Chapter 1: Erev Shabbos

Chapter 1: Erev Shabbos

Laws and Customs pertaining to the Kitchen on Erev Shabbos


In this chapter we will learn the laws relating to the preparation of Shabbos food which takes place on Erev Shabbos. In general, these laws differentiate into two categories, one being that of the Mitzvah to prepare foods on Erev Shabbos for the sake of Shabbos, and the second involving the practical methods of leaving your food warm into Shabbos, otherwise known as the use of the Blech. We will first focus on the subject of the general Mitzvah of preparing food for Shabbos.

1. The mitzvah of Kavod and Oneg Shabbos:[1]

A Biblical or Rabbinical precept: There are two matters regarding Shabbos that were expounded on by the prophets. These are the Mitzvah to honor Shabbos [i.e. Kavod Shabbos] and Oneg Shabbos.[2] These two Shabbos obligations [to honor and enjoy it] are in truth rooted in a Biblical precept.[3] However, there are opinions[4] which learn that these two above obligations contain no Biblical root and are rather of Rabbinical origin.[5] Nevertheless, even according to the latter opinion one must be very careful to fulfill these two obligations of honor and enjoyment on Shabbos, as Rabbinical precepts are of more severity than even Biblical precepts.[6] [Practically, in the laws of Yom Tov[7] Admur rules plainly like the latter opinion that the Mitzvos of Oneg and Kavod are Rabbinical precepts which have been explained by the prophets.[8]]

The reward: Whoever fulfills the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos his reward is explicitly mentioned in the Prophets[9] that he will merit “basking in pleasure of G-dliness”.[10] Furthermore, the sages[11] state that whoever performs the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos all his sins are forgiven, and he is saved from the judgment of Gehenom.[12] 



Is disputed if Kavod and Oneg Shabbos is a Biblical or Rabbinical obligation. Nonetheless, according to all one must be very careful in fulfilling the Mitzvah, and one who does so basks in G-dliness in the future, has all his sins forgiven and is saved from the judgment of Gehenim.


Why is no blessing said over the fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos?

Various answers have been given towards this question:

· As there is no specific food that one is required to eat in order to enjoy Shabbos.[13]

· It is included in the blessing said over the lighting of candles.[14]

· It is included in the blessing said over Kiddush.[15]

· No blessing is said over the eating of the three Shabbos meals as we never say a blessing over a Mitzvah which is not fulfilled in one timeframe.[16]

Is there a Mitzvah of Simcha applicable on Shabbos?

There is no Mitzvah of Simcha explicitly mentioned regarding Shabbos.[17]


Should one do “Iskafya[18]” on Shabbos and refrain from delving into lavish delicacies?[19]

It is clear that both on the Halachic[20] and esoteric[21] aspects of the Torah it is a Mitzvah to embellish in Oneg Shabbos, by eating delicacies and drinking fine beverages, and the concept of sanctifying oneself with that which is permitted does not apply on Shabbos. Nonetheless the above is contingent on that one eats and drinks the delicacies for the right intentions, which is mainly for the sake of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos.[22] One who however does not have such intentions, but rather is simply doing so in order to fulfill his animalistic desires, such eating is no better than eating during the week, of which the concept of “sanctify yourself with the permitted” applies.[23] Such a person is considered not to be honoring Shabbos but to be honoring himself on Shabbos.[24] Hence it has been found that Chassidim in general[25] as well as certain Tzadikim[26] would diminish their amount of embellishment contained within their fulfillment of this Mitzvah. One is certainly to avoid overeating if this will refrain him from spending his time in learning Torah, which is the purpose of Shabbos.[27]  

2. Preparing for Shabbos-A Mitzvah and obligation upon each person:[28]

Best to personally perform all the Shabbos preparations: Even if one has many servants he is to endeavor to personally prepare [all[29] or as much as possible of] his Shabbos needs.[30] [This applies even if doing all the Shabbos preparations will come in expense of his Torah learning.[31]]

Obligation to personally perform one act of preparation:[32] Even if the person is a very prestige figure and great Torah scholar, of which it is unusual for him to purchase items in the marketplace, or do certain labors in the home, nevertheless he is obligated[33] to endeavor to personally perform at least some of the Shabbos preparations.[34] [Practically although it suffices for him to perform even one act of preparation[35] nevertheless it remains a Mitzvah for him to engage in many acts of preparations, even if this will come in expense of his Torah learning.[36] In such a case that one will only be performing one act of preparation it is best that he involve himself with the preparations of the food that is most enjoyed by him, in order so he also benefit from the Mitzvah of “better to perform a Mitzvah personally then through a messenger”.[37]]

Best to personally prepare the food one enjoys most:[38] It is best that one personally involves himself with the preparations of the food that is most enjoyed by him.[39]

Performing even belittling acts for the sake of Shabbos:[40] One is not to hesitate against performing even belittling acts for the sake of honoring Shabbos, as honoring Shabbos is itself one’s reason for honor[41], and so did the greatest of our Sages[42] of which each person is to emulate.

