The medrosh criticizes Eisov for trapping his father with questions such as "must one tithe salt," yet doesn't specify that it was shobbos, so there should be no melucha of "tzud"! Is this proof that the Avos kept shobbos all week long?

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closed as too localized by Isaac Moses Mar 12 '12 at 5:12

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    יש צד לומר כן.‏ – msh210 Feb 26 '12 at 8:11

It can't be, because the verse (Genesis 22:3) states:

וישכם אברהם בבקר
And Avraham rose early in the morning

but we know the Rama rules (Shulchan Aruch OC 281:1) that we start davening late on Shabbat morning. Therefore, we can conclude that it was not Shabbat for Avraham on that day.

Furthermore, Genesis 27:25 relates about Yitzchak:

ויגש לו ויאכל, ויבא לו יין וישת
And he brought him food and he ate; and he brought him wine and he drank

but we know the Shulchan Aruch rules (OC 271:4) that you can only eat after saying kiddush on Shabbat. Therefore, we can conclude that it was not Shabbat for Yitzchak on that day.

Furthermore, in Genesis 28:22 Yaakov says:

אעשר אעשרנו לך
I will separate a tithe to you

but we know the Shulchan Aruch rules (OC 307:1) that you can't speak on Shabbat about doing forbidden labor even after Shabbat. Therefore, we can conclude that it was not Shabbat for Yaakov on that day.

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    It was Tuesday, in fact! ...ביום השלישי וישא אברהם את עיניו – Alex Feb 26 '12 at 14:45
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    Although, Avraham went to do a kiddush Hashem that day. It is common practice that when one has to go to a kiddush that he will get up early and daven hashkama even on Shabbos. – YDK Feb 26 '12 at 21:36
  • If it said he ate and he drank wine, granted. but it saysויאכל , ויבא לו יין וישת- he brought him the wine after eating. Mashma that Yitzchok didn't have wine beforehand and he must have made kiddush on hamotzi. – YDK Feb 27 '12 at 4:24
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    Also, there's no raya from mimtzo cheftzecha because maaser is cheftzei shamayim. However, there is a raya from the fact that Yaakov promised to give maaser. Since maaser is like mesaken, it would be asur to separate on shabbos. So when would he give it if there was shabbos during the week?! – YDK Feb 27 '12 at 4:28
  • @YDK Maaser is only cheftzei shamayim according to rebbi meir. We paskin like chachamim that it is ours. See sukkah 35a towards the bottom. – Double AA Feb 27 '12 at 4:33

The Avos did not keep shabbos all week. The midrash was critical that Esav was tzayid b'fiv- he trapped with his mouth. The trapping was done kilachar yad, in an unusual way. This was a violation of שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד וְעָשִׂיתָ כָּל-מְלַאכְתֶּךָ.


Yes, the avos kept shabas all week long, but the imahos did not. Consider:

  • In B'reshis 14:22, Avraham refuses to take money, telling the king of S'dom to keep it for himself and give it to others. Of course, this was because Avraham couldn't take money on shabas (i.e, every day).
  • In chapter 18, Avraham brings food to his visitors, but only Sara and "the young man" prepare it.
  • In 27:9, Rivka tells Yaakov to bring goats, but offers to prepare them, herself, for eating.

While you can ask how Avraham cut animals in half (15:10), this was presumably on a direct command (not stated in the pasuk) from Hashem, which of course overrides a general mitzva.

And his "repaying his credit" (Rashi to 13:3) was done not with money but with services, which can be done on shabas: he was a magid, an itinerant preacher, who of course can work on shabas.

You may ask about Yitzchak's digging wells in 26:18, 22. But we see in verses 19 and 21 that his servants did the digging. The two interior p'sukim specifying it was his servants surrounded by the two saying "Yitzchak" serve as a k'lal ufrat uchlal, i ata dan ela k'en hap'rat, so we see that all the wells were dug by people affiliated with Yitzchak. None, however, were actually dug by him: what do you take him for, a m'chalal shabas, chas v'shalom?

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    There's a halachah that "one may cut up a dead animal for dog food" (Orach Chaim 324:7). And since the bris bein habesarim was to inform Avraham about the Egyptian slavery and the geulah from it, at which לא יחרץ כלב לשונו, which leads to לכלב תשליכון אותו, then it follows that the animals were being cut up for a valid purpose on Shabbos - so no melachah there. – Alex Feb 26 '12 at 22:53
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    Don't forget how Leah sells the dudaim and Rachel rode on a camel, both things one wouldn't be able to do on Shabbat. – Double AA Feb 27 '12 at 4:26

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