What are some of the Jewish (mishnaic) traditions regarding keeping the Sabbath, that were not specified in Torah? I am interested in knowing the traditions especially prevalent during the time of Jesus. Kindly cite either the scripture or authentic Jewish sources.

An example would be the "Sabbath Day's Journey":

KJV Acts 1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.

I have heard that this is a tradition described by the Jews as a lawful distance that can be traveled on Sabbath. But don't have any Jewish sources.

Edit 1: By Mishnaic I meant the traditions that were in existence during the time of Jesus. I gather that Mishna is a compiled written form of these traditions that were created during the time intervening between Malachi and Jesus.

Further clarification:

  1. This question is particularly relevant here at Christianity, as I am interested in traditions that the Jews accused Jesus of breaking, especially regarding those on Sabbath.

  2. I am not interested in just Sabbath Day's Journey - but others like it. So it is not a duplicate.

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    Shouldn't this be asked on the Judaism Stack Exchange? – Matt Gutting Mar 3 '20 at 0:31
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks about Judaism not Christianity. – curiousdannii Mar 3 '20 at 0:41
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    This question is quite on topic, as an historical tradition of Jewish perspective at the time of Christ! – Ken Graham Mar 3 '20 at 1:53
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    I doubt judaism would be interested in answering questions that would point them out to be in error. Esp. in the light of the fact that Jesus accused the Jews of keeping the traditions of men rather than the commandments of God and this question is specifically about such traditions – One Face Mar 3 '20 at 8:19
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    Are you interested in Jewish traditions specific only to the weekly Sabbath or also to the other holy days and special Sabbaths such as Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread? From my experience on the Mi Yodyea site, any mention of Jesus is likely to attract negative responses. Any question asked would have to be carefully worded. – Lesley Mar 3 '20 at 17:26

Jewish traditions regarding the Sabbath at the time of Jesus?

Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. - Acts 1:12 KJV

Josephus makes the Mount of Olives to be about six stadia from Jerusalem and it is thus the acceptable distance between these two places which in Acts 1:12 is given as a Sabbath day's journey.

The Jewish scruple to go more than 2000 paces from his city on the Sabbath is referred to by Origen (περὶ ἀρχων, 4, 2), by Jerome (Ad Algasiam, qu. 10), and by Oecumenius — with some apparent difference between them as to the measurement. Jerome gives Akiba, Simeon, and Hillel as the authorities for the lawful distance.

Another reason for fixing the distance of a Sabbath day's walk or journey at 2000 yards is that the fields of the suburbs for the pasture of the flocks and herds belonging to the Levites measured 2000 cubits or yards, and that in Ex 21:13 it is said, "I will appoint thee a place (מקו ם) whither he shall flee" — i.e. the Levitical suburbs or cities. Now, it is argued, if one who committed murder accidentally was allowed to undertake this journey of 2000 yards on a Sabbath without violating the sanctity of the day, innocent people may do the same. Besides, the place of refuge is termed מקו ם, which is the same word employed in Ex 16:29. As the one מקו ם, place, was 2000 yards distant, it is inferred, according to the rule the analogy of ideas or words (גזרה שוה) that the command, "Let no man go out of his place (ממקמו) on the seventh day" (Ex 16:29) means not to exceed the distance of the place 2000 yards off (Hillel I, rule 2, in Erubin, 51 a; Maccoth, 12 b; Zebachim, 117 a). Josephus (War, 5, 2, 3) makes the Mount of Olives to be about six stadia from Jerusalem; and it is the distance between these two places which in Ac 1; Ac 12 is given as a Sabbath day's journey. Josephus elsewhere determines the same distance as five stadia (Ant. 20, 8, 6); but both were probably loose statements rather than measured distances; and both are below the ordinary estimate of 2000 cubits. Taking all circumstances into account, it seems likely that the ordinary Sabbath day's journey was a somewhat loosely determined distance, seldom more than the whole and seldom less than three quarters of a geographical mile. See Selden, De Jure Nat. et Gent. 3, 9; Frischmuth, Dissert. de Itin. Sabbat. (1670); Walther, Dissert. de Itin. Sabbat.; both in Thesaurus Theolog. Philog. (Amsterd. 1720). - Sabbath Days Journey (McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia)


The following article may be useful to you. This extract is about the Jewish Shabbat:

Jewish law (halakha) prohibits doing any form of melakhah (מְלָאכָה, plural melakhoth) on Shabbat, unless an urgent human or medical need is life-threatening. Though melakhah is commonly translated as "work" in English, a better definition is "deliberate activity" or "skill and craftmanship". There are 39 categories of prohibited activities (melakhoth) listed in Mishnah Tractate Shabbat 7:2. Many rabbinic scholars have pointed out that these labors have in common activity that is "creative", or that exercises control or dominion over one's environment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabbat#Prohibited_activities

This article discusses the Biblical Sabbath and Tanakh: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Sabbath#Tanakh

During the time of Jesus there was an instance when he and his disciples were walking through a cornfield on the Sabbath. Because they were hungry, they picked some ears of corn to eat. When the Pharisees saw this they accused Jesus of allowing his disciples to do what is unlawful on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8).

Deuteronomy 23:24 says it is lawful to eat grapes from a neighbour’s vineyard, but unlawful to put his grapes into your basket. Deuteronomy 23:25 says it is lawful to pick a neighbour’s ears of corn with your hands, but it is unlawful to take a sickle to his standing corn. However, these restrictions come under the heading of Miscellaneous Laws, and have nothing to do with Sabbath-keeping.

This was confirmed by a participant on Judaism Stack Exchange.

Luke 13:10-17 describes an incident when Jesus healed a woman on the Sabbath. The Synagogue ruler told the people that if any healing was to be done, it would have to be done on the six days in the week allocated for work and not on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:9-11). Jesus exposed their hypocrisy by pointing out that they had more regard for the welfare of an animal than for the welfare of a person. They pretended to be zealous for the law, but their motives were to attack Jesus and his miraculous healing.

I found this link on the Judaism section of Stack Exchange, but it is somewhat basic: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/633659/jewish/What-Is-Shabbat.htm

It is possible that you could find more detailed information here: Shabbat (Hebrew: שבת‎) is the first tractate (book) in the Order (Mishnaic section) of Moed, of the Mishnah and Talmud. The tractate consists of 24 chapters. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabbat_(Talmud)

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