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Chumash - Shabbos Masculine or Feminine?
Submitted by Charles Morris  Answered by Rabbi Shaul Rosenberg
Answer: Your question is asked by the Meshech Chochmah. He explains that on Yom Kipper (which is the subject of the pesukim you quoted), one has to refrain from certain pleasures that he indulges in throughout the rest of the year. For example, one may not eat, drink, smear, wear leather shoes or have marital relations. This is all derived from the word "Shabboson" which means to rest from that which you have been doing during the rest of the year. Although the Torah only said, "rest", it left it up to the Chachamim to decide what type of rest it should be. They decided that it should be refraining from eating, drinking etc.  Typically Yom Kipper is referred to in the Masculine (like in Parshas Emor). The reason being, the masculine is going on the day. Since "Yom" - day- is masculine , the Torah says "Hu". However , in Parshas Acharei, the word. "Hee" is referring to the word "Shvisah" - rest - which is feminine. The pasuk is saying , "Shabboson HEE Lachem" - the type of rest on Yom Kipper which the Torah meant "HEE Lachem" - it is dependent on  YOU , the Chachomim to decide what it is.
posted:2009-02-11 00:32:34

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