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Why are there so many restful things which are prohibitted on Shabbat?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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Working on Shabbat does not mean doing strenuous labor. It means doing creative acts that manipulate nature. That's what is not allowed on Shabbat.

When G-d rested on the seventh day he was not suffering from over-exertion. He rested in the sense that He ceased creating. We must do the same.

(The 39 creative activities which are forbidden on Shabbat are: Sowing, Plowing, Reaping, Binding sheaves, Threshing, Winnowing, Sorting, Grinding, Sifting, Kneading, Baking, Shearing the wool, Bleaching it, Beating it, Dyeing it, Spinning, Stretching the warp on the loom, Making two loops, Weaving two threads, Separating two threads, Tying a knot, Untying a knot, Sewing two stitches, Tearing in order to sew two stitches, Trapping a deer, Slaughtering it, Flaying it, Salting it, Curing its hide, Scraping it, Cutting it up, Writing two letter, Erasing in order to write two letters, Building, Pulling down, Extinguishing, Lighting a fire, Striking with a hammer, Carrying from domain to domain).

When G-d rested on the seventh day he was not suffering from over-exertion. He rested in the sense that He ceased creating. We must do the same
G-d created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. We are, therefore, commanded to "rest" on this day by refraining from all creative activity. Instead, we are meant to enjoy and have pleasure on Shabbat and spend our time engaged in spiritual pursuits such as praying studying and praising G-d.


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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.
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.