Preparing for Shabbat
By Yochanan Zaqantov
We know of the Shabbat and that is the reason we are all here today. We also know that it is the day Yehovah rested as seen in Bereshit (Genesis) 2:1-3
1 Thus were finished the heavens and the earth, with all of their array. 2 Elohim had finished, on the seventh day, his work that he had made, and then he ceased (Vayish’bot וַיִּשְׁבֹּת), on the seventh day, from all his work that he had made. 3 Elohim gave the seventh day his blessing, and he hallowed it, for on it he ceased (shavat שָׁבַת ) from all his work, that by creating, Elohim had made.
We see that He ceased from his work, which he had made (asah). Ceasing as we will see is the meaning of this word in Hebrew. He set it apart and blessed the day. We don’t see Shabbat mentioned again from here until Shemot/Exodus 16. Does this mean that Avraham, Yitzchaq, and Ya’aqov and their children until after the leaving of Egypt. One can speculate but we don’t have evidence either way. We know one it was introduced in Shemot/Exodus 16 it was linked to Benei Yisrael.
Shavat is the verb form of the root (Shin-Bet-Taf), which has the meaning of cease or stop. Reference number 7673.
We also know it is a sign between Yehovah and his People. Shemot (Exodus) 31:12-17
12 Now Yehovah said to Moshe: 13 And you, speak to the Children of Israel, saying: However: my Sabbaths (et-shabbatotay אֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתַי) you are to keep! For it is a sign between me and you, throughout your generations, to know that I, Yehovah, hallow you. 14 You are to keep the Sabbath (et-hasabbat אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת), for it is holiness (qodesh קֹדֶשׁ) for you, whoever profanes (mechalaleyha מְחַלְלֶיהָ) it is to be put-to-death, yes, death! For Whoever makes work on it- that person is to be cut off from among his kinspeople. 15 For six days is work to be made, but on the seventh day (is) Sabbath, Sabbath-ceasing (ubayom shevi’i shabbat shabbatonוּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי
שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן), holiness (qodeah קֹדֶשׁ) for Yehovah, whoever makes work on the Sabbath day (bayom hashabbat בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת) is to be put-to-death, yes, death! 16 The Children of Israel are to keep the Sabbath (et-hashabbat אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת), to make the Sabbath-observance (et-hashabbat אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת) throughout their generations as a covenant for the ages; 17 between me and the Children of Israel a sign it is, for the ages, for in six days Yehovah made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day he ceased (ubayom hashavi’i shavatוּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שָׁבַת) and paused-for-breath.
We are to keep it. But how do we keep it? Keep is a verb form of the root (Shin-Mem-Resh). The Hebrew word is Shamar. This word is used to in many scriptures as observe, watch, take heed, and preserve. Reference number 8104. An indication to how we keep them is in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 28:1,13,15
1 Now it shall be: if you hearken, yes, hearken (im-shamo’a tish’ma/if listen, you will listen אִם־שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע), to the voice of Yehovah Eloheykha, taking-care to observe (lish’mor לִשְׁמֹר) all his commandments that I command you today, then Yehovah Eloheykha will make you most-high above all the nations of the earth..
13 Yehovah will make you the head and not the tail, you will be only top, you will not be bottom, -if you hearken (Tish’ma תִשְׁמַע) to the commandments of Yehovah Eloheykha which I command you today, by taking-care and by observing (lish’mor vale’asot לִשְׁמֹר וְלַעֲשׂוֹת) (them),
Deut. 28:15 But it shall be: If you do not hearken to the voice (im-lo tish’ma baqol אִם־לֹא תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל) of Yehovah Eloheykha, by taking-care and by observing (lish’mor le’asot לִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשׂוֹת) all his commandments and his laws that I command you today, then there will come upon you all these curses, and overtake you:
We see from these one part was to listen then keep or observe and that was done through doing them. So we are to listen to what he says about his Shabbat and then do. So what does he say about his Shabbat a day of ceasing.
Shemot (Exodus) 20:8-10
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to hallow it (laqadesho לְקַדְּשׁוֹ). 9 For six days, you are to serve (ta’avod תַּעֲבֹד), and are to make (va’asita וְעָשִׂיתָ) all your work, 10 but the seventh day is Sabbath for Yehovah Eloheykha: you are not to make any kind of work (lo-ta’oseh kol-melakhah לֹא־תַעֲשֶׂה כָל־מְלָאכָה), (not) you, nor your son, nor your daughter, (not) your servant, nor your maid, nor your beast, nor your sojourner that is within your gates.
