Sanctify the Sabbath from beginning to end

The Literal Commandment

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8)

 

The literal commandment is that we remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

He also declared Himself to be the Master of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8).

 

Pictures of Messiah

The life of Messiah was sanctified to G-d from its beginning to its end. Like the Sabbath is "resurrected" each week because of its holiness from beginning to end, Messiah was also resurrected because of His holiness before G-d.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled the commandment by sanctifying the Sabbath from beginning to end.

 

Traditional Observance

Because G-d "spoke" the world into existence, it is traditionally held that the Sabbath should be sanctified in words: speaking words of sanctification as it begins and as it ends in order to set it apart from the common six days of the rest of the week.

The beginning of the Sabbath involves a beautifully detailed ritual (called kiddush).

This time is centered around the family dinner table during which G-d is blessed for the Sabbath day, the meal, the family members, the joy of the day, etc. A cup of wine (representing the joy of the day), a pair of candles, and two loaves of special bread (called challah - representing the double portion of mannah that G-d provided to the Israelites before the Sabbath) are part of the ceremony. A special prayer blessing G-d for His provision is recited before partaking of each one. Kiddush means "sanctification" and directly aligns with the intent of sanctifying the Sabbath day (i.e. keeping it holy).

The end of the Sabbath involves a different but also beautifully detailed ritual (called havdalah).

A cup of wine, a cup of spices and a braided, multi-wick candle are part of this ceremony. The cup of wine again represents joy at the hope of the Sabbath returning. The cup of spices represents the "pleasing aroma" of the day. The multi-wick candle is lit and its light alone is used to brighten the room. The clear distinction between light and dark, the holy and the profane, and the Sabbath from the six days of striving are shown. The multiple wicks represent the unity of Israel in creating the light of the Sabbath. Havdalah means "separation".

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment and sanctify the Sabbath from beginning to end.

 

The literal commandment says regarding the Sabbath that we should "keep it holy"... not that we should make it holy. G-d has already made it holy by His choice and action during the first week of Creation. He has commanded us to keep that holiness intact and keep it holy by not treating the Sabbath like any other day.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 91
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 3
  • Mishneh Torah Book Times
  • Mishneh Torah Category 12- Shabbat
  • Reference Exodus 20:8
  • Scripture Book Exodus
  • Chapter 20
  • Verse 8
  • English Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  • Hebrew ז זָכוֹר אֶת-יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת, לְקַדְּשׁוֹ.
  • Greek 8 μνήσθητι τὴν ἡμέραν τῶν σαββάτων ἁγιάζειν αὐτήν.
  • Parashah 17- Yitro
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 31
  • Sef. Hach. Command To hallow the Sabbath in words
  • Category Appointed Times
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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