The Sabbath – “Keep And Remember” – God’s Gift To The Jews

The Sabbath – “Keep And Remember” – God’s Gift To The Jews

Click onto any blue letter, number of symbol to view the videos and typed text on the blog.

Consider the opening two videos on Shabbat/Sabbath. The first video is one that is more of instruction. The second video is more enriching of the soul.

It is probably the memory of most people that “the Sabbath” dealt with “not doing!” Much of that mindset was, “don’t go fishing on Sunday;” or, “don’t go shopping on Sunday;” or, “don’t go to the movies on Sunday.” Of course, there were many other “don’t do things” that were related to Sundays. Of course, many people are now learning, “Sunday is not the Sabbath.” The Sabbath is that twenty-four hour period of time that begins at sundown on Friday, and ends at sundown on Saturday. And, no matter how hard we might try to do it, we can not rent an excavator and dig up “the Sabbath,” and move it to any other day of the week and call that day, “our Sabbath.” It just won’t work! The Sabbath day is the seventh day of the week, beginning on Friday afternoon and ending on Saturday afternoon.

It is a shame that we did not know that honoring the Sabbath has a great “positive” to it. Consider the following information that relates to honoring the Sabbath. God created the Sabbath day, so we should honor it. Consider the following verses that relate to the Sabbath, and to the special relationship that exists between God and the Jews.

The “seventh day” is written in Genesis 2:2-3 in relation to the rest that God took after He created the world. The words “seventh day” do not appear in the same context until Exodus 16:24, which was when He gave the Sabbath to the Jews to “keep and remember, to keep holy.” The Sabbath was given by God to the Jews, in Exodus 31:16-17, as a sign between God and the Jews, and only between God and the Jews. The Law was given by God to the Jews in Exodus, Chapters 19 20; and only by God to the Jews. Only the descendants of Jacob (Israel), were present when the Law was given. The descendants of Ishmael, Midian, and Esau were not present, and were not recipients of the Law. The Law, to include the Sabbath, had its fulfillment in Yeshua. Still, non-Jews should honor that which God gave to the Jews. Moral laws were given by God to all of mankind; consider Adam and Eve hiding themselves from God after they had sinned (Genesis 2:8).

It is important to relate beliefs of scripture, “to scripture,” and not to “other than scripture.” The following idea should be helpful in determining an understanding of God’s Holy Word: “book, chapter, verse.” If a teaching can not be found in a “book, chapter, verse” context, such a teaching is not inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16)

Authority Of The Sabbath

Genesis 1:31-2:3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) – God declared the seventh day of the week to be holy.

31 God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day.
1 So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.

Exodus 16:22-29 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The following passage is the first time that the word “Sabbath” is mentioned since Genesis 2:3, which is a period of abut 2500 years. Notice in verse in verse 23 “a holy Sabbath to the LORD.” Notice in verse 29 “the Lord has given you the Sabbath,” which makes the Sabbath a gift to the Jews.

22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, four quarts apiece, and all the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He told them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil, and set aside everything left over to be kept until morning.’”
24 So they set it aside until morning as Moses commanded, and it didn’t smell or have any maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath to the Lord. Today you won’t find any in the field. 26 For six days you may gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.”
27 Yet on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they did not find any.28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My commands and instructions? 29 Understand that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day He will give you two days’ worth of bread. Each of you stay where you are; no one is to leave his place on the seventh day.”

Exodus 31:12-17 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Observing the Sabbath

In the following passage of scripture, vs 16-17, notice that the Sabbath “is a sign forever between Me and the Israelites,” which is a sign between God and the Israelites. No other group of people has such a relationship with God through the Sabbath.

12 The Lord said to Moses: 13 “Tell the Israelites: You must observe My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, so that you will know that I am Yahweh who sets you apart. 14 Observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Whoever profanes it must be put to death. If anyone does work on it, that person must be cut off from his people. 15 Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath of complete rest,dedicated to the Lord. Anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. 16 The Israelites must observe the Sabbath, celebrating it throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign forever between Me and the Israelites, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”

Consider the command that was given to the Israelites by God.

Exodus 20:8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (New American Standard Bible)

Deuteronomy 5:12 “Be careful to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy as the Lord your God has commanded you.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

The Jews, The Sabbath, And God’s Love For The Jews

Genesis 12:1-3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Call of Abram

1 The Lord said to Abram:
Go out from your land,
your relatives,
and your father’s house
to the land that I will show you.
2 I will make you into a great nation,
I will bless you,
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
I will curse those who treat you with contempt,
and all the peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.

God chose the Jews to be a holy and righteous people, to bring a Holy and Righteous Messiah into the world

Genesis 50:24 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

God’s promise to Abraham ran through the blood line of Jacob (Israel), and not to any other of the descendants of Abraham or of Isaac. The promise of the land, the promise of the Sabbath, and the giving of the Law, were made only between God and Israel. For an understanding of the Law being given only to the Jews, “to keep,” please read Exodus, Chapters 19 and 20. It is important to know that well before the law was given to the Jews, conscience had been given to everyone (Genesis 3:3-8).

24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will certainly come to your aid and bring you up from this land to the land He promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Deuteronomy 7:6 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

6 For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be His own possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.

