Shabbat Halacha

Shabbat Halacha

I. Establishment

A. Sabbath is "Saturday." – The Sabbath is as old as the creation of the world. Bereshiyt [Genesis] 2:2 establishes that the Sabbath as ordained by ELOHIM is on the seventh day of the week, the one which is called in the Gregorian (Roman) calendar "Saturday." (Genesis 2:2)

B. Sabbath is Holy.- Bereshiyt 2 Verse 3 Shows ELOHIM’s attitude about the Sabbath — He blessed it, and made it "holy" – va?y’qad?deish — separated for Him. (Genesis 2:3)

C. Sabbath is one of ELOHIM’s Moedim (appointed times/feats) (Leviticus 23:1-3)

II. Requirements & Prohibitions (justice)

A. Sabbath is for rest. (Leviticus 23:3; Exodus 34:21; Exodus 16:21-30)

B. Remember the Sabbath and Keep it Holy (Exodus 20:8)

1. A Sacred Assembly is Required. A sacred Assembly is defined as a coming together of people for sacred purposes – i.e., worship of G-d. (Leviticus 23:3)

a. The Nazarenes fulfilled this mitzvot by meeting in synagogues and reading the Torah on Shabbat. (Acts 15:21)

C. No work is to be done on the Sabbath. The word used here which is translated into English as "work" is the Hebrew word m’law?khaw meaning "all and any kind of creative ‘generative’ endeavor, changes to the environment or any object." (Leviticus 23:3; Exodus 34:21; Exodus 16:21-30). How do we define "work"? ELOHIM rested from creative activity on Shabbat (Genesis 2:1-3). In Is. 58:13-14 "work" on the Sabbath seems to mean "doing your will" or "doing your own ways" or "wording words." Thus resting from "work" on the Shabbat means to rest from creative activities and to rest from inflicting our own will on the universe. The word m’law?khaw (work) appears in Exodus 31:3 referring to the work of the artizans in building the tabernacle. This section is immediately followed by a reminder of the Shabbat (Exodus 31:12-17). It seems then that m’lawkhaw in Exodus 31:12-17 must include the meaning of m’lawkhaw in Exodus 31:3. Thus the activities involved in making the Tabernacle are among those not normally permitted on Shabbat. These iclude:

1. Preparation and cooking of food prohibited. (Leviticus 23:3; Exodus 34:21; Exodus 16:21-30)

2. Kindling a fire on the Sabbath is not permitted. (Exodus 35:3)

3. Carrying anything out of a "domain" is prohibited. "Domain" means your home/property, building/campus, etc. A walled city is considered a single domain. (Jeremiah 17:21-22)

D. Do Not Make (or allow) Others Work. Besides your not being allowed to work, you are prohibited from doing anything that will make the following people work. You are not to allow any of these to work:

  • Your children
  • Any employee or person who would serve you (this includes any stranger who would serve you)
  • Any animal you own.
  • Any non-Jewish person in your home. (Exodus 20:8-10; 23:12; Deuteronomy 5:12-15)

III. When May the Sabbath be Loosed?

Is it permitted to heal or perform other acts of CHESED (loving kindness) on the Sabbath?

The Essenes Say:

“And if any person falls into a place of water or a cistren he shall be helped by a ladder or a cord or instrument…. No one should carry medicine on his person, either going out, or coming in, on the Sabbath.”
(Damascus Document 10, 16; 11, 9-10)

The Pharisees Say:

"Rabbi Mattiah ben Harash said, ‘He who has a pain in his throat, they drop medicine into his mouth on the Sabbath, because it is a matter of doubt as to danger to life. Any matter of doubt as to danger to [human] life overrides the prohibitions of the Sabbath.’ "
(m.Yoma 8:6)

However the Pharisees also say:

"They anoint and massage the stomach, but they do not have it kneaded or scraped… They do not induce vomiting. And they do not straighten [the limb of] a child or set a broken limb. He whose hand or foot is dislocated should not pour cold water over them. But he washes in the usual way. And if he is healed, he is healed."
(m.Shabbat 22:6)

