Torah Pearls – Season 2 – Bamidbar

And the sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites by their fathers’ houses. – Numbers 3:20

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  1. Paul L says

    Could the Tabernacle be setup (01/01/02nd yr) on a Shabbat, or would this be a Holy Day, convocation, 1st day of the year? The next event 01/08/02 would be an Shabbat also if the SONS can be anointed on a Shabbat. What I am asking is can one WORK/Anoint/Setup on a Shabbat?

  2. Sophiee Saguy says

    You are asking many questions! No work could be done on the Tabernacle (Mishkahn) on Shabbat. Mechilta, Rashi, ad loc; Shabbos 70a, 97b; Yerushalmi, 7:2. Also see I 13b, Chagiga 10b “Mach’sheves.”

    Chazal learn from this that on Shabbat we don’t do the 39 Melachot (tasks that were part of building the Mishkahn) that were done in order to build the Mishkan.

    People think Jews don’t work on Shabbat, but the prohibitions are to perform no melachot (the 39 activities it took to build the Mishkahn).

    Here is the list of the 39 Melachot (main activities) prohibited on the Shabbat as listed in the Mishna Shabbat 73a:

    1. Zoreah – Sowing (seeding)

    2. Choresh – Plowing

    3. Kotzair – Reaping (cutting)

    4. M’amair – Gathering (bundling sheaves)

    5. Dush – Threshing

    6. Zoreh – Winnowing

    7. Borer – Sorting (selecting, separating)

    8. Tochain – Grinding

    9. Miraked – Sifting

    10. Lush – Kneading

    11. Ofeh / (Bishul) – Baking/cooking

    12. Gozez – Shearing

    13. Melabain – Whitening (bleaching)

    14. Menafetz – Disentangling, Combing

    15. Tzovayah – Dyeing

    16. Toveh – Spinning

    17. Maisach – Mounting the warp (stretching threads onto loom)

    18. Oseh Beit Batai Neirin – Setting two heddles (preparing to weave)

    19. Oraig – Weaving

    20. Potzai’ah – Separating (removing) threads (Unweaving)

    21. Koshair – Tying a knot

    22. Matir – Untying a knot

    23. Tofair – Sewing

    24. Ko’reah – Tearing (unsewing – ripping)

    25. Tzud – Trapping

    26. Shochet – Slaughtering (Killing)

    27. Mafshit – Skinning

    28. M’abaid – Salting/tanning process [1]

    29. Mesharteit – Tracing (scratching) lines

    30. Memacheik – Smoothing / scraping

    31. Mechateich – Cutting (to shape)

    32. Kotaiv – Writing two or more letters

    33. Mochaik – Erasing two or more letters

    34. Boneh – Building

    35. Soiser – Demolishing

    36. Mechabeh – Extinguishing (putting out a flame)

    37. Ma’avir – Kindling (making a fire)

    38. Makeh B’Patish – Striking the final blow (Finishing an object)
    39. Hotza’ah – Transferring (transporting) from domain to domain (carrying)

    [1] The list of Melachot in the Talmud (Tractate Shabbat 7:2) includes salting hides and tanning as separate Melachot. The Talmud (Tractate Shabbat 75b) states that these two are really the same Melacha, and amends the Mishna by inserting tracing lines, as the twenty-ninth Melacha.

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