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Shabbat is the inclusion or adoption in Hebrew of a day of rest. Established within Judaism through Mosaic Law, (The Law of Moses or Torah of Moses;Hebrew: תֹּורַת מֹשֶׁהTorat Moshe, Septuagint Ancient Greek: νόμος Μωυσῆnómos Mōusē, or in some translations the “Teachings of Moses” Joshua writes the Hebrew words of “Torat Moshe תֹּורַת מֹשֶׁה” on an altar of stones at Mount Ebal.) The tribes of Ya’akov (Jacob) inherited a Shabbat practice that reflected two great precepts: the commandment to “remember the Shabbat, to keep it holy” and YHWH blessing of the seventh day (Saturday) as a day of rest and declared by YESHUA (Messiah) for Apostles and Disciples. The first of these provisions was associated in Judaism with the assembly of the people to worship in the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Shabbat which is observed by millions worldwide has changed in Western Christianity to observance of the Lord’s Day (Sunday) celebration of the Christian community’s deliverance from sin and worldly passions, made possible by the resurrection on the first day of the week.”Sunday”. Early Hebrews observed the seventh day with prayer and rest, while Christians gathered on the first day. By the 4th century, Catholics were officially observing the first day, Sunday, as their day of rest, not the seventh.

Beginning about the 17th century, a few groups of Restorationist Christians took issue with some of the practices of the churches around them, sometimes also questioning the theology that had been so widely accepted throughout 16 centuries. Mostly Seventh-day Sabbatarians, they broke away from their former churches to form communities that followed Seventh-day Shabbat-based practices that differed from the rest of Christianity, also adopting a more literal interpretation of law, either Christian or Mosaic.

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Shabbat is a weekly day of rest, observed from sundown on Friday until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. It is also observed by a minority of Christians, such as adherents of Messianic Judaism and Seventh-day Adventists. This day is established to study passages of  the Scriptures, sing praises to glorify YHWH and YESHUA and congregate together as prescribed by mosiac law. Thirty-nine activities prohibited on Shabbat (Hebrew: ל״ט אבות מלאכותlamed tet avot melakhot) are

Planting: Hebrew: זורע (Zorea) Definition: Promotion of plant growth. Not only planting is included in this category; other activities that promote plant growth are also prohibited. This includes watering, fertilizing, planting seeds, or planting grown plants.

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Plowing: Hebrew: חורש (Ḥoresh) Definition: Promotion of substrate in readiness for plant growth, be it soil, water for hydroponics, etc. Included in this prohibition is any preparation or improvement of land for agricultural use. This includes dragging chair legs in soft soil thereby unintentionally making furrows, or pouring water on arable land that is not saturated. Making a hole in the soil would also provide protection for a seed placed there from rain and runoff; even if no seed is ever placed there, the soil is now enhanced for the process of planting.

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Reaping: Hebrew: קוצר (Koṣer) Definition: Severing a plant from its source of growth. Removing all or part of a plant from its source of growth is reaping. Climbing a tree is rabbinically forbidden, for fear this may lead to one tearing off a branch. Riding an animal is also rabbinically forbidden, as one may unthinkingly detach a stick with which to hit the animal.

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Gathering: Hebrew: מעמר (Me’amer) Definition: Initial gathering of earth-borne material in its original place. E.g. After picking strawberries, forming a pile or collecting them into one’s pockets, or a basket. Collecting rock salt or any mineral (from a mine or from the Earth) and making a pile of the produce. This can only occur in the place where the gathering should take place. So, a bowl of apples that falls in a house can be gathered as 1) they do not grow in that environment and 2) they were already initially gathered in the orchard.

Threshing/Extraction: Hebrew: דש  (Dosh)                                          Definition: Removal of an undesirable outer from a desirable inner. This is a large topic of study. It refers to any productive Extraction  and includes juicing fruits and vegetables and wringing (desirable fluids) out of cloths, as the juice or water inside the fruit is considered ‘desirable’ for these purposes, while the pulp of the fruit would be the ‘undesirable.’ As such, squeezing (S’ḥita) is forbidden unless certain rules are applied. The wringing of undesirable water out of cloths may come under Scouring/Laundering. This activity could be viewed as extraction, while Sorting is more akin to purification.

Winnowing: Hebrew: זורה (Zoreh) Definition: Sorting undesirable from desirable via the force of air or dispersal via the force of dominic. It usually refers exclusively to the separation of chaff from grain – i.e. to any separation of intermixed materials which renders edible that which was inedible. It also refers to separating things that are desirable from undesirable ones. Example: If one has a handful of peanuts, in their paper-thin brown skins, and one blows on the mixture of peanuts and skins, dispersing the unwanted skins from the peanuts, this would be an act of Winnowing according to both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud. According to the Jerusalem Talmud’s definition, the use of the Venturi tube spray system and spray painting would come under this prohibition, while butane or propane propelled sprays, which are common in deodorants and air fresheners, etc. are permissible to operate as the dispersal force generated isn’t from air, rather from the propellant within the can. According to the Babylonian Talmud’s definition, neither of the above spraying methods is involved in sorting undesirable from desirable and therefore not part of this heading.

Sorting/Purification: Hebrew: בורר  (Borer)                                        Definition: Removal of undesirable from desirable from a mixture of types. Usually refers exclusively to the separation of debris from grain – i.e. to any separation of intermixed materials which renders edible that which was inedible. Thus, filtering undrinkable water to make it drinkable falls under this category, as does picking small bones from fish. (Gefilte fish is one solution to this problem.)

Sorting/Purification differs from Threshing/Extraction as there is a mixture of types, and sorting a mixture via the removal of undesirable elements leaves a purified, refined component. In contrast, Threshing/Extraction does not entail sorting or purification, just extraction of the inner from the unwanted housing or outer component, such as squeezing a grape for its juice. The juice and the pulp have not undergone sorting, the juice has been extracted from the pulp. For example, if there is a bowl of mixed peanuts and raisins, and one desires the raisins and dislikes the peanuts: Removing (effectively sorting) the peanuts from the bowl, leaving a ‘purified’ pile of raisins free from unwanted peanuts, would be Sorting/Purification as the peanuts are removed. However, removing the desirableraisins from the peanuts does not purify the mixture, as one is left with undesirable peanuts (hence unrefined) not a refined component as before, and is thus permissible. Note that in this case there has not been any extraction of material from either the peanuts or raisins

(Threshing/Extraction), just the sorting of undesirable from desirable (Sorting/Purification). Any form of selecting from (or sorting of) an assorted mixture or combination can be Borer. The Three Conditions of Sorting/PurificationSorting/Purification is permitted when three conditions are fulfilled simultaneously. It is absolutely imperative that all three conditions be present while Sorting/Purifying

  1. B’yad (By hand): The selection must be done by hand and not a utensil that aids in the selection.
  2. Oḥel Mitoḥ Psolet (Good from the bad): The desired objects must be selected from the undesired, and not the reverse.
  3. Miyad (Immediate use): The selection must be done immediately before the time of use and not for later use. There is no precise amount of time indicated by the concept of “immediate use” (miyad). The criteria used to define “immediate use” relate to the circumstances. For instance if a particular individual prepares food for a meal rather slowly, that individual may allow a more liberal amount of time in which to do so without having transgressed “borer.”                                 Examples of Permissible and Prohibited Types of Sorting/Purification:
  4. Peeling fruits: Peeling fruits is permissible with the understanding that the fruit will be eaten right away.
  5. Sorting silverware: Sorting silverware is permitted when the sorter intends to eat the Sabbath meal immediately. Alternatively, if the sorter intends to set up the meal for a later point, it is prohibited.
  6. Removing items from a mixture: If the desired item is being removed from the mix then this is permissible. If the non-desired item is being removed, the person removing is committing a serious transgression according to the laws of the Sabbath.

Dissection: Hebrew: טוחן (Toḥen)     Definition: Reducing an earth-borne thing’s size for a productive purpose. Dissection can arise in simply cutting into pieces fruits or vegetables for a salad. Very small pieces would involve Dissection, therefore cutting into slightly larger than usual pieces would be permitted, thus avoiding cutting the pieces into their final, most usable, state.                                              All laws relating to the use of medicine on the Shabbat are a toldah, or sub-category, of this order, as most medicines require pulverization at some point and thus are Dissected. The laws of medicine use on the Shabbat are complex; they are based around the kind of illness the patient is suffering from and the type of medication or procedure that is required. Generally, the more severe the illness (from a halaḥic perspective) the further into the list the patient’s situation is classed. As a patient is classed as more ill there are fewer restrictions and greater leniencies available for treating the illness on the Shabbat. The list of definitions, from least to most severe, is as follows: –

  1. מיחוש בעלמא / Mayḥush b’Alma / Minor Indisposition
  2. מקצת חולי / Mikṣat Ḥoli / Semi-illness
  3. צער גדול / Ṣa’ar Gadol / Severe Pain (Can in some cases be practically regarded as level 4)
  4. חולה כל גופו / Ḥoleh Kol Gufo / Debilitating Illness
  5. סכנת אבר / Sakanat Aiver / Threat to a Limb or Organ (Can in some cases be practically regarded as level 6)
  6. ספק פיקוח נפש / Sofek Pikuaḥ Nefesh / Possibly Life-Threatening (Practically treated as level 7)
  7. פיקוח נפש / Pikuaḥ Nefesh / Certainly Life-Threatening

For most practical applications the use of medicines on the Shabbat, there are primarily two categories of non-life-threatening (Pikuaḥ Nefesh) illnesses and maladies. They are either Mayḥush b’Alma or Ḥoleh Kol Gufo. In many or most practical applications for non-trained personnel, there are practically only three category levels (1, 4, & 7) as the line of distinction between them can often be difficult to ascertain for the untrained and it may prove dangerous to underestimate the condition.

Sifting: Hebrew: מרקד (Meraked) Definition: Sorting desirable from undesirable by means of a utensil (designed for sifting or sorting). This is essentially the same as Sorting/Purification (see above), but performed with a utensil specifically designed for the purpose of sorting, such as a sieve, strainer, or the like. As such, Sorting/Purifying  with such a device, such as the netting of a tea bag, would be classed as an act of sifting.

Kneading/Amalgamation: Hebrew: לש(Losh)                                          Definition: Combining particles into a semi-solid or solid mass via liquid.

The accepted description of this category, translating to “Kneading“, is inaccurate. More precisely, this prohibited activity is Amalgamation or combining solid and liquid together to form a paste or dough-like substance.

There are four categories of produced substances:

  1. Blilah Avah (a thick, dense mixture)
  2. Blilah Raḥa (a thinner, pourable mixture)
  3. Davar Nozel (a pourable liquid with a similar viscosity to water)
  4. Ḥatiḥot Gedolot (large pieces mixed with a liquid)

Cooking/Baking: Hebrew: אופה/בישול  (Bishul/Ofeh)                                  Definition for solids: Changing the properties of something via heat. Definition for liquids: Bringing a liquid’s temperature to the heat threshold. This threshold is known as yad soledet (lit. “A hand reflexively recoils [due to such heat]”). this temperature is 43 °C (110 °F). (Note, however, that Cooking/Baking is permitted on Jewish holidays. It is an exception to the rule that activities prohibited on the Sabbath are likewise prohibited on holidays.) Any method of heating food to prepare for eating is included in this prohibition. This is different from “preparing”. For example, a salad can be made because the form of the vegetables doesn’t change, only the size. However, the vegetables may not be Cooked to soften them for eating. Baking itself was not performed in the Mishkan as bread was not required for the structure.

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Shearing: Hebrew: גוזז (Gozez) Definition: Severing/uprooting any body-part of a creature.

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Scouring/Laundering: Hebrew: מלבן (Melaben)                                  Definition: Cleansing absorbent materials of absorbed/ingrained impurities.

Carding/Combing Wool : Hebrew:  מנפץ (Menafeṣ)                        Definition: Separating/disentangling fibers.

Dyeing: Hebrew: צובע (Ṣovea) Definition: Coloring/enriching the color of any material or substance. However, foods and beverages may be dyed.

Spinning: Hebrew: טווה (Toveh) Definition: Twisting fibers into a thread or twining strands into a yarn.

Warping: Hebrew: מיסך (Meseḥ) Definition: Creating the first form for the purpose of weaving.

Making Two Loops/Threading  Heddles: Hebrew: עושה שתי בתי נירין (Oseh Sh’tei Batei Nirin)  Definition: Forming loops for the purpose of weaving or the making of net like materials. This is also the threading of two heddles on a loom to allow a shed for the shuttle to pass through. According to the Rambam it is the making of net-like materials.

Weaving: Hebrew: אורג שני חוטין (Oreg)                                Definition: Forming fabric (or a fabric item) by interlacing long threads passing in one direction with others at a right angle to them.

Separating Two Threads: Hebrew: פוצע שני חוטין (Poṣe’a)            Definition: Removing/cutting fibers from their frame, loom or place.

Tying: Hebrew: קושר (Kosher) Definition: Binding two pliant objects skillfully or permanently via twisting.

Untying: Hebrew: מתיר (Matir) Definition: The undoing of any tied (see Tying) or spun (see Spinning) binding.

Sewing: Hebrew: תופר (Tofer) Definition: Combining separate objects into a single entity, whether through sewing, gluing, stapling, welding, dry mounting, etc.

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Tearing: Hebrew: קורע (Kore’a) Definition: Ripping an object in two or undoing any sewn (see Sewing) connection.

Trapping: Hebrew: צד (Ṣad) Definition: Forcible confinement of a living creature. This teaches that to violate the Shabbat prohibition of Trapping, two conditions must be met.

  1. The trapped animal must be non-domesticated.
  2. The animal must not be legally confined. For example, closing one’s front door, thereby confining insects in one’s house is not considered trapping as no difference to the insect’s ‘trappable’ status has occurred. I.e. it was as easy or difficult to trap it now as when the door was open.

An animal that is not normally trapped (e.g. a fly, or a lizard) is not covered under the prohibition of trapping. It is however, not allowed to trap the animal. However, if one is afraid of the animal because of its venomous nature or that it might have rabies, one may trap it. If life or limb is threatened, it may be trapped and even killed if absolutely necessary. Animals which are considered too slow-moving to be ‘free’ are not included in this category, as trapping them does not change their legal status of being able to grab them in ‘one hand swoop’. A snail, tortoise, etc. may therefore be confined as they can be grabbed just as easily whether they are in an enclosure or unhindered in the wild. For these purposes trapping them serves no change to their legal status regarding their ‘ease of capture,’ and they are termed legally pre-trapped due to their nature. Trapping is therefore seen not as a ‘removal of liberty,’ which caging even such a slow moving creature would be, but rather the confining of a creature to make it easier to capture in one’s hand. Laying traps violates a Shabbat prohibition regardless of what the trap is, as this is a normal method of trapping a creature.

Killing: Hebrew: שוחט (Shoḥet) Definition: Ending a creature’s life, whether through slaughter or any other method.

Flaying/Skinning: Hebrew:מפשט  (Mepashet)                                  Definition: Removing the hide from the body of a dead animal. (Removing skin from a live creature would fall under Shearing.)

Curing/Preservation: Hebrew: מעבד  (Me’aved); sometimes referred to as “Salting” מולח (Mole’aḥ)       Definition: Preserving any item to prevent spoiling for a long period of time. The list of activities includes salting hides and curing as separate categories of activity; this include “tracing lines”, also involved in the production of leather. This activity extends to salting/pickling foods for non-immediate use on the Shabbat.

Smoothing: Hebrew: ממחק(Memaḥek)Definition: Scraping/sanding a surface to achieve smoothness.

Scorinh: Hebrew: משרטט (Mesartet) Definition: Scoring/drawing a cutting guideline.

Measured Cutting: Hebrew: מחתך  (Meḥateḥ)                                  Definition: Cutting any object to a specific size.

Writing: Hebrew: כותב (Kotev) Definition: Writing/forming a meaningful character or design. Even writing with one’s weaker hand is forbidden. The Shabbat also forbade any commercial activities, which often lead to writing.

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Erasing: Hebrew: מוחק על מנת לכתוב שתי אותיות(Moḥek [al menat lichtov shtei otiyot])                            Definition: Cleaning/preparing a surface to render it suitable for writing. Erasing in order to write two or more letters is an example of erasing.

Construction: Hebrew: בונה (Boneh) Definition: Contributing to the forming of any permanent structure.  Construction can take two forms. First, there was the action of actually joining the different pieces together. Inserting the handle of an ax into the socket is a derived form of this activity. It is held by some that the act of “Construction” is not actually performed (and therefore, the prohibition not violated) if the construction is not completed. From this, some authorities derive that it is prohibited to use electricity because, by turning on a switch, a circuit is completed and thus “built.” Also, making a protective covering (or a “tent”) is forbidden. Therefore, umbrellas may not be opened (or closed), and a board may not be placed on crates to form a bench. Either of these forms is only forbidden if done permanently, though not necessarily with permanent intent. For example, closing and locking a door is permitted, regardless of how long one intends to keep the door closed. Making a pop-up tent is considered permanent (since it can stay up for a long time), even if one intends to take it down soon afterwards.