The Pharisees elaborate:


Rab Judah in the name of Rab said:

"Not only in the case of a danger [to human life] on this Sabbath, but even in the case of a danger on the following Sabbath. How that? If e.g.. the [diagnosis] estimates an eight-day [crisis] the first day of which falls on the Sabbath. You might have said, let them wait until the evening, so that the Sabbaths may not be profaned because of him, therefore he informs us [that we do not consider that]. Thus also was it taught: ‘One may warm water for a sick person on the Sabbath, both for the purpose of giving him a drink or of refreshing him, and not only for [this] one Sabbath did they rule thus, but also for the following one.’ Nor do we say: ‘Let us wait, because perchance he will get well, but we warm the water for him immediately, because the possibility of danger to human life renders inoperative the laws of the Sabbath, not only in case of such possibility on this one Sabbath, but also in case of such possibility on another Sabbath.’ "
(b.Yoma 84b)

"Our Rabbis taught: ‘One must remove debris to save a life on the Sabbath, and the more eager one is, the more praiseworthy is one; and one need not obtain permission from the Beit Din. How so? If one saw a child falling into the sea, he spreads a net and brings it up — the faster the better, and he need not obtain permission from the Beit Din though he thereby catches fish [in his net]. If he saw a child fall into a pit, he breaks loose one segment [of the entrenchment] and pulls it up — the faster the better; and he need not obtain permission of the Beit Din, even though he is thereby making a step [stairs]. If he saw a door closing upon an infant, he may break it, so as to get the child out — the faster the better; and he need not obtain permission from the Beit Din, though he thereby consciously makes chips of wood. One may extinguish and isolate [the fire] in the case of a conflagration — the sooner the better, and he need not obtain permission from the Beit Din, even though he subdues the flames. Now all these cases must be mentioned separately. For if only the case of the [infant falling into] the sea had been mentioned [one would have said, it is permitted there] because meantime the child might be swept away by the water, but that does not apply in the case [of its falling into] the pit, because since it remains [stays] therein, one might have thought, one may not [save it before obtaining permission], therefore it is necessary to refer to that. And if the teaching had confined itself to the case of the pit, [one would have thought, there no permission is required] because the child is terrified but in the case of a door closing upon it, one might sit outside and [amuse the child] by making a noise with nuts, therefore it was necessary [to include that too].’ "
(b.Yoma 84b)

"R. Ishmael, R. Akiba and R. Eleazar b. Azariah were once on a journey, with Levi ha-Saddar and R. Ishmael son of R. Eleazar b. Azariah following them. Then this question was asked of them: ‘Whence do we know that in the case of danger to human life the laws of the Sabbath are suspended?’ — R. Ishmael answered and said: ‘If a thief be found breaking in. Now if in the case of this one it is doubtful whether he has come to take money or life; and although the shedding of blood pollutes the land, so that the Shechinah departs from Israel, yet it is lawful to save oneself at the cost of his life — how much more may one suspend the laws of the Sabbath to save human life!’ "
(b.Yoma 85a)

"R. Akiba answered and said: ‘If a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor etc. thou shalt take him from My altar, that he may die. I.e., only off the altar, but not down from the altar. And in connection therewith Rabbah b. Bar Hana said in the name of R. Johanan: That was taught only when one’s life is to be forfeited,/ but to save life one may take one down even from the altar. Now if in the case of this one, where it is doubtful whether there is any substance in his words or not, yet [he interrupts] the service in the Temple [which is important enough to] suspend the Sabbath, how much more should the saving of human life suspend the Sabbath laws!’ "
(b. Yoma 85a-85b)

We read of Messiah:

