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Featured The Shabbat Thread

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by Harel13, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    For @Deeje and whoever else may be interested in learning more about the Jewish concept of the Sabbath, or as we like to call it: Shabbat or Shabbos, here's a thread where you can ask your questions and we Jews will do our best to answer them.

    I would appreciate if other RF Jews would also put in their two cents.

    Note 1: Today is Friday, which means that in a number of hours (around sunset), I and other Shabbat keepers will be unavailable to answer questions.

    Note 2: This is the Q&A section. Let's all keep our heads and try not to bash each other. :)
     
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  2. Eddi

    Eddi currently engaged in spiritual warfare

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    A very interesting subject...

    I have a couple of questions :)

    What percentage of Jews would you say seriously keep the Shabbat - i.e. for example, don't use the internet on it? And do all denominations keep it or do some ignore it, or partially keep it?

    I'd be interested to know how many religious Jews choose to seriously observe it, and how many don't

    Also, what is it about the internet that means you can't use it on the Shabbat?
     
  3. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Thank you....I have a few....
    In a post to @IndigoChild5559 I asked some questions that I would like answered.....(highlighted)

    My point was, not what Jews of today experience in the Sabbath observance, (because they know nothing else) but how the ancient Jews, to whom the Law was given did not have hundreds of nit-picking definitions added to the restrictions that God clearly outlined for Sabbath observance.
    Instead of using common sense, the rabbis turned the restrictions into categories, as it says in Wiki...."The thirty-nine melakhot are not so much activities as categories of activity." Each 'category' needed detailed definitions....some of which were nothing short of ridiculous.
    Reading through the restrictions, don't we get a sense of how legally minded the Pharisees were in dictating what is, or isn't part of Sabbath Law?

    Activities prohibited on Shabbat - Wikipedia..... Its an interesting read and helps us understand why the Jews stumbled over Jesus, who did not support the rabbinical definitions of "work", whilst he respected the spirit of the law....something he said that the 'legalistic' Pharisees had lost.

    In this Wiki list of prohibitions, can you tell me which ones would not have been part of God's original law. i.e. those in the modern era like the rule on electrical items and elevators.....who decided?

    When Jesus and his apostles grabbed a few grains of wheat on their way through a wheat field, they were accused of 'doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath'. (Luke 6:1-5) Is that what God meant when he said no reaping, harvesting and threshing? :shrug:

    Matthew 12:11-12, on the subject of healing or doing a good deed on the Sabbath....
    "[Jesus] said to them: “If you have one sheep and that sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, is there a man among you who will not grab hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do a fine thing on the Sabbath.”


    Which seems more reasonable to you.....withholding medical treatment (because is not life threatening) because it is a Sabbath, or going and getting a serious wound some medical attention? Or seeing an animal in distress and coming to their aid? What would God want you to do, using some common sense rather than human rules and regulations that were never in God's Law in the first place?

    You are free to practice whatever you wish, but the question is whose laws are you obeying really?

    It is never my intention to bash anyone.....I am just curious as to why Jewish people seem to be enslaved to an old and outdated system of worship that really bears little resemblance to the original....and in a nation that is clearly now "part of the political world" allied to nations whose worship they despise. How does that work?
     
    #3 Deeje, Feb 21, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  4. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    I think Orthodox Jews definitely keep Shabbat. According to Wikipedia, there are now 2 million OJs in the world, out of about 14.6 million Jews. If I did my math right (and it's probably wrong because I'm terrible at math), it comes out to about 13.6 percent.
    Some ignore it, in particular the Secular, disaffiliated Jews, others partially keep it, others say that it's no longer necessary to keep it as the OJs do, so they keep in their own way - therefore, in their view, they fully keep it (even if they do use the internet on Shabbat).
    To my knowledge, the problem isn't the internet itself, but the tasks that go with using the internet, which are not allowed on Shabbat: For example, turning on the computer is done through lighting a spark of electricity which is connected to the prohibition of lighting a fire.
     
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  5. Eddi

    Eddi currently engaged in spiritual warfare

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    Very interesting, thank you :)

    A follow-up question: if it is forbidden to light a fire, or a spark of electricity, does that mean that when it's dark on the Shabbat you have to be in darkness, with no artificial lights? What do you do to see in the dark? Or don't you?
     