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Demolition: Hebrew: סותר (Soter) Definition: Demolishing for any constructive purpose.                         For example, knocking down a wall in order to extend or repair the wall would be demolition for a constructive purpose. Combing a wig to set it correctly and pulling out hairs during the procedure with a metal toothed brush or comb would be constructive ‘demolition’, as each hair that is removed in the process of the wig (a utensil) is progressing its state towards a desired completion. Each hair’s removal partially  Demolishes the wig (for these legal purposes) and is considered constructive when viewed in context of the desired goal.

Extinguishing a Fire: Hebrew: מכבה  (Meḥaveh)                                  Definition: Extinguishing a fire/flame, or diminishing its intensity.          While extinguishing a fire is forbidden even when great property damage will result; in the event of any life-threatening fire, the flames  must be extinguished.

Ignition: Hebrew: מבעיר (Mav’ir) Definition: Igniting, fueling or spreading a fire/flame.                      This includes making, transferring or adding fuel to a fire. (Note, however, that transferring fire is permitted on Jewish holidays. It is an exception to the rule that activities prohibited on the Shabbat are likewise prohibited on holidays.) This is one of the few Shabbat prohibitions.

Fine-tuning: Hebrew: מכה בפטיש (Makeh Bapetish), literally, striking with a hammer. Definition: Any initial act of completion.                                            This activity refers to completing an object and bringing it into its final useful form. For example, if the pages of a newspaper were poorly separated, slicing them open would constitute Fine-tuningUsing a stapler involves transgressing Fine-tuning in regard to the staple (in addition to Sewing), which is brought into its final useful form by the act. Adding hot water to a pre-made ‘noodle-soup-pot’ type cup (a dehydrated mixture of freeze-dried seasoning and noodles) would be the final act of completion for such a food as the manufacturer desired to make the product incomplete awaiting the consumer to finish the cooking process at their convenience. This particular example would also violate Cooking as well if hot water from a kettle/urn was directly applied.

Transferring Between Domains:   Hebrew: הוצאה (Hotza’ah)    Definition: Transferring something from one domain type to another domain type, or transferring within a public thoroughfare. (Note, however, that Transferring Between Domains is permitted on Jewish holidays. It is an exception to the rule that activities prohibited on the Shabbat are likewise prohibited on holidays.) All areas are divided into four categories: a private domain, a public thoroughfare, an open area (carmelit) and an exempt area. Transferring an object from a private domain to a public thoroughfare, or the reverse, is Biblically forbidden. Transferring an object between an open area to a private domain or public thoroughfare is prohibited. Transferring an object between an exempt area and any other domain is permissible. In addition, transferring an object for a distance of four cubits (or more) in a public thoroughfare or open area is forbidden. For these purposes “transferring” means “removing and depositing”. So carrying an article out of one domain type and returning to the same domain type, without setting it down in the interim in a different domain type, does not violate this activity. However, it is prohibited. The definition of an area as public thoroughfare or private domain is related to its degree of enclosure, not solely based on ownership. This law is often referred to as carrying. This is carrying within a private domain is permitted; and carrying within an open area is Biblically permitted (though  forbidden).

When human life is endangered, an Israelite and Jew is not only allowed, but required, to violate any Shabbat law that stands in the way of saving that person. The concept of life being in danger is interpreted broadly; for example, it is mandated that one violate the Shabbat to take a woman in active labor to a hospital.

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Judaism requires Shabbat candles to be lit before the Shabbat; it is forbidden to light them on the Shabbat. They are intended to take the place of candles which cannot be lit on the Shabbat. Ignition is one law that has been cited to prohibit electricity on Shabbat. Customarily, Shabbat is ushered in by lighting candles shortly before sunset, at halakhically calculated times that change weekly and geographically. The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, a translation by Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise, reveals the Essene calendar as celebrating the Shabbat commencing on the 4th day of Abib (Nisan) page 192 3 days after the new moon of the Passover month then celebrated on the 11th, 18th and 25th. The second Essene month reveals a Shabbat on the second day exactly 7 days from the 25th of Abib Shabbat witnessing a solar calendar continuation for the rest of the year. The Essenes did it this way to be in harmony with the book of Genesis where YHWH created the moon and sun on the 4th day and rested 3 days later.