1: At that time, Yeshua went through the grain on the Sabbath: and His talmidim were hungry, and began to pluck the ears from the stalks, and to eat.
2: But the P’rushim seeing, said, Behold, your talmidim do that which is not right to do on the Sabbath.
3: But He said to them: Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, both he and they that were with him?
4: For he entered into the House of Elohim, and did eat the showbread: which was not lawful for him to eat them, neither for them which were with him, but only for the cohenim.
5: Have you not read in the Torah, that the cohenim profane the Sabbath; in the Temple, and are blameless?
6: But I tell you, that here, is greater than the Temple.
7: But if you had known what it means, For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.
8: For the Son of Man is Adonai; even of the Sabbath.
9: And when He had passed over from there, He entered into their synagogue.
10: And behold, a man which had his hand withered. And they asked Him, saying, Is it lawful on the Sabbath to heal the sick? And all this was, that they might accuse Him
(before the beit din).
11: And He said to them: What man among you, having one sheep that shall fall into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12: And is not a man better than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.
13: Then said He to the man: Stretch out your hand. And he stretched it out, and it was restored to health, like as the other.

(Matthew 12:1-13)

"In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use (The Gospel according to the Hebrews) we read that this man who has the withered hand is described as a mason, who prays for help in such words as these: ‘I was a mason seeking a livelihood with my hands: I pray you Yeshua, to restore me my health, that I may not beg meanly for food.’ "
(Jerome; On. Matthew 12:13)

The Essenes said:

“No man shall help an animal in its delivery on the Sabbath day. And if it falls into a pit or ditch, he shall not raise it on the Sabbath.”
(Damascus Document 11, 13)

And again we read of Messiah:

1: And it happened, that when He entered the house of one of the rulers of the P’rushim, to eat bread on the day of the Sabbath, they were watching Him.
2: And behold, there was one man before Him who had dropsy.
3: And Yeshua spoke out and said to the scribes and P’rushim: Is it permitted to heal on the Sabbath?
4: And they were quiet. And He took him and healed him and let him go.
5: And He said to them: Who of you, whose ox or ass falls into a well on the day of the Sabbath, does not immediately draw up and lift him out?
6: And they were not able to give to Him an answer about this.

(Luke 14:1-6)

"R. Eleazar answered and said: ‘If circumcision, which attaches to one only of the two hundred and forty-eight members of the human body, suspends the Sabbath, how much more shall [the saving of] the whole body suspend the Sabbath!’ "
(b.Yoma 85b)

Yeshua said:

21: …I have done one work, and all of you are amazed.
22: Because of this, Moshe gave you circumcision; not because it was from the fathers:
and on the Sabbath, you circumcise a man.
23: If a man is circumcised on the day of the Sabbath, that the Torah of Moshe be not
loosed, do you murmur against Me, because I have healed the whole man on the day
of the Sabbath?

(John 7:21-23)

R. Jose son of R. Judah said: Only you shall keep My Sabbaths,’ one might assume under all circumstances, therefore the text reads: `Only’ viz, allowing for exceptions.
(b.Yoma 85b)

R. Jonathan b. Joseph said: For it is holy unto you; I.e., it [the Sabbath] is committed to your hands, not you to its hands.
(b.Yoma 85b)

Messiah said:

27 …The Sabbath was created for a son of man, and not a son of man for the Sabbath.
28 Thus also, the Son of Man is the Adonai of the Sabbath.
(Mark 2:27-28)

Again we read of Messiah:

10: And while Yeshua was teaching on the Sabbath in one of the synagogues,
11: There was there a woman, who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and she was bent over and not able to straighten herself at all.
12: And Yeshua saw her and called her, and said to her: Woman, you are free from your infirmity.
13: And He placed his hand upon her, and immediately she straightened herself, and praised Eloah.
14: And the ruler of the synagogue, being angered because Yeshua had healed on the Sabbath, answered and said to the crowds, There are six days in which it is right to labor. Come; be healed in them, and not on the day of the Sabbath.
15: And Yeshua answered and said to him: Hypocrite. What one of you on the Sabbath, does not loose his ox or his ass from the stable, and goes and waters it?
16: And this [woman], because she is a daughter of Avraham, and Akel Kartza has bound her, lo, eighteen years: is it not right that she be freed from this bondage, on the day of the Sabbath?
17: And when He said these things, all those who were standing against Him, were ashamed: and the entire nation rejoiced at all the wonders that occurred by His hand.

