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How do we know that the "Seventh Day" mentioned in Torah corresponds to Saturday?

by Mrs. Dinka Kumer

  

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The 7th day, a.k.a. Shabbat, was around much before any Sabbath devised by the Romans.

In Judaism—and this is also the case in Modern Hebrew—the days of the week have no individual names, rather they are named according to their chronology: the “first day,” the “second day,” the “third day,” etc. until the “seventh day,” which G-d also named “Shabbat” in reference to His cessation of creative work (“shvut” means “rest”). The invention of a seven day work week is G-d’s.

Shabbat was a day observed by our forefathers and their descendents. Even Moses cleverly advised Pharaoh to let the Jewish workers have a day off to reenergize with the intent that they could thereby observe Shabbat. So Shabbat is as old as the world, and we see that there has never been a discrepancy about which day is Shabbat even considering the expanse of Jewish geography.

Linguists take note: Saturday is called “Sabado” in Portuguese, “Subbota” in Russian, and “Samedi” in French—all echoes of the Jewish word “Shabbat”
From a historic perspective, the Western world adopted a seven day week pretty far into the game, late in the Roman Empire period. They realized that their semi-divided month unit was more easily broken down into bite-sized weeks, a concept they borrowed from their Jewish neighbors. And so it came to be that Saturday was the name they gave to the Jewish 7th day. Had Saturday been given some other moniker (Footballgameday anyone?), that would have become the name for the day the Jewish people celebrate as Shabbat. Linguists take note: Saturday is called “Sabado” in Portuguese, “Subbota” in Russian, and “Samedi” in French—all echoes of the Jewish word “Shabbat.”

Interestingly, a couple hundred years ago, France attempted a metric ten day week (a month had three weeks). Needless to say, it was a short-lived system, since there seems to be a much more natural rhythm to a seven day week (and more weekends, too!)

This natural rhythm is one that G-d built into the world He created in seven days. According to Jewish tradition, seven is the number relating to the natural order of the world. There are seven musical notes, seven Noahide Laws for all of humanity, seven sefirot, seven days of wedding celebrations; seven days of mourning, seven-day holidays of Sukkot and Passover, plus many more 7-s—and, of course, seven days of the week. The world was programmed with the number seven, for which reason all societies have universally accepted this system.

We are about to enter the 7th millennium since the world’s creation, at which time we are guaranteed to have achieved the redemption with the Messiah. This 7th millennium will be a permanent Shabbat for all of creation, when we will find true rest and peace in G-d’s Presence. May we usher in this era already now.


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Miscellaneous » The Jewish Calendar

Shabbat
(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.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Sukkot
A seven day autumn festival commemorating the miracle of the Heavenly Clouds which enveloped the Jews while traveling in the desert for forty years. On this holiday we dwell in makeshift booths and shake the Four Species.
Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
G-d
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.