Shabbos / Shabbat – Define


“Remember the day of Shabbat, to keep it holy. Pursue all your labor for six days, and do all your “Melachah” (the term “Melachah” to be defined in Item 3, below). But the seventh day is Shabbat to the L-rd your G-d; On it you may do no “Melachah,” neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor the stranger who is within your gates. For in six days G-d made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is within it; And he rested on the seventh day; Therefore, G-d did bless the day of Shabbat and He made it holy.” (Shemot 19: 8-11; the Shabbat Command as recorded in the Shemot version of the Ten Commandments)

 “Guard the Day of Shabbat to keep it holy, as the L-rd your G-d has commanded. Pursue all your labor for six days, and do all your “Melachah.” But the seventh day is Shabbat for the L-rd your G-d; Do no “Melachah” – not you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox or donkey or any of your cattle, nor the stranger who resides within your gates, in order that your male and female servants shall rest, as you rest. And you shall remember that you were a slave in the Land of Egypt, and the L-rd your G-d took you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm; Therefore, did the L-rd your G-d command you to observe the Day of Shabbat.” (Devarim 5: 12-15; the Shabbat Command as recorded in the Devarim version of the Ten Commandments.

The 39 categories of forbidden acts, all of which
are types of work that were needed to build the sanctuary:

  1. Sowing
  2. Plowing
  3. Reaping
  4. Binding sheaves
  5. Threshing
  6. Winnowing
  7. Selecting
  8. Grinding
  9. Sifting
  10. Kneading
  11. Baking
  12. Shearing wool
  13. Washing wool
  14. Beating wool
  15. Dyeing wool
  16. Spinning
  17. Weaving
  18. Making two loops
  19. Weaving two threads
  20. Separating two threads
  21. Tying
  22. Untying
  23. Sewing two stitches
  24. Tearing
  25. Trapping
  26. Slaughtering
  27. Flaying
  28. Salting meat
  29. Curing hide
  30. Scraping hide
  31. Cutting hide up
  32. Writing two letters
  33. Erasing two letters
  34. Building
  35. Tearing a building down
  36. Extinguishing a fire
  37. Kindling a fire
  38. Hitting with a hammer
  39. Taking an object from the private domain to the public, or transporting an object in the public domain.