Things enjoined on the Sabbath

Click on the Festivals menu to see what is forbidden on the Sabbath

The 7 Things enjoined on the Sabbath:

1. Remember the Sabbath
2. Observe the Sabbath
3. Keep the Sabbath holy
4. Gather together in assembly
5. Worship YHVH
6. Study and discuss Torah
7. Eat something

And in detail

1. Remember the Sabbath:

“Remember the Sabbath day”  (Ex 20:8a)

* Remember that God is our Creator; remember and respect God’s creation and everything in it

* Remember the Covenant
* Remember the Exodus; remember the Israelites who could not rest during the slavery in Egypt; and anyone today who cannot rest through no fault of their own (i.e. those who are forced to work)

Celebrate the very fact of the Sabbath

2. Observe the Sabbath

“Observe the Sabbath day ……, as YHVH your God has commanded you” (Deut 5:12a)
“and you shall keep my Sabbaths” (Lev 19:3, 19:30)

* Do the things enjoined for the Sabbath
* Guard the Sabbath
* Watch over the Sabbath
* Preserve the Sabbath
* Keep the Sabbath safe

3. Keep Sabbath holy

“and keep it holy” (Ex 20:8b, Deut 5:12b)

* Set the day apart
* Make the Sabbath special (some suggestions: eat food that you do not normally eat during the week, use utensils and crockery that you do not normally use, dress in fresh clothing that you don’t normally wear, do not spend money, do not enkindle flames etc.)

4. Gather together in assembly

“the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly” (Lev 23:3)

* gather together with other people, either in the home or synagogue or elsewhere, as long as the purpose includes prayer, worship of YHVH and discussion of Torah.

5. Worship YHVH

“from one Sabbath to another, all humanity will come and bow down before me, says YHVH” (Isa 66:23)

* pray, give thanks, honour and respect to God

6. Study and discuss Torah (by extrapolation)

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home” (Deut 6:6-7)
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night”
(Josh 1:8a; ‘not depart from your mouth’ = discuss it; ‘meditate on it’ = study it and think about it; ‘day and night’ – this includes Sabbath)

(The commandment doesn’t specifically say to do this on the Sabbath, but that we are always to do it. Because we have more time to do this on the Sabbath, it becomes heightened and more leisurely in pursuit).

* Read from part of the Torah
* Discuss what you have read with others

7. Eat something (implied from the following):

‘“Eat it [manna] today,” Moses said, ‘because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today’” (Lev 16:25)
“Do no work at all on these days, except that everyone must eat – that is all you may do”
(Ex 12:16; this refers to rest at Passover; if this is so on Passover, how much more so for the Sabbath)

* Have some food ready and prepared the previous day. Everyone should serve themselves to avoid causing others to work for us.

Click on the Festivals menu to see what is forbidden on the Sabbath