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Where in the Torah does it say you may not drive a car on Shabbat?

by Rabbi Tzvi Shapiro


Library » Shabbat » Forbidden Activities | Subscribe | What is RSS?



Exodus 35:3

The Torah says "You shall not kindle fire in any of your dwelling places on the Sabbath day".

Cars run on combustion engines. "Combustion: an act or instance of burning" - Webster's Dictionary.

... make a U-turn

The objective of Shabbat is to turn inward, to discover self, and to discover G-d as He transcends His creation.

For 6 days G-d created a world, He channeled His energy outward. The Divine focused on the world. Then on the Seventh day He rested, He ceased creating. He turned the energy inward. The world focuses on the Divine.

Driving, texting, calling, emailing, these are all forms of reaching outward, expanding your universe. But on Shabbat you are supposed to turn inward, and discover your essence. Anything that expands your reach is a distraction from the unique quest of this holy day. Every additional thing to do is one less opportunity to be.

See also What is Shabbat? and Can I drive on Shabbat if it is my only way to get to synagogue?


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(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
1. The miraculous departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage in 1312 BCE. 2. The second of the Five Books of Moses. This book describes the aforementioned Exodus, the giving of the Torah, and the erection of the Tabernacle.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.