1. We are to set it apart. We do this by not making our work. We serve and make for six days but cease these on the seventh day or the Shabbat. 2. We are to make sure our people living with us also abide by this.
Shemot (Exodus) 31:14-17
14 You shall keep the sabbath (et-hasabbat אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת), for it is holy (set apart/qodesh קֹדֶשׁ) for you. He who profanes (makes it common/mechalaleyta מְחַלְלֶיהָ) it shall be put to death: whoever does work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his kin.15 Six days may work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be a sabbath of complete rest (shabbat shabbaton שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן), holy (set apart/qodesh קֹדֶשׁ) to Yehovah; whoever does work on the sabbath day (yom hasabbat בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת) shall be put to death.16 The Israelite people shall keep the sabbath (et-Hashabbat אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת), observing the sabbath (hashabbat אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת) throughout the ages as a covenant for all time: 17 it shall be a sign (ot) for all time between Me and the people of Israel. For in six days Yehovah made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased (shavat שָׁבַת) from work and was refreshed.
What violates the Shabbat is doing work and for that we are put to death.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 24:7-8
7 With each row you shall place pure frankincense, which is to be a token offering for the bread, as an offering by fire to Yehovah. 8 He shall arrange them before Yehovah regularly every sabbath day (unterly in day the Shabbat /bayom hashabbat bayom hashabbatבְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת)—it is a commitment for all time on the part of the Israelites.
Here the priests are to do this to Yehovah every shabbat day. These are the duties for the sons of Aharon to be done for all time. They do this for all the Yisraelim.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 15:32-33, 35-36
32 Once, when the Israelites were in the wilderness, they came upon a man gathering (meqoshesh מְקֹשֵׁשׁ) wood (‘etzim – wood or trees עֵצִים) on the sabbath day (bayom hashabbat בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת). 33 Those who found him as he was gathering wood (meqoshesh ‘etzim מְקֹשֵׁשׁ עֵצִים) brought him before Moshe, Aharon, and the whole community.
35 Then Yehovah said to Moshe, “The man shall be put to death: the whole community shall pelt him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So the whole community took him outside the camp and stoned him to death—as Yehovah had commanded Moshe.
It was not known how he should be put to death. The word etz is the same word used for trees. So this was not just sticks this appears to be burning wood.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:9-10
9 On the sabbath day: two yearling lambs without blemish, together with two-tenths of a measure of choice flour with oil mixed in as a meal offering, and with the proper libation – 10 a burnt offering for every sabbath, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its libation.
These were the offerings on the Shabbat Day clearly showing the Service (avod) of the Son’s of Aharon were to be done and a fire was to be kept burning even during Shabbat.
Nehemyah (Nehemiah) 13:15-17
15 At that time I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the sabbath, and others bringing heaps of grain and loading them onto asses, also wine, grapes, figs, and all sorts of goods, and bringing them into Jerusalem on the sabbath. I admonished them there and then for selling provisions. 16 Tyrians who lived there brought fish and all sorts of wares and sold them on the sabbath to the Judahites in Jerusalem. 17 I censured the nobles of Judah, saying to them, “What evil thing is this that you are doing, profaning the sabbath day!
In Nehemiah, here we see what he saw as a violation of Shabbat. These were forms of Melakhah.
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 58:13
13 If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, From pursuing your affairs (business/work) on My holy day; If you call the sabbath “delight,” Yehovah’s holy day “honored”; And if you honor it and go not your ways Nor look to your affairs, nor strike bargains—
In the study I did on this we see that to trample on the Shabbat was cause others to work for you or planning your work. The act of it being a delight has more to do with us keeping the right attitude in keeping it. Not that we should do delightful things on that day.
Yermiyahu (Jeremiah )17:21
21 Thus said Yehovah: Guard yourselves for your own sake against carrying burdens on the sabbath day, and bringing them through the gates of Jerusalem.
This is what the Prophet Yermiyahu saw being done in Yerusalayim. We can see there are some things we are clearly to do and not to do on Shabbat. The basic thing is we are not to work, conduct our business, or treat it like every other day (a common day). This day is to be set apart by us because it was set apart for us by Yehovah.
Preparing for the Day:
So how do we prepare for such a day? Lets look at Shemot (Exodus) 16 starting in verse 23.