Summary-Each person is to personally help prepare for Shabbos:

It is an obligation upon every person to personally perform at least one act of preparation for the honor of Shabbos. The more preparations that one personally performs the greater the Mitzvah, and one is thus to strive to personally prepare all his Shabbos needs, even if he has many servants. When doing only one preparation, it is best that one involves himself with the preparations of the food that he most enjoys.


Going to a hotel or host:

For this reason, not only should the husband and every family member prepare at least one item for the sake of Shabbos but also the wife and mother, even if she is going with her family to a hotel for Shabbos, or as guests to someone’s house, they are all to strive to prepare at least one item for the sake of Shabbos. 


Sparks of Chassidus:[43]

It is written in the name of the Arizal that the sweat which one breaks due to preparing for Shabbos is auspicious for erasing one’s sins, just as are tears. Therefore, one needs to exert much effort in honor of Shabbos.

3. When on Erev Shabbos is one to begin the preparations for Shabbos?[44]

Begin the preparations in the morning:[45] One is to always wake up early on Erev Shabbos in order to begin working and preparing for the needs of Shabbos in the morning of Erev Shabbos.[46]

Add in preparations also by Bein Hashmashos:[47] Aside for the preparation done in the morning one is to also add in preparation during twilight.[48] [This refers to prior to sunset, as after sunset it is forbidden for one to do any Melacha.[49]


It is a Mitzvah to begin preparing the food in the early morning, and then later during Bein Hashmashos.

4. Shopping for Shabbos:

When to go shopping:[50] It is best to purchase foods which require further preparation[51] on Thursday, as opposed to Erev Shabbos.[52] However readymade foods that do not require preparation to be fit to be eaten, such as beverages and various types of delicacies and the like, are better to be purchased on Friday than on Thursday.[53]

If the store will close and one has not yet Davened what is he to do?[54] If one has not yet recited the Shacharis prayer and will be unable to purchase his Shabbos needs after completing his prayer, then he is to first say Shema within its proper time [if applicable] and then purchase his Shabbos needs[55], delaying his prayer until after the purchase. This applies even if it is possible[56] that due to the purchase he will miss praying within Zman Tefila, nevertheless he is to first make his purchase.[57] If however delaying the prayer until after his shopping will cause one to fail to pray with a Minyan, then he is to first pray [see footnote[58]]. [Likewise, if doing the purchase will definitely cause him to fail to pray within Zman Tefila then he is to first pray.[59]]

Verbalizing that the bought produce is for Shabbos:[60] It is proper[61] for one to say on every item of purchase “This is for the honor of Shabbos”.[62] Likewise, on all matters that one does it is good to think that he is doing so for the honor of Shabbos. 

Designating food for Shabbos as one buys it during the week:[63] Living with the verse “Remember Shabbos and sanctify it” if one sees a nice portion of food during the week he is to designate it for Shabbos. If he then finds a nicer portion, he is to eat the previous portion during the week and designate the nicer portion for Shabbos. This was the custom of Shamaiy, and so agreed Hillel that it should be the practical directive for others. However, Hillel himself, as a result of his great trust in G-d would wait [until Friday] to designate food for Shabbos, saying that certainly G-d will grant me the greatest portion [on Friday] in honor of Shabbos.



When to go shopping for Shabbos: Shopping for Shabbos should be done on Thursday for those foods that require preparation. However ready to eat foods are better to be bought on Friday. One should say upon anything he buys that it is being bought Likaved Shabbos. 

One is only to first shop and then pray if all the following apply:

1. He will be unable to go shopping afterwards.

2. He says Shema prior to the shopping.

3. It is not definite that he will miss Zman Tefila due to the shopping.

4. He will not questionably miss Zman Tefila and also definitely miss Davening with a Minyan due to the shopping. If he will certainly not miss Zman Tefila but will definitely miss Davening with a Minyan he is first to make his purchases, unless he is needed for the Minyan.[64]

5. How much money should one spend in order to enhance Shabbos and what should be part of the Shabbos menu?

The foods eaten to fulfill the mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos vary in accordance to each country’s definition of a luxurious food. Thus, those foods and beverages which are considered delicacies in one’s area are to be eaten on Shabbos.[65]

Meat and wine:[66] Although there is no obligation to specifically eat meat and drink wine on Shabbos, nevertheless since in general most people have greater pleasure in consuming meat and wine over other foods and beverages therefore they are to increase in eating meat and drinking wine in accordance to their affordability.

