by Mark S. Railey
June 15, 2021
Here is a question for my thinking friends (which, I think, is pretty much everyone).
So there has been a lot of Facebook debate on whether the Sabbath or Sunday is the Lord's day. Just for fun, I want to offer a new perspective.
If Shabbat lasts 25 hours (so as to stretch the time dedicated to HaShem as long as possible) and the earth is "zoned" for 24 hours around the planet (I know there are more than 24 time zones - work with me here!), doesn't that mean that for one hour the entire planet is celebrating Shabbat?
Now to make the question truly fun: If Shabbat begins 18 minutes before sundown on Friday night and lasts until one hour after sundown on Saturday night... AND, the earth has 24 hour "zones," if Shabbat were to begin at the start of the day (international date line - middle of the Pacific) at the time for Shabbat to begin and would start an hour later for each time zone, it would start in the final hour (23rd hour) just prior to crossing the international date line; which means, Shabbat would extend across the international date line by one hour (overlapping with the following day - Saturday - the 25th hour). Now, since hour 23 would have just started Shabbat and it would go around the 25 hours even though one time zone later, the next day, would have already started.
This means the Shabbat is happening on the planet for two days! Both Shabbat and Sunday are sacred to HaShem because as G-d looks at the planet he sees all time zones at the same time and thus, on the planet somewhere Shabbat is continuing through Sunday.
From G-d's perspective, both Shabbat (Friday evening through Saturday evening) is Shabbat (the Day of Rest - 4th Commandment) and Sunday (Saturday evening through Sunday evenings - to be specific) is Shabbat (the Day of Rest - 4th Commandment)!
Naturally, you have to measure Shabbat from your location. But, this argument does shed an interesting light on the question. Doesn't it?
I suppose the next question would be "So you are a Jew living on the Space Station..." or "You decide to live on Mars..." when does Shabbat begin for your location? But, that is for another post.