23 And he said to them, This is what Yehovah said, Tomorrow is a rest, a holy shabbat to Jehovah. What you will bake, bake (et asher-to’fu efu אֵת אֲשֶׁר־תֹּאפוּ אֵפוּ) and what you shall cook, cook (vaet asher-tabashalu bashelu
וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר־תְּבַשְּׁלוּ בַּשֵּׁלוּ) and all that is left over lay up for yourselves to keep until morning. 24 And they laid up it until the morning as directed Moshe. And not did it stink and no maggot was in it. 25 And said Moshe, Eat it today, for a shabbat today to Yehovah. Today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it and on the day seventh shabbat none shall be in it.
The first point for them was “tomorrow is a rest or ceasing”. They were to cease, in this case, their gathering and preparation (work). They were given two days worth of food to cover the sixth and seventh days. They were told to bake (afah – 644 – Aleph-Fey-Hey) and cook (bashal – 1310 – Bet-Shin-Lamed) the manna they had gathered. It is like saying you will bake indeed (to’fu efu) and cook indeed (tabashalu bashelu). Emphasizing to do it. This is referred to as the infinitive absolute. First we see that the doubling of the words to’fu efu which means to utterly bake. After that they also to utterly cook (tabashalu bashelu). These are both infinitive absolutes. Which means the intensity of which they are shown means litter bake and cook everything.
“Hebrew has two infinitives, the infinitive absolute and the infinitive construct. The infinitive construct is used much as an English infinitive, including being preceded by lamed "to". The infinitive absolute is used to add emphasis or certainty to the verb, as in "he shall indeed die". [mot tamut] (bereshit 2:17)
We see the given of the two days was to prevent them from gathering it on a day that are not to gather but cease.
29 See because Yehovah has given to you the shabbat therefore He is giving you on the day sixth bread of two days. Remain each one in his place do not go up anyone from his place on the day seventh. 30 And ceased (rested) the people on the day seventh.
It does not indicate they cooked only part of it. The part that was laid up was that which was already prepared. The only other possibility is that they could also eat it raw and unprepared on Shabbat. We know that it did not go bad like on the first day when they keep too much over for the next day.
Shemot (Exodus) 16:5
Ex. 16:5 But it shall be on the sixth day: [and] when they prepare (vahekhiynu וְהֵכִינוּ) what they have brought in, it shall be a double-portion compared to what they glean (mish’neh el asher yil’qetu מִשְׁנֶה עַל אֲשֶׁר־יִלְקְטוּ) day after day.
Here we see they were to make what they brought in. In other words, prepare it all. Those who claim it can be cooked on Shabbat are leading you to violate the Shabbat by doing the Melakhah of cooking.
Why do I say the word bashal בשל is cook. The JPS and other translations translate it as boil. I believe this is a mistranslation on account of the scriptures below. The pesach offering.
Shemot (Exodus) 12:8-9
8 And they shall eat the flesh in the night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat it raw, or at all cooked [bashal] in water (mebushal bamayim מְבֻשָּׁל בַּמָּיִם), but roasted with fire; its head with its legs and with inward parts.
Compare this to Devarim 16:7
7 And you should cook [bashal] (ubishal’ta וּבִשַּׁלְתָּ) and eat it in the place Yehovah your Elohim shall choose. And in the morning you shall return to your tents.
If it meant boil then this would make these two verses at odds with each other. One would say not to boil and the other would say to boil. So where you see boil used in the text I understand this as cook.
Now what was the raw state of Mahn (Mannah)?
Bamidbar (Numbers) 11:7
7 And the manna was like coriander seed, and its look like the look of bdellium resin gum. 8 And the people went around and gathered it and ground it in mills or beat in motars and cooked (bashal) it in a pan, and made it into cakes. And its taste was like the taste of fresh oil.
You see that it had to be ground up to make it into a flour to bake. Thus it is not Dough but a seed. Just like a carmel (fully dried) seed may be eaten without cooking it. Also, this Mahn (Mannah) could also be eaten like seed. The reason it when bad was because this was not normal food but food provided by Elohim to teach them about when Shabbat was and when to keep it. If it were boiled in a pan then it would be mush not cakes. But here you see the work that had to be done to prepare the manna for cooking.
So in preparing for shabbat we should gather all the food and things we need to prepare for the coming shabbat. Next, prepare those items for cooking it as they require it. Then store them up to be used on the Shabbat. Then we can truly rest (cease from our labors) of the week and set apart the Shabbat and keep it as Yehovah desires and commands us to do.
No Burning Fire on Shabbat.