(Luke 13:10-17)

And elsewhere:

1: And as He passed by, He saw a blind man, who was [blind] from the womb of his mother.
2: And His talmidim asked Him and said, "Rabbi, who sinned: this [blind man] or his parents, so that he was born blind?"
3: Yeshua said to them: "Neither did he sin, nor his parents. But that the works of Eloah might be seen in him,
4: It is necessary for Me to do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day: the night will come, when man will not be able to labor.
5: As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
6: And after He had said these things, He spat on the ground, and formed clay from His spittle, and anointed the eyes of that blind man.
7: And He said to him: "Go wash your face with an immersion of Shiloach: and he went [and] washed, and came seeing."
8: And his neighbors, and those by whom previously he was seen begging, were saying, "Is this not he, who sat and begged?"
9: Some were saying, "This is he": but others were saying, "No, but he resembles him a lot." But he said, "I am he!"
10: They were saying to him, "How were your eyes opened?"
11: He answered and said to them, "A man whose Name is Yeshua, made clay, and anointed me on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go, wash your face with an immersion of Shiloach’: and I went, I washed, and I received sight."
12: They said to him, "Where is He?" He said to them, "I do not know."
13: And they brought that one who previously was blind, to the P’rushim.
14: And it was the Sabbath, when Yeshua made the clay and opened his eyes for him.
15: And the P’rushim again asked him, "How did you receive sight?" And he said to them, "He placed clay upon my eyes: and I washed, and I received sight."
16: And some of the P’rushim were saying, "This man is not from Eloah because He does not keep the Sabbath," and, "He formed clay." But others were saying, "How is a man who is a sinner, able to do these signs?" And there was division among them.
17: Again they spoke to that blind man, "What do you, say about Him who opened your eyes for you? He said to them, I say, that He is a prophet."
18: But the Judeans did not believe that he was blind, and saw, until they had called the parents of him who saw.
19: And they asked them, "Is this your son whom you say was born blind; how does he now see?"
20: And his parents answered and said, "We know that he is our son, and that he was born blind,
21: But how he now sees, or who opened his eyes for him, we do not know. Indeed, he has come of age, ask him: he can speak for his nefesh."
22: His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Judeans: for the Judeans had decided, that if a man would confess Him; that He is the Messiah, they would cast Him out of the synagogue.
23: Because of this, his parents said, "He has come of age. Ask him."
24: And they called the man who was blind a second time, and said to him, "Give glory to Eloah, for we know that this man is a sinner."
25: He answered and said to them, "If he is a sinner I do not know. But one thing I do know: I was blind, and now behold, I see!"
26: Again they said to him, "What did He do to you; how did He open your eyes for you?"
27: He said to them, "I told you, and you did not hear. Why do you again want to hear? Do you also want to become talmidim?"
28: And they reviled him and said to him, "You are a talmid of that [one], but we are talmidim of Moshe.
29: And we know that Eloah spoke with Moshe, but as for this [one], we do not know from where He is."
30: That man answered and said to them, "In this, there is therefore [something] to be admired, because you do not know from where He is. Yet, He opened my eyes!
31: And we know that Eloah does not hear the voice of sinners: but whoever fears Him and does His will, He hears.
32: From the ages it has not been heard, that a man has opened the eyes of one who was born blind.
33: If this [one] was not from Eloah, He would not be able to do this."
34: They answered and said to him, "You were born entirely in sins, and you teach us?" And they cast him out.
35: And Yeshua heard that they had cast him out. And He found him, and said to him: "Do you have trust in the Son of Eloah?"
36: That one who was healed answered and said, "Who is He, my Adon, that I might have trust in Him?"
37: Yeshua said to him: "You have seen Him, and He who speaks with you, is He."
38: And he said, "I have trust, my Adon," and he fell down and paid Him homage.
39: And Yeshua said: "I have come for the judgment of this world: that those who do not see might see, and those who see, might become blind."
40: And those of the P’rushim who were with Him, heard these things and said to Him, "Are we also blind?"
41: Yeshua said to them: "If you were blind, you would have no sin: but now you say, ‘We see.’ Because of this, your sin is maintained."

