Judaism 101 - shabbat

"Shabbat is a sanctuary in time"

The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation, from the world of creation to the creation of the world."--Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man


(יב) שָׁמ֣֛וֹר אֶת־י֥וֹם֩ הַשַׁבָּ֖֨ת לְקַדְּשׁ֑֜וֹ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוְּךָ֖֣ ׀ ה' אֱלֹהֶֽ֗יךָ (יג) שֵׁ֤֣שֶׁת יָמִ֣ים֙ תַּֽעֲבֹ֔ד֮ וְעָשִׂ֖֣יתָ כָּֿל־מְלַאכְתֶּֽךָ֒׃ (יד) וְי֙וֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֜֔י שַׁבָּ֖֣ת ׀ לַה' אֱלֹהֶ֑֗יךָ לֹ֣א תַעֲשֶׂ֣ה כָל־מְלָאכָ֡ה...

Be careful to make the sabbath day holy, as the Eternal your God commanded you. Six days shalt you labor, and do all your melachah; but the seventh day is a sabbath for the Eternal your God, on it you shall not do any manner of melachah...

39 "Avot Melacha" (39 Categories of Prohibited Labour on Shabbat)

(ב) אבות מלאכות ארבעים חסר אחת הזורע והחורש והקוצר והמעמר הדש והזורה הבורר הטוחן והמרקד והלש והאופה הגוזז את הצמר המלבנו והמנפצו והצובעו והטווה והמיסך והעושה שתי בתי נירין והאורג שני חוטין והפוצע שני חוטין. הקושר והמתיר והתופר שתי תפירות הקורע על מנת לתפור שתי תפירות הצד צבי השוחטו והמפשיטו המולחו והמעבד את עורו והמוחקו והמחתכו. הכותב שתי אותיות והמוחק על מנת לכתוב שתי אותיות הבונה והסותר המכבה והמבעיר המכה בפטיש. המוציא מרשות לרשות הרי אלו אבות מלאכות ארבעים חסר אחת:

(2) The [number of] principal Melakhot is forty minus one. [The forbidden Melakhot are]: Sowing, plowing, reaping, binding sheaves, threshing, winnowing, sorting, grinding, sifting, kneading, baking, shearing wool, whitening it, combing it, dyeing it, spinning, weaving, making two loops, weaving two threads, separating two threads, tying [a knot], untying [a knot], sewing two stitches, tearing for the purpose of sewing two stitches, hunting a deer, slaughtering it, skinning it, salting it, curing its hide, scraping it, cutting it, writing two letters, erasing for the purpose of writing two letters, building, demolishing, extinguishing a flame, lighting a flame, striking with a hammer, carrying from one domain to another. These are the principal Melakhot - [they number] forty minus one.

More than Jews have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept Jews - Ahad Ha-am

Shabbat connects my family and friends. I host a party once a week, complete with bread, wine, and chocolate. Family and friends enjoy hours of meaningful and frivolous conversations, laughter, and some song and heated debate. My children have grown closer through Shabbat. They talk to each other, enjoy one another and, amazingly, have learned to talk to people of all kinds and opinions. Oh, and did I mention the chocolate?

-- Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky