ORT Navigating the Bible II
Zachor et-yom haShabat lekadsho.
Sheshet yamim ta'avod ve'asita chol-melachtecha.
Veyom hashvi'i Shabat l'Adonay Eloheycha lo ta'aseh chol-melachah atah uvincha-uvitecha avdecha va'amatcha uvehemtecha vegercha asher bish'areycha.
Ki sheshet-yamim asah Adonay et-hashamayim ve'et-ha'arets et-hayam ve'et-kol-asher-bam vayanach bayom hashvi'i al-ken berach Adonay et-yom haShabat vayekadeshehu.
Except above where the text begins the 5th Commandment (Kabed es Avicha), what we have is the best definition of Sabbath available to date. It comes directly out of the Sefer Shmos, (Book of Exodus) and is Hashem's command to the JEWS.
Shabbos is neither an option for the interested nor a burden for the less connected, dreaded for its coming and gleeful as it passes. Shabbos is the ultimate Jewish holiday. And even though many people call Shabbos the Jews gift to the world, this is clearly mis-understood. Gentiles are not now nor have ever been obligated in Shabbos which is why in classical Xtian text you find references to burdensome laws of Rabbis, or as the article calls it "ever-expanding rules". It isn't the rules that "expand" but life that expands. It is the job of the Rabbonim to understand the changing world and apply this knowledge to a new set of parameters meaning for the Jewish people, new or different practices based upon those changes. This is so that Shabbos is not maligned in the march of progress. The laws, however are basically the same.
And as for healing, this is an NT mis-read. If as Xtians believe Yushka (l'havdil) and G-d are the same, there is not any conflict. 1) Xtians are not obligated in Shabbos (oh yea there weren't any then, whoops) 2) G-d does what G-d chooses. For Jews who believe that HaShem has no form and doesn't need a body to accomplish anything (l'havdil) there is a problem with "unnecessary" medical procedures on Shabbos performed by Jews on Jews or non-Jews. All Jews should understand that Torah forbids a Jew to REFRAIN FROM saving a life on Shabbos, no matter what law must be broken in order to do so. These NT stories essentially are meaningless.
"...berach Adonay et-yom haShabat vayekadeshehu"
HaShem sanctified the 7th day after completing His work. You, Mr. or Ms. Jew are obligated in what G-d commanded you. You were brought out of Egypt. You were made holy and therefore subject to sanctification. The Xtians, on the other hand adopted a Sabbath/Sunday. This is an entirely different thing. It is not a "sanctification" but a "day or rest". Rest? This is done on the couch. Truthfully, since Sunday is Yom Rishon, it does of course according to Torah and in a spiritual sense retain the original essence of the first yom rishon, a strong work day.
Sanctification? This is done by prayer, ritual, learning, teaching, seuda, singing, and being fully Jewish, mein olam haba. Okay, shluffing too, but just a little. The main difference is a physical resting vs. a spiritual elevation and rejuvenation. Taking time out of the schedule without a blackberry to spend with your Creator/parent to be together and demonstrate an unyielding commitment (a word requiring 2 forces or entities) is what Shabbos is about. Yes, it is said HaShem is pleased by Jewish observance of Shabbos as is true with all mitzvos. How does G-d interpret Sabbath on Sunday? If Xtian's were to bind themselves to Torah/bible, then is this not an affront to G-d? Did he not specify what he meant by Shabbos, i.e., 7th day, no melacha, menucha, stopping creative efforts? At least the Jews who do not observe Shabbos yet in the best possible way at least acknowledge that Shabbos is Shabbos. They may argue about what that means, but as far as I know, no Jew has ever tried to define Shabbos as Wednesday?
So, where does this leave honest Xtian Sabbath followers? I am not sure. Shabbos cannot be removed from Yom Shvi'i and Sunday can't be turned into Yom Shvi'i. Where, I suppose it leaves us back at the beginning. Only the Jews are obligated in Shabbos. Xtianity seeking to create a day of rest is probably a good thing. But expecting followers, who have a choice to observe or not observe (unless Xtian churches or congregations can strengthen the non-observance penalty) to fall inline and understand what it is they are supposed to be resting for and from, then I certainly would not be waiting in the lobby for the mass rush of people. Only Xtianity can define what it is and what a good Xtian is. But I am not sure that sabbath observance is a good measure.