John 4:22 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews.

The words of God for all to pray for the Jews is ever before us.

Psalm 122:6 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you prosper;

The plan that God designed for Israel did not change when His chosen people were dispersed from their lands in 722 B.C. and 597-586 B.C. Consider a people, a land, and the work of God’s Holy Spirit.

Ezekiel 36:24-29 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).

The Restoration of Israel

24 “For I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances. 28 Then you will live in the land that I gave your fathers; you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will summon the grain and make it plentiful, and will not bring famine on you.

Keeping And Remembering The Sabbath.

Keep (Shamor); Remember (Zakhor).

Keep and Remember. Consider those two words and the way that Jews honor Shabbat, the Sabbath. Consider how you may also honor Shabbat, the Sabbath. The candle lighting begins on Friday evening, at eighteen minutes prior to sundown. Usually, a woman will light the candles. It was a woman who brought “the Light” into a world of darkness.

At least two candles should be lit. These represent “shamor” [“keep”] and “zakhor” [“remember”], the first words of the commandments [in the two Ten Commandments passages in the Torah] concerning Shabbat (Exodus 20:8; Deuteronomy 5:12). They also symbolize the unity underlying all apparent duality, such as man and woman, body and soul, speech and silence, creation and revelation.

Shabbat Candles

Shedding light on the day of rest

By Richard Siegel, Rabbi Michael Strassfeld and Sharon Strassfeld

shabbat candles

As a ceremonial object or art, the candle is generally overlooked, yet it has great significance. Whether intended for practical purposes such as providing light, or for more evocative, quasi-magical ends, such as rekindling the winter sun, almost every festival and celebration incorporates the use of candles at some point.

Fire in Judaism

Fire is universally recognized as one of the basic elements of the world. It is mysterious, frightening, mesmerizing. Its attraction is almost irresistible. In the Kabbalah, the image of a multicolored flame emanating from a candle is taken as a metaphor for God’s relation to the world and man. The flame is a single entity, yet it appears to be undergoing constant change. The flame adheres to, relies on, and appears to emanate from the candle, yet is a distinct and separate entity. The white interior of the flame is constant, but its exterior is always in motion and changes color.

Woman lighting shabbat candles

Reducing fire to a few metaphors, however, robs it of its natural power and mystique. Fortunately the tradition, by incorporating the lighting of candles into the celebratory cycle in a number of different ways [e.g., Shabbat candles, Havdalah (at the end of Shabbat), Hanukkah candles, memorial candles], left open the possibilities for recognizing the many potentialities of fire. It is for us to rediscover those potentialities and allow them to “illumine our eyes.”

On Friday night, one is required to light candles in the house for the sake of shalom bayit (harmony in the home) and oneg Shabbat (Sabbath joy). The candles ought to be in the room where the Sabbath meal is to be eaten.

How to Light the Candles

It is normally woman who lights the candles, but men may light them when no woman is present. Candles may be lit, at the earliest, 1-1/4 hours before sunset, but the [customary] time is up to 18 minutes before sunset. [Click here for Shabbat candlelighting times] If the [traditional 18-minute] time limit cannot be met, candles may be lit during the 18 minutes immediately preceding sunset.

At least two candles should be lit. These represent “shamor” [“keep”] and “zakhor” [“remember”], the first words of the commandments [in the two Ten Commandments passages in the Torah] concerning Shabbat (Exodus 20:8; Deuteronomy 5:12). They also symbolize the unity underlying all apparent duality, such as man and woman, body and soul, speech and silence, creation and revelation.
It is permissible to light more than two candles. In fact, it is considered particularly meritorious to do so. This is implied in an interpretation of “And God blessed the seventh day” (Genesis 2:3). “With what did he bless it? Light.” Some people light an additional candle for each child in the family. Once you’ve lit a certain number, it is a custom never to decrease that number. Students away from home should light candles for themselves, as they are no longer within the household of their parents

Candle LIghting

The Ten Commandments/The 613 Commandments

The Ten Commandments are the first ten of the 613 commandments given by God to the Jewish people. They form the foundation of Jewish ethics, behavior and responsibility. These commandments are mentioned in order twice in the Torah – once each in the Book of Exodus and the Book of Deuteronomy.

1) I am the Lord thy god, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
2) Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
3) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
5) Honor thy father and thy mother.
6) Thou shalt not murder.
7) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8) Thou shalt not steal.
9) Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor.
10) Thou shalt not covet anything that belongs to thy neighbor.

The 613 Mitzvot (Commandments)

The following is a breakdown of the 613 mitzvot, or commandments, given by God to the Jewish people. There are a number of debates as to which commandments are included in the 613, this breakdown is according to Sefer Hamitzvot of the Rambam. This breakdown divides the commandments in 248 positive and 365 negative mitzvot.

248 Positive Mitzvot

P1: Believing in G­d
P2: Unity of G­d
P3: Loving G­d
P4: Fearing G­d
P5: Worshiping G­d
P6: Cleaving to G­d
P7: Taking an oath by G­d’s Name
P8: Walking in G­d’s ways
P9: Sanctifying G­d’s Name
P10: Reading the Shema twice daily
More …


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