Jewish Holidays

The 39 Categories of Sabbath Work Prohibited By Law

July 17, 2006, by

The Virtual Reader will note that there are “Notes” attached to many, if not all, the definitions of particular “melachot.” This entire chapter is taken, with permission, from the book “SABBATH Day of Eternity” by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (available separately, or included in the “The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II,” published by the NCSY (National Conference […]

The Concept of Melacha

July 17, 2006, by

The concept of “Melacha,” activity which is prohibited to a Jew on the Day of Shabbat, as noted in the Overview to Shabbat Section, means purposeful, creative interactions with nature. Let us explore some additional implications of the term “Melacha.” The idea of being purposeful, in this context, implies that that the act in question, […]

Erev Shabbat: Transitioning Into Shabbat

July 17, 2006, by

Yom HaShishi – The Sixth “Day” Just as the human being needs a transition, a distinction, or “havdalah,” between “kodesh,” that which is holy, and that which is “chol,” or profane, so does he need a transition when he steps up from the level of the profane to that of the holy. When one speaks […]

Shabbat: The Holiness of Time

July 17, 2006, by

“Kedusha,” or “holiness,” is a central concept in “Yahadut,” the Hebrew name for Judaism. This is because all holiness which manifests itself in various aspects of the Creation, in actuality or in potential, stems ultimately from G-d, the Creator, the Holy King of the Universe. Why do we call G-d the holy king? Part of […]

Shabbat Overview: The Dual Nature of Shabbat

July 17, 2006, by

The “Aseret HaDibrot,” the “Ten Commandments,” are documented twice in the Five Books of Moses, once in Shemot (20, 2-17) and once in Devarim (5, 6-18), when Moshe is reviewing the Jewish experience in the Desert. In general, the two texts are nearly identical. However, with respect to the Commandment relating to Shabbat, there are […]

Shabbat: A Taste of Light

July 17, 2006, by

Imagine that you are about to take a trip to another world. You are preparing for a most exciting experience. It will be a totally different place, and you are looking forward to things you have never seen or experienced before. But it is different, and you will have to adjust to it. Your experiences […]

Sabbath Work

July 17, 2006, by

One of the most confusing things about the Sabbath for most people is the concept of Sabbath work. Many of us think of work as heavy physical labor, or else, as going about our usual occupations. As we have seen earlier, this is not true in the case of the Sabbath. Here, the prohibition is […]

Sabbath Rest

July 17, 2006, by

Many of us realize the importance of the Sabbath, but have confused ideas about how to keep it. After all, rest has many connotations. For some, it may mean a relaxing game of golf. For others, it may be an afternoon watching television. Others may think of rest as reading a good book, painting a […]

Why the Sabbath

July 17, 2006, by

There is a miracle in Shabbat. Even if you have never felt it yourself, it is there. It is one of the most important ingredients of Jewish survival. It is no exaggeration to say that the Jew has survived two thousand years of persecution and humiliation largely because he had the Sabbath. It was one […]