(Stein Atle Vere ©2012. Seventh Day. brakha.blogspot.com).
In the opening chapters of the Tora Scroll (the first five books of the Jewish Bible), the Book of Breshit (Genesis) says:
God made this universe in six days, “and, desisted” וַיִּשְׁבֹּת on the seventh day. The name of this seventh day is Shabat שַׁבָּת , meaning a “desistance” from doing an activity, whether a cessation or an interruption.
“And, Divineships blessed the seventh day. And, (Divineships) made it holy.”
On this seventh day, God desists from doing those “tasks” of God מְלַאכְתּוֹ that are necessary to maintain the blessing and the holiness of creation. By the seventh day everything becomes able to receive blessing. God sets this seventh day aside, dedicating it for holiness, marking it as different from the rest of the seven days.
The rest of the Tora Scroll (being the first five books of the Jewish Bible) reinforces the holiness of these days. These days comprise a week in the calendar, a cycle of a time of seven days. Every seventh day manifests the blessing and holiness of the primal seventh day. The Book of Shmot (Exodus) says:
Rested in the Seventh Day(Shmot 31'17. English translation from Hebrew: Vere 2012).
Six days you will serve.
And, you will do all of your tasks.
And a day − the seventh − is Shabat (that belongs) to your Divineships.
You will not do each task.
- Yourself and your son and your daughter,
- Your servant, your maid,
- And your cattle,
- And the (foreign) resident in your gates.
Because six days God did the heavens and the land - the sea - and all that is in them.
And, (God) rested in the seventh day.
On (account of) thus, God blessed the day of the Shabat.
And, (God) made it holy.
שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד
וְעָשִׂיתָ כָּל מְלַאכְתֶּך
וְיוֹם , הַשְּׁבִיעִי − שַׁבָּת , לי״הוה אֱלֹהֶיךָ
לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה כָל מְלָאכָה
אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ , עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ וּבְהֶמְתֶּךָ , וְגֵרְךָ , אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ
כִּי שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים עָשָׂה י״הוה אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ אֶת הַיָּם וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר בָּם
וַיָּנַח , בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי
עַל כֵּן , בֵּרַךְ י״הוה אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת − וַיְקַדְּשֵׁהוּ
According to the Pshat פְּשָׁט (“plain meaning”), God created during the six days and “rested” וַיָּנַח in the seventh day, Shabat.
Note, the first day of the week specifically corresponds to Sunday in the common calendar, and the seventh day corresponds to Saturday.
In Saturday, God rests.
God blesses the seventh day - because - in it God rests.
God makes the seventh day holy - because - by means of this day, God is able to rest.
Am Yisrael (the Kinship of Israel) participates in this blessing and in this holiness when they likewise rest on the seventh day.
God rests because on the seventh day, humans become fully able to participate in the blessing and holiness of God. God does not need to “do” anything.