During the Shabbat it is not allowed to light fire (Exodus 35:3). Therefore, if you will need fire during the Shabbat, you must light the fire before the beginning of the Shabbat . 


Some people say that for this reason is not allowed to turn on the light or to call the elevator during the Shabbat, because when we move the switch a sparkle is produced. 


However, the sparkle is not fire, because the fire is only produced if the sparkle enter in contact with fuel, so that when somebody turns on an electric lamp or calls the elevator, he is not lighting fire. 


Therefore, it is licit to turn on electric lamp and to call the elevator during the Shabbat. 


During the Shabbat it is not allowed to do any work (Exodus 20:10). 


The work that we must not do in the Shabbat is the economic activity, because the verse Exodus 23:12 shows that the objective of the Shabbat is to give rest to the servants and to the employees and to the traction animals and to the pack animals, and the verses Numbers 28:9-10 show that God commanded that during the Shabbat  the priests, in the Temple, offer him holocausts and offerings, what shows that certain activities, that are not economic activities, must not be interrupted because of the Shabbat . 


Therefore, the owners of stores or of factories or of businesses in general must not open their shops in the seventh day of the week, that is the Shabbat, from the sunset of Friday until the sunset of Saturday.


In the same way, the owners of farms or of mines must give rest to all their employees during the Shabbat . 


And at home, during the Shabbat, we must not make any work of domestic administration, as, for instance, to do purchases, or to cook, or to do cleaning in the house, or to do reforms or repairs in the house. 


However, if an emergency happens, a problem that needs to be solved immediately, we can solve this problem during the Shabbat. For instance: if during a meal somebody collide with a glass and spill drink in the table, it is allowed to immediately clean the place that became dirty, it is not necessary to spend all the rest of the Shabbat  with that dirt on the table, because that is different from doing the cleaning in the house, that is just to solve an emergency. 


During the Shabbat  it is allowed to heat the food that is already ready, because this is not to cook. 


It is also allowed to do during the Shabbat what is necessary to save the life of a person, or to cure a sick person. 


Therefore, it is necessary that there are some doctors and nurses and drugstores on duty during the Shabbat . 


And there are certain essential public services that also have to function during the Shabbat, because they cannot be interrupted, as, for instance, the service of electric power supply, because without electric power the hospitals cannot work. 


During the Shabbat  it is allowed to hear music, to watch television or to hear radio and to read web pages in the internet, because this is not work, because it is not economic activity. But the owner of the television or radio broadcasting station only can broadcast during the Shabbat programs recorded before the beginning of the Shabbat, and must start the reproduction and the broadcasting before the beginning of the Shabbat. 


For the same reason, it is allowed the spouses to have sexual relations during the Shabbat, and it is allowed to take bath during the Shabbat. 


During the Shabbat  it is allowed to go to the synagogue, to read the Bible, to pray, and to play and sing praise songs to God, because this is not economic activity, and God commanded, in Numbers 28:9-10, that the acts of service to Him be not interrupted because of the Shabbat. 


Summarizing: it is allowed to do during the Shabbat all that is not economical activity and that is not to light fire, and all that needs to be done to solve emergency situations or to save people's lives or to cure sick persons, and everything that is act of worship to God. 


Yahveh bless you.


Joćo Paulo Fernandes Pontes.


Published in February 25, 2009.


Updated in October 18, 2015.




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