Jewish Holidays

Melacha #13 – Melabein (Laundering)

May 29, 2015, by

So, here we have wool that has been shorn off the sheep and we are ready to turn it into cloth. Wool is pretty filthy at this point, so the first step in the process is to clean it. The wool has to be scrubbed in water, and then bleached to purify it of debris. […]

Melacha #12 – Gozeiz (Shearing)

April 29, 2015, by

The first eleven melachos were agricultural in nature, relating to the production of dyes (and/or the lechem hapanim). The next thirteen melachos were those involved in making the curtains and coverings of the Mishkan. The first step in the production of cloth is gozeiz, shearing the sheep. The melacha of gozeiz entails more than just […]

Melacha #11 – Ofeh/Bishul (Baking/Cooking)

February 10, 2015, by

As noted earlier, the first eleven melachos are collectively referred to a “sidurah d’pas,” the order of bread. Accordingly, the eleventh melacha listed in the mishna (Shabbos 4:2) is ofeh (baking), the final step in making bread. However, while the show bread was used in the Mishkan, it was not a part of its construction. […]

Melacha #10 – Losh (Kneading)

December 26, 2014, by

After sifting, the flour was mixed with water to make dough. The combination of a liquid with solid particles to form a paste-like consistency (or firmer) is the melacha of losh. Losh includes both the initial introduction of liquid to these particles as well as the subsequent mixing. According to losh, one may not prepare […]

Melacha #9 – Merakeid (Sifting)

October 23, 2014, by

After the grain was ground into flour, it was sifted to remove any kernels that might not have been sufficiently pulverized. The melacha of merakeid involves passing something through a sifter of some kind to remove an undesirable element. A practical example of merakeid: some people keep a few grains of rice in their salt […]

Melacha #8 – Tochein (Grinding)

May 15, 2014, by

After the impurities were removed from the grain, it was ground to make flour. The melacha of tochein (grinding) involves breaking something down into smaller pieces, thereby making it useful for a new purpose. For example, while slicing vegetables is permitted on Shabbos, dicing them into small pieces may violate the melacha of tochein. Tochein […]

Melacha #7 – Boreir (Sorting)

April 23, 2014, by

As discussed in Mitzvah #32, there are 39 categories of constructive labor called melachos. These are the acts that were performed in the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). These and similar actions are forbidden on Shabbos. Once a week for 39 weeks, we will briefly discuss one of the 39 melachos. In the previous melacha, […]

The Four Shabbatot

March 4, 2014, by

As an introduction to this topic, a (relatively) short introductory note would be helpful. On a regular Shabbat, the Parshah of the Week, which is divided into seven portions, is read publicly in the shul, or synagogue. For each of the seven portions, one congregant is “called up” to make “brachot,” or blessings, on the […]