Why Is Rest On The 7th Day So Important?

Shabbat: Why Do We Rest?

Rabbi David Fohrman
Rabbi David Fohrman

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We celebrate the Sabbath through rest, just as God rested on the seventh day of creation, but this raises a few questions. First, why would an omnipotent God even need rest? Even if He did create the universe – He’s infinitely powerful! Second, why do we celebrate Shabbat by copying God’s rest day, not the mind-blowing, six days of creation before it? What did God do on His day of rest that was so incredible?

Looking closer at the biblical text, we see clues that perhaps Shabbat doesn’t commemorate the creation of the world – at all. God only blessed and sanctified the seventh day – His day of blissful rest – and not the creation of the universe in the days before.

This is the one insight in the Torah and the Bible of God’s own experience of what He did on the 7th day – He was so excited about this day of rest, that He declared it as a holy day.

But what’s the big deal about rest? Is that the incredible thing we are going to celebrate, after the huge creation of the world?

In this Shabbat course, Rabbi Fohrman asks some fundamental questions to uncover a deeper meaning to why we rest on the Sabbath. After all, what’s so important about rest that we commemorate it once a week, thousands of years later – more than the creation of the whole universe? Figuring that out, Rabbi Fohrman argues, will help us understand the true meaning of why rest on the Sabbath is still important today.