Shabbat is a widely noted hallmark of Istaelite and Jewish nation.   Subbotniks (literally, Sabbatarians) are a Russian sect, categorized as either Jews or Judaizing Christians, that became particularly branded by strict Shabbat observance; (Hungarian-born radical Reform leader Ignaz Einhorn even shifted his congregation’s Shabbat worship to Sundays.) Several weekly Shabbats per year are designated as Special Shabbat, such as Shabbat haGadol, prior to Pesach (literally, “the High Shabbat”, but not to be confused with other High Shabbats); and Shabbat Teshuvah, prior to Yom Kippur (“Repentance Sabbath”)

In Eastern Christianity, the Shabbat is considered still to be on Saturday, the seventh day, in remembrance of the Hebrew Shabbat. In Catholicism and most sects of Protestantism, the “Lord’s Day” (Greek Κυριακή) is considered to be on Sunday, the first day (and “eighth day”). Communal worship, including the Holy Mysteries, may take place on any day, but a weekly observance of the resurrection is made consistently on Sunday. Western Christianity sometimes refers to the Lord’s Day as a “Christian Shabbat”, distinct from the Hebrew Shabbat, but related in varying manner.

First-day.                                                      Since Puritan times, most English-speaking Protestants identify the “Lord’s Day” (viz., Sunday) with a “Christian Shabbat”, a term Roman Catholics in those areas may also celebrate with the Eucharist. It is considered both the first day and the “eighth day” of the seven-day week. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints generally follow the stronger of first-day Christian Sabbatarian traditions, avoiding shopping, leisure activities, and work unless absolutely necessary. In Tonga, all commerce and entertainment activities cease on Sunday, starting at midnight and ending the next day, at midnight, as Tonga’s constitution declares the Shabbat sacred forever. In Oriental Orthodoxy, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has observed both Sunday Resurrection Day and Saturday Shabbat in different ways for several centuries, as have other Eastern Orthodox traditions.

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Puritan Sabbatarianism or Reformed Sabbatarianism is strict observance of Shabbat in Christianity that is typically characterized by its avoidance of recreational activities. “Puritan Shabbat”, expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith, is often contrasted with “Continental Shabbat”: the latter follows the Continental Reformed confessions such as the Heidelberg Catechism, which emphasize rest and worship on Lord’s Day, but do not forbid recreational activities.

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Seventh-day                                                  Several Christian denominations observe Shabbat in a similar manner to Judaism, though with observance ending at Saturday sunset instead of Saturday nightfall. Early church historians Sozomen and Socrates cite the seventh day as the Christian day of worship except for the Christians in Rome and Alexandria. Many Sabbatarian Judeo-Christian groups were attested during the Middle Ages; the Szekler Sabbatarians were founded in 1588 from among the Unitarian Church of Transylvania and maintained a presence until the group converted to Judaism in the 1870s. Seventh Day Baptists have observed Shabbat on Saturday since the mid-17th century (either from sundown or from midnight), and influenced the (now more numerous) Seventh-day Adventists in America to begin the practice in the mid-19th century. They believe that keeping seventh-day Shabbat is a moral responsibility equal to that of any of the other Ten Commandments, based on the example of YESHUA  They also use “Lord’s Day” to mean the seventh day, based on Scriptures in which YHWH calls the day “my Sabbath” (Exodus 31:13) and “to the LORD” (Exodus 16:23) and in which YESHUA calls himself “Lord of Shabbat” (Matthew 12:8). The question of defining Shabbat worldwide on a round earth was resolved by some seventh-day Sabbatarians by making use of the International Date Line (i.e., permitting local rest-day adjustment, Esther 9:16–19), while others (such as some Alaskan   Sabbatarians) keep Shabbat according to Jerusalem time (i.e., rejecting manmade temporal customs, Daniel 7:25). Many of the Lemba in southern Africa, like some other African tribes, are Christians and claim common descent from the Biblical Israelites, keep one day a week holy like Sabbath, and maintain many beliefs and practices associated with Judaism.

Seventh-day versus First-day                  In 321 AD, Roman emperor Constantine the Great enacted the first civil law regarding Sunday observance. The law did not mention Shabbat by name, but referred to a day of rest on “the venerable day of the sun.”  Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Although he lived much of his life as a pagan, and later as a catechumen, he joined the Christian faith on his deathbed, being baptised by Eusebius of Nicomedia. He played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire. He called the First Council of Nicaea in 325, which produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built on his orders at the purported site of YESHUA tomb in Jerusalem and became the holiest place in Christendom. The Papal claim to temporal power in the High Middle Ages was based on the forged Donation of Constantine. He has historically been referred to as the “First Christian Emperor”, and he did heavily promote the Christian Church. Some modern scholars, however, debate his beliefs and even his comprehension of the Christian faith itself.