(John 9)

Therefore the International Nazarene Beit Din Says:

“The restrictions of the Sabbath are loosed, not only when danger to human life is in doubt, but for any act of healing, or any act of CHESED (loving kindness, mercy). CHESED outweighs the sacrificial offerings (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 12:5-6), and the sacrificial offerings outweigh the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:37-38; Matthew 12:7). Activities such as making clay (John 9) and reaping (Matthew 12:1-8) are permitted on Shabbat if a matter of CHESED is involved. One is loosed to perform "good" on Shabbat (Matthew 12:11-12 = Luke 6:9 = Mark 2:28).

One may loose his ox or his ass from the stall and lead him away to watering. (Luke 13:15) and if a sheep falls into a pit on Shabbat one is loosed to lay hold on it, and lift it out. (Matthew 12:11-12; Luke 14:1-6)

On the Shabbat a man may be circumcised that the Torah not be broken. (John 7:21-24)

And the priests are loosed to sacrifice on Shabbat. (Leviticus 23:37-38; Matthew 12:5-6)

May Sabbath be loosed for matter of making known “the knowledge or Elohim”?

We read concerning Messiah:

2: And there was there in Yerushalayim, one place for immersions, which is called in Hebrew, Beit Chesed: and it had in it five porches.
3: And many people were lying at these: who were sick, and blind, and lame, and withered, and they were waiting for the movement of the water.
4: For an angel, from time to time descended to the [place for] washing, and moved the water. And whoever descended first after the movement of the water, was healed of every pain that he had.
5: And there was there one man, who was in sickness thirty eight years.
6: Yeshua saw this man who was lying, and knew that he had had this sickness a long time. And He said to him: "Do you want to be healed?"
7: That sick man answered and said, "Yes my Adon, but I have no one to place me in the immersion when the water is moved. But before I can come, another descends before me."
8: Yeshua said to him: "Arise; take up your pallet and walk."
9: And immediately that man was healed: and he arose, took his pallet, and walked. And that day, was the Sabbath.
10: And the Judeans were saying to that one who was healed, "It is the Sabbath. It is not permitted for you to carry your pallet."
11: But he answered and said to them, "He who made me whole said to me: ‘Take your pallet and walk.’ "
12: And they asked him, "Who is this man who told you to take your pallet and walk?"
13: And he who was healed did not know who He was: for Yeshua had withdrawn from him, because of the large crowd that was in that place.
14: After a while, Yeshua found him in the Temple, and said to him: "Behold, you are whole. Do not sin again, lest something that is worse than the first should happen to you."
15: And that man went and told the Judeans, that Yeshua was the one who had healed him.
16: And because of this, the Judeans were persecuting Yeshua, and seeking to kill Him; because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
17: But Yeshua said to them: "My Father works until now; I also work."

(John 5:1-17)

Why was it permitted to carry the pallet on the Sabbath? One may say “it is a matter of healing, and healing is permitted on the Sabbath.” Not so, for this man had already been healed, and carrying his pallet was not needed to heal him. Why therefore was he instructed to carry his pallet?

The International Nazarene Beit Din says:

“Shabbat May be Loosed for matters concerning "the knowledge of ELOHIM" – "The knowledge of ELOHIM is of greater weight than burnt offerings (Hosea 6:6) and burnt offerings are of greater weight than Shabbat (Leviticus 23:37-38; Matthew 12:5-6). Therefore "the knowledge of ELOHIM" is of greater weight than Shabbat. Activities such as carrying are therefore permitted on Shabbat in matters pertaining to "the knowledge of ELOHIM" (John 5:1-15). This would include such activities as driving to Shabbat services.

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