they not liable for death? Thus Shabbat is a matter between Israel and God, as it says, "Between me and the children of Israel." Thus any non-Jew who puts himself between them before he accepts circumcision, is obligated for death.

Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians

"Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness .... But let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body, admiring the workmanship of God, and not eating things prepared the day before, nor using lukewarm drinks, and walking within a prescribed space, nor finding delight in dancing and plaudits which have no sense in them. And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's [Day, Dominicam] as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days.

(א) הַדָּר עִם הַנָּכְרִי בֶחָצֵר, אוֹ עִם מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מוֹדֶה בָעֵרוּב, הֲרֵי זֶה אוֹסֵר עָלָיו, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בֶּן יַעֲקֹב אוֹמֵר, לְעוֹלָם אֵינוֹ אוֹסֵר עַד שֶׁיְּהוּ שְׁנֵי יִשְׂרְאֵלִים אוֹסְרִין זֶה עַל זֶה:

(1) Someone who dwells [together] in a courtyard with a gentile, or with someone who does not acknowledge [the validity of] an eruv [the halachic merging of separate domains by means of setting aside an amount of food in a designated place], behold [the residence there of] such [an individual] forbids hims [from carrying there] - so says Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaacov says, "[Truly such an individual's residence] does not forbid him, until there are [also] two Israelites [the residence of which] forbid each other."