One of the 39 Melachot, shaping would be defined as cutting any object to a desired shape.

Cutting material for a dress would fall under this category, as would cutting out pictures or clipping newspaper articles. So would working wood or metal on a lathe or mill WOULD fall under this heading.

Foods are not included and may be cut to be served.

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Most of this information is taken from the book "SABBATH Day of Eternity" by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, published by NCSY. In the book itself, there are notes that refer the reader to detailed footnotes. I am lucky to have found such a clear, concise manual with these brief overviews of laws so vast and complex there are Rabbis that specialize in them.

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