Study and Theory/
Sabbath

The 39 Principal Acts of Labor

Mishnah, Shabbat, 7:2

The principal acts of labor (prohibited on the Sabbath) are forty less one—viz.: Sowing, ploughing, reaping, binding into sheaves, threshing, winnowing, fruit cleaning, grinding, sifting, kneading, baking, wool-shearing, bleaching, combing, dyeing, spinning, warping, making two spindle trees, weaving two threads, separating two threads (in the warp), tying a knot, untying a knot, sewing on with two stitches, tearing in order to sew together with two stitches, hunting deer, slaughtering the same, skinning them, salting them, preparing the hide, scraping the hair off, cutting it, writing two (single) letters (characters), erasing in order to write two letters, building, demolishing (in order to rebuild), kindling, extinguishing (fire), hammering, transferring from one place into another. These are the principal acts of labor—

forty less one.

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