Why do Jews celebrate the Sabbath from Friday night to Saturday night?

Why do Jews celebrate the Sabbath from Friday night to Saturday night instead of Saturday morning to that night? Is there anything about this in the Hebrew Bible?

Thanks

Hi Fidelis,

Here is a link to a website that explains the Jewish Sabbath in a little more detail:

hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Shabbat/Introduction/Shabbat-Intro.pdf

In the Jewish tradition, the next day always starts after sundown on the current day. It’s because of the order of creation in Genesis: All of the passages say: ‘‘Then evening came, and morning followed - the first day…’’ It always lists evening first for each day. This is the reasoning behind it.

So it’s true not only for the sabbath, but for all the holidays too. and for every day–the new day always begins the evening before. .

We understand the “day” as beginning at midnight, but that is arbitrary. It presumes a proper measurement of time to know the hour of midnight.

Biblically, the “day” began with the preceding sundown (when the previous day ended).

We still do that in the liturgical Church, therefore vigil Mass and the Easter Vigil.

ICXC NIKA.

In the Jewish tradition, the next day always starts after sundown on the current day. It’s because of the order of creation in Genesis: All of the passages say: ‘‘Then evening came, and morning followed - the first day…’’ It always lists evening first for each day. This is the reasoning behind it.

This is correct. Depending on the time of the year, sundown can be as late as 9:00 PM in the summertime, sometimes as early as 6 PM in winter (or earlier). Candle lighting for the Sabbath - just prior to sundown - can vary depending on the time of the year. You can actually find calendars online that give the exact time when the Sabbath starts and ends for any particular weekend.

The practice of the Saturday vigil mass is certainly inspired by Jewish tradition, but is in fact a modern innovation in church law for the convenience of parishioners. It has only bee allowed since last century

I would say that Jews observe the Sabbath rather than celebrate it.

While others have commented on the timing, I’m wondering if your question had more to do with Saturday vs Sunday rather than the time of day.

Jews observe the Sabbath. Christians observe the Lord’s Day. Not the same day of the week.

As I understand it, the early Christians, who were also Jews, observed the Sabbath on Saturday and then gathered for the Eucharist on Sunday. The observation of the Sabbath eventually disappeared as did Christians who were also Jews.

The observation of the Lord’s Day is how Christians observe the commandment to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

We’d need to ask someone who is Jewish; however, Shabbat would seem to be “celebratory” in their culture.

For example, fasting is not done on Shabbat, and in years when a fast day (such as 9 Av) falls on the Shabbat the fasting is postponed.

ICXC NIKA.

Correction taken, I did not know that.

However, what about the Easter Vigil?

ICXC NIKA

Wrong.

Look here: newadvent.org/cathen/05647a.htm

Yes, there were Vigils, but as I read in that article, not in the way we are using the word today. The Vigils were always in preparation for the Feast of the next day, they didn’t fulfill the obligation to attend the next day. The Mass was celebrated before the Vigil actually began, before the first Vespers of the Feast. The Vigil itself ended after midnight with Matins.

I don’t know how long it lasted but for many, many years the Easter Vigil was celebrated on Saturday morning, because Mass couldn’t be celebrated after noon. You still had to go the Mass on Easter morning to fulfill your obligation. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the Easter Vigil returned to the evening ,

One of my pet peeves is the use of “vigil” to describe the weekly Saturday evening Mass. It’s not a ‘vigil’, it’s the Sunday Mass. There are only 8 Vigils in the entire year: the Vigils of Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, Christmas and one other new one that I can’t recall that was added, along with Epiphany, in the 3rd Typical edition of the Roman Missal. Those have specific readings and prayers that are not those of the Feast.

If it’s true that the Sabbath, the Lord’s day, is defined by the scriptures as being the last day of the week – Friday evening until Saturday evening – and if the 4th Commandment requires that the Sabbath be kept holy, then how are most Christians not breaking the 4th Commandment by treating that day like any other? I know that Christians have chosen to keep Sunday holy for various theological reasons, but I don’t see how that justifies them in apparently changing the scriptural definition of the Sabbath or exempts them from obeying the 4th Commandment.

I was not referring to Feast Days, but Sunday worship. Your blanket assertion that I am “wrong”, without any elaboration or request for clarification is not appreciated.

The Ten Commandments never directly applied to people who not Jewish. The Ten Commandments are part of the Old Covenant with the Jewish nation, and were superseded by Jesus’ death on the Cross.

However, the Ten Commandments are written in perfect harmony with Human Nature. They serve as a summary for the morality written in our soul’s as members of the human race.

:blush:

Sorry.

:hug1:

The Easter Vigil is a true vigil mass, that is celebrated in eager anticipation of Christ’s rising. Vigil masses have been celebrated for centuries, in anticipation of the Feast Day it preceded. Christmas Eve is another example, “waiting up” for the birth of Christ. :slight_smile:

The Saturday evening mass is only informally called a vigil mass; it is not celebrated in anticipation of the Sunday Mass, but as a lawful substitute for mass on Sunday. It was originally allowed only for those could not not make it to Sunday mass, but since at least 1983, possibly earlier, it was made available for anyone who wished to attend.

All is well :slight_smile:

The observation of the Sabbath eventually disappeared as did Christians who were also Jews.

Technically, there are and were many Christians of Jewish backgrounds. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) is perhaps one of the most famous examples.

The Hebrew Catholic movement in Israel is in full communion with Rome and consists entirely of ethnically Jewish Christians. These Hebrew Catholics celebrate Mass in Hebrew, and still adhere to many Jewish traditions and customs. There are also many Jewish converts, starting with the earliest Christians and running even into today.

There is also a large Messianic Jewish population in modern day Israel, though they are not generally considered to be in communion with Rome, but do believe in Christ as the Messiah.

Throughout the history of the Church, we read in Fr. Edward Flannery’s book, “The Anguish of the Jews”, that many Jews converted to Catholicism, sometimes by force, others by necessity. Fr. Flannery also talks about how many of the earliest Christians still adhered to and were very much attached to many Jewish practices, such as observing the Jewish Sabbath.

I realize there are Christians of Jewish background but they are not practicing Jews as Christ’s early followers were.

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