In my book, “The Magic of Shabbos,” I explain the link between the 39 categories of prohibited acts, Shabbos, the Mishkan (Sanctuary) in the desert, and creation. Suffice it to say that these are not acts of “labor” or “work” but rather acts of physical-creativity. Each is a dramatic achievement, and is categorized as such. Examples include kindling fire, cooking, and writing.
In this online section I would like to add some clarity regarding what the 39 categories are. Presented here is a wonderful educational video produced by a talented educator to explain the 39 categories.