The Torah reiterates the prohibition against doing melachah, “work,” on Shabbat, but it is not clear from the Scripture exactly which type of work is included. People often assume the prohibition refers to going to work on Shabbat; others think the Torah only forbids the use of electricity and modern technology. In reality, although the Torah’s prohibition does encompass many activities, it refers to a very specific set of laws. From the way the Torah juxtaposes the endeavor to build the Mishkan (Tabernacle) with the commandment to observe Shabbat, our sages deduced that the 39 types of work used in the construction and maintenance of the Mishkan comprise the 39 melachot.

This series will introduce the 39 "works" of the Mishkan and explore their practical application today as the Laws of Shabbat.