(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 01:40:05 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Dates? Refrigerator Light Bulbs?

<  <  ...As for the light bulb, (a passing mention in an article in WJR) how
does that constitute working on the Sabbath?  Thanks!>  >

This question is frequently asked...the answer given is that Sabbath does
not prohibit WORK but rather "MLACHA" and "MLACHA" is hard to translate.

I have a way of clarifying this standard answer. According to the Bible
observance is a symbolic affirmation that G-d **created** the world (See Ex
31:12-17). This link helps us define WHAT is prohibited on Sabbath.

Something is prohibited if it resembles **creation**. The focal point of
**creation** is NOT that G-d expended alot of power or energy but rather
the focal point is that G-d **created** new entities.

Accordingly almost all Sabbath prohibitions (except carrying) have their
prohibited nature emanate from 'creation' of a new entity.

It is easy to apply this to Kevin's lightbulb question: For if I flip a
switch and 'turn on the light' then 'I have created light' the same way G-d
created light on the first day (Gen 1:4). I therefore have not affirmed
that G-d is the ultimate creator of 'new entities & statuses' and have
violated the Sabbath.

I hope this clarifies this difficult concept of Sabbath work.

Russell Hendel; Phd ASA; Math; RHendel@Towson.Edu
Moderator Rashi is Simple