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- Prohibition


Do not work on the Sabbath


 ‘Do not do any work…” Shemos 20:10


The Sages listed 39 major primary kinds of forbidden labour, which are found in the seventh chapter of the Talmud Shabbos 73a, 


11 for bread

13 regarding clothing

7 for animal hides

2 Writing

2 Building

2 Fire

1 Striking final blow

1 Taking out from domain to domain


  1. Sowing

  2. Ploughing

  3. Reaping

  4. Gathering

  5. Threshing

  6. Winnowing

  7. Selecting

  8. Grinding

  9. Sifting

  10. Kneading

  11. Baking


  1. Shearing wool

  2. Whitening it

  3. Disentangling

  4. Dying

  5. Spinning

  6. Mounting the warp

  7. Setting two heddles

  8. Weaving two threads

  9. Removing two threads

  10. Tying a knot

  11. Untying

  12. Sewing two stitches

  13. Tearing in order to sew two stitches


  1. Trapping a deer

  2. Slaughtering it

  3. Skinning

  4. Salting

  5. Tanning its hide

  6. Smoothing

  7. Cutting


  1. Writing two letters

  2. Erasing two letters


  1. Building

  2. Demolishing


  1. Extinguishing

  2. Kindling

 1. Striking the final blow

 1. Taking from one domain to another. 

Regarding violation of the primary labour and their derivatives the punishment is death by stoning.

If done deliberately without a warning the penalty is spiritual severance.

If done unwittingly a sin offering is required.

The difference between primary labour and their derivatives is only regarding the number of offerings required.


The punishment for wilfully doing those types of labour which are called Shuvuth/Cessation as forbidden by the Sages who made this enactment as a protective measure is to be lashed for disobedience.


Regarding all these labours we are also commanded regarding our domestic animals.

To tell a non-Jew to do work is called Shuvuth/ Cessation and is forbidden by the Sages.

When there is danger to human life the Shabbos labour may be disregarded.


The Sabbath is equal in importance to all the Mitzvoth as it’s a sign between God and the Jewish people.

If someone intentionally violated the Shabbos he is considered like a heathen is all respects.

The Prophet praises one who guards the Shabbos as it says “Happy is the man that does this……keeps the Shabbos from desecrating it” Yeshayahu 56:2


This applies in all places at all times for men and women.

Do not work on the Sabbath
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