I have found in multiple sources that Rishonim refer to Shabbos as shabbos bereishis, and it is clear from context that they are referring to the weekly Shabbos as opposed to Shabbos of Creation.

For example, the Rambam says in Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh 1:5

אין ראיית הירח מסורה לכל אדם כמו שבת בראשית שכל אחד מונה ששה ושובת בשביעי

And Rashi in parshas Behar 25:2 regarding shemita:

ושתבה הארץ שבת לה' - לשם ה', כשם שנאמר בשבת בראשית

What is the reason that they refer to it this way? Is there any primary source for this?

  • 2
    Lots of things are called shabbos. If you want to specify the one that is celebrated weekly on Saturday, how else would you specify it?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 23:38
  • Maybe I would would call it shabbos hashavua? Bereishis seems misleading. I certainly didn't understand the rashi the first time I learned it Commented May 25, 2020 at 0:07
  • Think of it like "the shabbos that commemorates creation". You're right that we can imagine other names, but that's the one that apparently was popular
    – Double AA
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 0:09
  • 1
    It's not just the rishonim. The gemarra does this as well. For example, Menachos 65b.
    – robev
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 0:58
  • 1
    @robev I think you could post that as an answer - the OP wants primary sources for this expression as used by rishonim
    – Joel K
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 6:49

3 Answers 3


The Rashbam in Bava Basra 121A, says that all holidays are called Shabbos Shabooson (and they are made by bais din when they are mekadesh the chodesh) therefore they called the weekly shabbos, shabbos bereishis since it's been made holy from the six days of creation as the passuk says "vayikadesh"


The Sabbath itself is a commemorence of Creation. The text of the Friday night kiddush (in addition to much of the Shabbat davening across all nusachs) says this explicitly:

"The sixth day. So the heavens and the earth were finished, with all their complement. On the seventh day, God had completed His work which He had undertaken, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had been doing. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He ceased from all His creative work, which God had brought into being to fulfill its purpose."

Source: https://www.aish.com/sh/ht/fn/48967396.html?mobile=yes


According to Abravanel in parshas behar as the Shemita is symbolic to Shabbat in connection to the land, the the weekly shabbos is symbolic (or remembrance) to the first shabbat in connection to Israel, hence shabbos bereishis.

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