This next part of this study is a controversial topic. In Karaite Judaism, the verses of Shemot (Exodus) 35:3 has always been understood as not to burn a fire on Shabbat. In the modern area 20th and 21st century there have been individuals who what to state that this fire is qualified because it is next to the scriptures talking about the making of the Mishkan. They reason it is a work fire. Yet the verse never makes mention of Melakhah in verse three. I have listed verse 2-3 to illustrate this. So the conclude that because of that that the fire is a work fire. There is not support for that purely on the reading of the verse. If Elohim wanted to qualify it then why not say the Hebrew word for also (gam) which would have undoubtedly link it as part of the previous command. In my mind verse three is a prohibition, which stands on its own.
Shemot (Exodus) 35:2-3
2 For six days is work to be made, but on the seventh day, there is to be holiness for you, Sabbath, Sabbath-ceasing for Yehovah; whoever makes work on it is to be put-to-death! 3 You are not to let fire burn throughout all your settlements on the Sabbath day.
The three reference to “do not cook a young animal in its mother milk as in two of the three references taken out of context with the verses around them. This shows to me that sometimes Elohim gives us a command which is not meant to be seen in context but to stand on its own.
Shemot (exodus) 23:14-19 (19)
4 Three times you are to hold pilgrimage for me, every year. 15 The Pilgrimage-Festival of matzot you are to keep: for seven days you are to eat matzot, as I commanded you, at the appointed-time of the New-moon of Ripe-grain- for in it you went out of Egypt, and no one is to be seen before my presence empty-handed; 16 and the Pilgrimage-festival of the Cutting, of the firstlings of your labor, of what you sow in the field; and the Pilgrimage-festival of Ingathering, at the going-out of the year, when you gather in your labor's (harvest) from the field. 17 At three points in the year are all your males to be seen before the presence of Adonai, Yehovah. 18 You are not to slaughter my blood offering with anything fermented. The fat of my festive-offering is not to remain overnight, until morning. 19 The choicest firstlings of your soil, you are to bring to the house of Yehovah Eloheykha. You are not to cook a kid in the milk of its mother.
Specifically, this context is not talking dietary restriction. It does talk of sacrificing and while the Tanakh says nothing of why it could be seen as a sacrifice one should not do.
Shemot (Exodus) 34:24-27
24 For I will dispossess nations before you, and widen your territory, so that no man will desire your land, when you go up to be seen before the presence of Yehovah Eloheykha, at three points in the year. 25 You are not to slay my blood offering with anything fermented. You are not to leave-overnight, until morning, the pilgrimage- offering of Passover. 26 The premier of the firstfruits of your soil you are to bring into the house of Yehovah Eloheykha. You are not to cook a kid in the milk of its mother. 27 Yehovah said to Moshe: Write you down these words, for in accordance with these words I cut with you a covenant, and with Israel.
Here we see that this is part of a list of instructions, which make a part of the Covenant made with Israel. This again shows it like a list of items not to do or to do not a flow of context.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:19-21
19 Now every kind of swarming thing that flies: it is tamei for you, they are not to be eaten! 20 Every (kind) of pure flying-thing, you may eat. 21 You are not to eat any carcass. To the sojourner that is within your gates you may give it, that he may eat it, or it may be sold to a foreigner; for you are a people holy to Yehovah Eloheykha; you are not to boil a kid in the milk of its mother!
This one appears to be dietary, yet when we look at all three references we see the command made in different contexts. While the No Burn Fire in you dwellings on Shabbat is the only place where this is found, we can see that there are other commands given where they appear to be standalone also. Thus the Mishkan context argument is that they had a work fire to prepare the metals for their use. This is refuted in my mind because the children of Israel did not melt the medal but brought it to the Priests.
Shemot (Exodus) 35:22
22 Then came men and women alike, everyone of willing mind, they brought brooch and nose-ring and signet-ring and necklace, every kind of gold object, every man that wished to elevate an elevation-offering of gold to Yehovah;
Even the incident of the Golden Calf it shows they brought the objects to Aharon.
Shemot (Exodus) 32:2-5
2 Aharon said to them: Break off the gold rings that are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters, and bring (them) to me. 3 All the people broke off the gold rings that were in their ears, and brought (them) to Aharon. 4 He took (them) from their hand, fashioned it with a graving-tool, and made it into a molten calf. Then they said: This is your Elohim, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt! 5 When Aharon saw (this), he built a slaughter-site before it, and Aharon called out and said: Tomorrow is a festival to Yehovah!
Notice that this was fashioned with a tool not melted down. Thus, hammered work was how they did the applying of the metal.
Thus, in my mind it is also forbidden to have a fire burning into Shabbat.