(12) Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. (13) Six days you shall labor and do all your work, (14) but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your ox or your ass, or any of your cattle, or the stranger in your settlements, so that your male and female slave may rest as you do. (15) Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the LORD your God freed you from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the sabbath day.
MISHNA: This fundamental mishna enumerates those who perform the primary categories of labor prohibited on Shabbat, which number forty-less-one. They are grouped in accordance with their function: One who sows, and one who plows, and one who reaps, and one who gathers sheaves into a pile, and one who threshes, removing the kernel from the husk, and one who winnows threshed grain in the wind, and one who selects the inedible waste from the edible, and one who grinds, and one who sifts the flour in a sieve, and one who kneads dough, and one who bakes. Additional primary categories of prohibited labor are the following: One who shears wool, and one who whitens it, and one who combs the fleece and straightens it, and one who dyes it, and one who spins the wool, and one who stretches the threads of the warp in the loom, and one who constructs two meshes, tying the threads of the warp to the base of the loom, and one who weaves two threads, and one who severs two threads for constructive purposes, and one who ties a knot, and one who unties a knot, and one who sews two stitches with a needle, as well as one who tears a fabric in order to sew two stitches. One who traps a deer, or any living creature, and one who slaughters it, and one who flays it, and one who salts its hide, a step in the tanning process, and one who tans its hide, and one who smooths it, removing hairs and veins, and one who cuts it into measured parts. One who writes two letters and one who erases in order to write two letters. One who builds a structure, and one who dismantles it, one who extinguishes a fire, and one who kindles a fire. One who strikes a blow with a hammer to complete the production process of a vessel (Rabbeinu Ḥananel), and one who carries out an object from domain to domain. All these are primary categories of labor, and they number forty-less-one.
The Gemara relates that those same Sages who sat and discussed the issue of hides, sat again and they raised a dilemma: That which we learned in the mishna: The primary categories of labor, which are prohibited by Torah law on Shabbat, are forty-less-one; to what does this number correspond? That is to say, what is the source of this number?
Rabbi Ḥanina bar Ḥama said to them: They correspond to the labors in the Tabernacle. All types of labor that were performed in the Tabernacle are enumerated as primary categories of labor with respect to Shabbat. However, other labors, even if they are significant, are not enumerated among the primary categories of labor since they were not performed in the Tabernacle. Rabbi Yonatan, son of Rabbi Elazar, said to them that so said Rabbi Shimon, son of Rabbi Yosei ben Lakonya: They correspond to the instances of the words labor, his labor, and the labor of, that appear in the Torah a total of forty-less-one times.
With regard to the primary categories of labor prohibited on Shabbat, their subcategories are similar to them, as it is no different if one unwittingly performed labor that is a primary category, for which he is liable to bring a sin-offering, and it is no different if one unwittingly performed labor that is a subcategory, for which he is liable to bring a sin-offering. Likewise, it is no different if one intentionally performed labor that is a primary category, for which he is liable to be executed by stoning, and it is no different if one intentionally performed labor that is a subcategory, for which he is liable to be executed by stoning.
(10) And let all among you who are skilled come and make all that the LORD has commanded: (11) the Tabernacle, its tent and its covering, its clasps and its planks, its bars, its posts, and its sockets; (12) the ark and its poles, the cover, and the curtain for the screen; (13) the table, and its poles and all its utensils; and the bread of display; (14) the lampstand for lighting, its furnishings and its lamps, and the oil for lighting; (15) the altar of incense and its poles; the anointing oil and the aromatic incense; and the entrance screen for the entrance of the Tabernacle; (16) the altar of burnt offering, its copper grating, its poles, and all its furnishings; the laver and its stand; (17) the hangings of the enclosure, its posts and its sockets, and the screen for the gate of the court; (18) the pegs for the Tabernacle, the pegs for the enclosure, and their cords; (19) the service vestments for officiating in the sanctuary, the sacral vestments of Aaron the priest and the vestments of his sons for priestly service.