Shabbat 73 - Thirty nine, the complete list

Any activity that was performed in constructing the Tabernacle is prohibited on Shabbat. This is derived from the phrase of "Build My Temple, but stop the work and observe Shabbat." It also includes preparatory activities.

Outside the Temple, the list includes other activities similar to the main ones. For this reason, the primary thirty-nine designate groups rather than specific types of work. The list begins with eleven labors necessary for baking bread: sowing, plowing, reaping, gathering (sheaves) together, threshing, winnowing, selecting (rock out of grain), grinding, sifting, kneading, and baking.

Then come the thirteen labors involved in the preparation of clothing: shearing wool, whitening it, disentangling it, dyeing, spinning, mounting the warp, setting two neddles on the loom, weaving at least two threads, removing threads in order to re-weave, tying a knot and untying a knot, sewing two stitches and tearing in order to sew another two stitches.

Hides and writing: trapping a deer, slaughtering it, skinning it, salting it, tanning its hide, smoothing, cutting it, writing at least two letters and erasing in order to write another two letters.

Finally, six more labors: building and demolishing, extinguishing and kindling, adding a finishing touch to his work (such as striking the final blow with the hammer), and carrying within the public domain or from a domain to another domain.

Art: Francis Blackwell Mayer - Leisure and Labor