1. a) In most Western societies where Christianity has been the dominant religion for a long time, Sunday has a special place as a ‘day off.’ As a day of rest and pause from labor, however, Sunday is not very old. In societies defined by the sowing, cultivating, and reaping of nutrients, season and weather govern the rhythm of work and rest. Animals must always be cared for: feeding, milking, and carrying out the dung must be seen to. The farm family cannot take a ‘day off.’ The dyers had their ‘blue Monday,’ when they dried and oxidized the wool that had been steeped in dye on Sunday.
The Sabbath, a Day without Work b) It was altogether unusual, then, to specify a day of God, which, with the Third Commandment (Exod 20:8–11) in Judaism became a basic rule. The mythological foundation was that God himself had made the world in six days, but rested (
shabat) on the seventh (
shebi'i), as in Gen 2:2, the day on which, later (Exod 40), the temple was used for the Sabbath divine service. In the Commandment, there is nothing about a divine service, but only about rest. Not only the people of God, but non-Jewish neighbors, or foreign s…