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Why is the intermediate Shabbos of a festival referred to as Shabbos Chol haMoed (and not something else, e.g. Shabbos haMoed)? Aren't Shabbos and Chol opposites?

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    Its just a colloquialism that developed centuries ago for the obvious reason that the chunk of days are hol hamoed inasmuch as they are the part of the Moed which is not Yom Tov. When Shabbat falls out one of those days it is still "hol hamoed" since it is the part of the Moed that is not Yom Tov, and it is also Shabbat. | Strictly speaking it isn't hol, but it is a logical and useful convention for speech. – mevaqesh Oct 4 '17 at 19:06
  • @mevaqesh This should be an answer not a comment. You might connect it to gut yom tov or add that it means shabbos shel chol hamoed. – sabbahillel Oct 4 '17 at 19:24
  • @sabbahillel I won't post it as an answer, as I have no sources. While I think it makes enough sense that the question isn't really a question, without sources, it isn't a very strong answer. Thanks for your comment that it ought to be an answer, though. – mevaqesh Oct 4 '17 at 19:26
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in many of the rishonim it is not referred to as shabbat chol hamoed but generally as shabbat betoch hamoed or shabbat betoch haregel because shabbat chol hamoed is indeed contradictory.

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The intermediary days of Succot and Pesach are known as "Chol Hamo'ed". It is a "mixed term", as a "mo'ed" implies a holiday with work restrictions, as many think of it. the "Chol" part means "profane" or colloquially, "weekday". During these days, work that would result in a monetary loss (that's a loose definition. See O.C. or your rav for details on what work is permitted.) is permitted during these days.

You are correct that Shabbat and "Chol" are opposites. But, the term "Shabbat" is a modifier for the entire term "Chol Hamo'ed" which describes the entire 4 or 5 days, themselves. In other words think of it as the Shabbat of the "Chol Hamo'ed" period.

  • Chol HaMoed can be six days if 1st day Sukkot is on Shabbat – Double AA Oct 4 '17 at 19:53
  • I don't think this really answers the question which suggests that "Shabbat" and "Chol" aren't words that really make sense together. Why isn't it called "Shabbat Hamoed"? – Daniel Oct 4 '17 at 20:19
  • @DoubleAA What is unclear in the count is that I did not include Hoshanna Rabbah. Even though it has the same laws as Chol Hamo'ed, it is not called that way. – DanF Oct 8 '17 at 1:57
  • @Daniel I think I did answer that in my 2nd paragraph. The term "Chol Hamo'ed" is a joint term and Shabbat is just a descriptor (modifier / adjective) of that term. It's like saying "Continental United States". – DanF Oct 8 '17 at 2:01

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