Torah Portion: Beshalach
One may not leave his place on the seventh day (Shemos 16:29).
It is a negative commandment to not go on Shabbos beyond a certain limit, as it says: One may not leave his place on the seventh day (Shemos 16:29). The Sages explained that “his place” means that one is not to go farther than three parsahs away from the city. A parsah is four mils; a mil being 2,000 amos(cubits). [This distance] is measured from the edge of the furthermost house of the city, even if it is a city as large as Nineveh. This, so far, by the law of the [Written] Torah. The Sages, however, added a precautionary measure and forbade walking more than 2,000 cubits [which is about 960 meters] outside the city.
Among the roots of this mitzvah is that we remember and internalize that the world was created out of non-existence and was not pre-existent, as it is written explicitly about the mitzvah of [observing] Shabbos: For in six days Hashem made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; and He rested on the seventh day (Shemos 20:11). Therefore, as a remembrance of this [“resting”], it is fitting that we [too] rest in one place, which means that we should not set out on any lengthy journey but only walk for strolling and pleasure; and in walking no more than twelve mils there is no great exertion.
This commandment applies in all places and at all times, to both men and men. One who transgresses this and goes even one amah (cubit) beyond three parsahs is liable for lashes. Similarly, if one goes even on amah beyond the 2,000 amos adjacent to the city is liable to rabbinically ordained lashes.