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Q&A Why was Shabbat given in a roundabout way?

Someone at my seder asked about the ordering in Dayeinu, specifically that "had God not given us Shabbat..." comes before "had God not give us the Torah..." -- but wasn't Shabbat given at Sinai, as...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  edited 9mo ago by Monica Cellio‭

#2: Post edited by user avatar Monica Cellio‭ · 2023-08-23T21:37:45Z (9 months ago)
Fixed a tangential comment: Sivan 15 would have been after the giving of the torah.
  • Someone at my *seder* asked about the ordering in Dayeinu, specifically that "had God not given us Shabbat..." comes before "had God not give us the Torah..." -- but wasn't Shabbat given at Sinai, as part of the revelation? We then checked to confirm our memories, and yes, Shabbat is introduced as a side-effect of the giving of the manna, which begins "on the fifteenth day of the second month after the exodus" (Exodus 16:1). I'm not sure if that means Iyyar or Sivan (I think the former), but either way, it's before the giving of the torah. That raised a new question that we couldn't find any commentaries on:
  • The double portion of manna, and why the extra doesn't rot, is explained in Exodus 16:23: tomorrow is a holy Shabbat. They haven't actually been *commanded* in Shabbat yet; this seems to be new information, and it feels like it's "oh, by the way...". That seems odd for a commandment that will be central to Judaism and called out at Sinai as such. For other commandments they've already received, such as observing Pesach every year and dedicating the firstborn to God, the command is direct. Here, it's not.
  • Why does God give the commandment for Shabbat in such a roundabout way? Or was there an earlier command that was forgotten, and so the people should have known that Shabbat is special already and this was more of a reminder?
  • Someone at my *seder* asked about the ordering in Dayeinu, specifically that "had God not given us Shabbat..." comes before "had God not give us the Torah..." -- but wasn't Shabbat given at Sinai, as part of the revelation? We then checked to confirm our memories, and yes, Shabbat is introduced as a side-effect of the giving of the manna, which begins "on the fifteenth day of the second month after the exodus" (Exodus 16:1), which I think means Iyyar not Sivan. That raised a new question that we couldn't find any commentaries on:
  • The double portion of manna, and why the extra doesn't rot, is explained in Exodus 16:23: tomorrow is a holy Shabbat. They haven't actually been *commanded* in Shabbat yet; this seems to be new information, and it feels like it's "oh, by the way...". That seems odd for a commandment that will be central to Judaism and called out at Sinai as such. For other commandments they've already received, such as observing Pesach every year and dedicating the firstborn to God, the command is direct. Here, it's not.
  • Why does God give the commandment for Shabbat in such a roundabout way? Or was there an earlier command that was forgotten, and so the people should have known that Shabbat is special already and this was more of a reminder?
#1: Initial revision by user avatar Monica Cellio‭ · 2023-04-09T19:43:26Z (about 1 year ago)
Why was Shabbat given in a roundabout way?
Someone at my *seder* asked about the ordering in Dayeinu, specifically that "had God not given us Shabbat..." comes before "had God not give us the Torah..." -- but wasn't Shabbat given at Sinai, as part of the revelation?  We then checked to confirm our memories, and yes, Shabbat is introduced as a side-effect of the giving of the manna, which begins "on the fifteenth day of the second month after the exodus" (Exodus 16:1).  I'm not sure if that means Iyyar or Sivan (I think the former), but either way, it's before the giving of the torah.  That raised a new question that we couldn't find any commentaries on:

The double portion of manna, and why the extra doesn't rot, is explained in Exodus 16:23: tomorrow is a holy Shabbat.  They haven't actually been *commanded* in Shabbat yet; this seems to be new information, and it feels like it's "oh, by the way...".  That seems odd for a commandment that will be central to Judaism and called out at Sinai as such.  For other commandments they've already received, such as observing Pesach every year and dedicating the firstborn to God, the command is direct.  Here, it's not.

Why does God give the commandment for Shabbat in such a roundabout way?  Or was there an earlier command that was forgotten, and so the people should have known that Shabbat is special already and this was more of a reminder?