  6. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't pointing any fingers.
    That's what you think. We believe that these "nit-picking definitions" were given by God at Mount Sinai.
    Out of all of these hundreds of Shabbat-laws there are only a small group of laws that are called "shvut" (from the same root of Shabbat, שבת), which were added prohibitions by the sages to keep people from coming close to transgressing one of God's laws of the Shabbat. For example: One cannot swim on Shabbat. But originally, one could row a boat on Shabbat. But the sages realized that in a boat situation, a person might think that it would be alright to swim as well. So they added the prohibition of rowing a boat.
    But that's the problem of common sense: It's fallible. So the core of the Shabbat laws are infallible concepts given by God who knows all. Moreover, if every law came from the common sense of man, it could be easily changed, because common sense and human morality has changed over history. Indeed, we find that Christians don't keep Shabbat because they think it's fallible man-made nonsense. And that's actually fine. Shabbat was given to the Jewish nation, not to the gentiles. What's not fine is thinking it's man-made nonsense, which it's not.
    Is that bad? Jewish spiritual leaders need to know more than correct meditative positions and what mantras will help a person reach a spiritual high. The Torah is chock-full of legal laws, and the sages need to know how everything works in order to pass on the law correctly.
    I'm not sure I understand the question, but every thing in the world, through every era, has to be broken up to its core in order to understand whether or not it's okay for a Jew to do, not just in the field of Shabbat but in every field.
    So for example, as I wrote to @Eddi, activating a computer in order to use the internet comes with lighting a spark which is part of the prohibition of lighting a fire. If you must know, the rabbis at the time when electricity started coming into use, went and asked experts in the field how it works, and by that determined if it was allowed or not. Every invention today is dissected by the rabbis together with field-experts in order to determine if it's "kosher" for Jews.
    Just as every chemical in the world can be broken down to its core elements, so do Jews break everything down to its core to determine if it's proper to use/do.
    Part of it, yes. Just because it was a "mere few", doesn't make it okay.
    Not every single medical procedure isn't allowed on Shabbat. We have rules for everything. As a kid, I once crashed into a metal bench on Shabbat. No one thought I should stay there on the sidewalk with a literal bloody dent in my head until Shabbat was over. That never occurred to anyone. Why? Because not everything is illegal, as gentiles sometimes portray Judaism. So I went to a local clinic and got bandaged up (my head is fine today, thankfully).
    God's.
     
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  7. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    We turn on the lights before Shabbat, and that's how we have light. What we didn't turn on stays off. Some people have a fairly modern invention called a "Shabbat clock" which is a simple device that is pre-programmed to activate and deactivate certain things at certain times during Shabbat, such as lights and ACs.
     
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  8. Mauricius Modestus

    Mauricius Modestus God-Fearer
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    @Harel13 Shalom! As a self-identified ‘G!d-Fearer’, I’m by nature a Gentile. Would I be permitted to observe the Sabbath? If so, how would I differentiate it from the traditional observance?
     
    #8 Mauricius Modestus, Feb 21, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  9. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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  10. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    Hey! For more info, check @rosends's link. The short answer is that gentiles are not permitted to keep Shabbat. If they wish to do so, they'll need to do (at least) one act that desecrates the Shabbat, for example - turning on/off the lights.
     
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  11. Mauricius Modestus

    Mauricius Modestus God-Fearer
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  12. Mauricius Modestus

    Mauricius Modestus God-Fearer
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    Thanks, @Harel13!
     
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  13. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    This, of course, presumes that Torah is literally Holy Writ - but that's a different topic.

    The fact remains that many of the 39 categories of prohibited activity are found, not in the Torah, but in the Mishnah, i.e., they are inferred. So, for example, even if I do not turn off my computer prior to Shabbat - and therefore do not chance violating the prohibition against kindling fire - I'm still not permitted to 'use' the internet because of an inferred prohibition against typing, and such inferences are manmade.
     
  14. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    Which is, as I'm sure you know, part of the Oral Law.
     
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  15. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Yes. I simply do not grant it the air of infallibility that is presumed by many Orthodox.
     
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  16. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    That's what I thought.
     
  17. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

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    "Awww, gee, do I have to?"

    From a Gentile's perspective the Jewish "compulsion" to dot every "i" and cross every "t" in "the law" seems to be just that: "an obsessive compulsion". And, shaking their heads, they breathe a sigh of relief, saying: "Thank God, I wasn't born a Jew", as they walk away.

    It was a mystery to me, and has been for over 71 years, ... until someone in RF posted something that turned on a light for me: IMO. It came from out of left field and I wasn't expecting it, but it struck me all the same. The person wrote: "Gratitude is the basis of any rational morality." So, is that what's happening here? Is what some view as an obsessive compulsion with details actually a deep desire to show gratitude, ... with all one's heart and with all one's soul and all one's strength?
     
    #17 Terry Sampson, Feb 21, 2020
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  18. Shaul

    Shaul Well-Known Member

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    But without the Oral Law it is not possible to follow the Written Law. For example the Written Law says performing work in the Sabbath is prohibited, but it doesn’t define what is work. The Oral Law provides the definition for work. Which then let’s be able to observe this commandment.
     
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  19. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, of course.
     
  20. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    A great Jewish thinker, Abraham Joshua Heschel, wrote a great book on the sabbath and all of it's implications for Jews. I recommend it.
     
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