Fish:[67] Eating fish is included in the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos. In the times of the Talmud Oneg Shabbos was fulfilled through eating large fish.[68] Fish should be eaten in every meal[69], unless it is hazardous for his health, or he despises eating fish to the point that he does not receive pleasure in eating it but rather pain.[70] It should especially be eaten by the third meal.[71]

At the very least-two cooked dishes:[72] Even one who cannot afford to buy many varieties of foods for Shabbos, nonetheless it is proper to beware to have at least two cooked[73] foods [by each meal]. [This applies for the first two Shabbos meals but not for the third meal, in which case having less than two dishes suffices.[74] If one generally has two cooked dishes for his weekday meal then he is to increase on Shabbos and have three cooked dishes. If one is accustomed to have three cooked dishes during the week, he is to have four on Shabbos.[75]]

Increasing in ones Shabbos expenditure-making many dishes of foods:[76] Besides for the basic Shabbos foods listed above, whoever increases in his expenditure of Shabbos foods [and other Shabbos needs[77]] in accordance to the amount he can afford, is praised.

The Shabbos and Yom Tov expenses are not included in yearly budget:[78] The money spent on behalf of [fulfilling the Mitzvah of Oneg] Shabbos and Yom Tov are not included in the budget decreed on Rosh Hashanah for one’s annual food expenses and other needs.[79]


List of the basic foods that are to be eaten during the Shabbos meal:

· Challah

· Meat and wine

· At least two cooked dishes.

· Fish

· Increase in foods as much as one can afford.


If one has a dislike for meat and wine must he nevertheless make an effort to eat it on Shabbos?


6. Borrowing money and taking money from charity for the sake of the Shabbos meals:

Borrowing money to enhance Shabbos:[81] If one does not have money for Shabbos expenses he is to borrow money if he has an item which is able to be given as collateral to the lender[82].[83] Nonetheless, although collateral is needed, Chazal say that Hashem will arrange for him to be able to pay the lender back the money which he borrowed. This is consistent with the saying of the Sages that Shabbos and Yom Tov expenses do not come out of one’s Heavenly ordained budget which is annually decreed on Rosh Hashana. If one does not own any collateral then he should not borrow the money in order to enhance Shabbos on the basis of relying that G-d will reimburse him, as there is no obligation to spend for Shabbos more than one can afford.

Borrowing money with interest/Ribis:[84] It is permitted to borrow money under terms of Rabbinical interest[85] [Ribis Derabanan] for the purpose of enhancing the Shabbos and Yom Tov meal, as well as any Seudas Mitzvah. This however only applies if one is unable to borrow under a no interest rate.

Using money from a charity fund to enhance Shabbos: If one can afford two basic daily meals for every day of the week it is forbidden[86] to take money from a charity fund for the purpose of having food for the third Shabbos meal, or for the purpose of buying Shabbos delicacies.[87] However if one cannot afford two daily meals for every day of the week and is thus in need of receiving money from the charity fund for these two meals then he is to also be given money for the third Shabbos meal as well as for the Shabbos delicacies such as fish and vegetables.[88] Similarly if one already received money from the community charity fund he may use some of that money for enhancing Shabbos. However, in such a case he must make sure that this will not cause him to need to ask for more money for his daily needs.[89] If one is unable to do so, then if he has some of his own money, he should push himself to use that money for honoring Shabbos to the best of his ability.

Asking for a present from a friend in order to enhance Shabbos:[90] There is no obligation for one to ask to be given money as a gift in order to enhance Shabbos as the Sages have stated “Make your Shabbos like a weekday and do not become needy unto the public”. One must budget himself properly so he is able to enhance Shabbos at least a minute amount. It is better for one to do so then to become needy onto the public [and ask for gifts to be able to enhance Shabbos].[91]

Proper budgeting-What is one to do if he does not have any extra money to enhance Shabbos and cannot borrow or take from the charity fund?[92] Even in a case where one has just enough money for daily meals and lacks money to enhance Shabbos, in which case he cannot receive from charity, nevertheless he is still obligated to budget himself during the week in a way that he will be able to enhance Shabbos a minute amount at the very least.[93] Likewise, it is proper for him to have at least two dishes, as stated above.

7. Baking Challahs for Shabbos:[94]

It is customary for every household to bake Challahs for Shabbos which are used for Lechem Mishneh and not to buy them at the bakery as is done during the week. This matter of baking one’s own Challah is included in the honoring of Shabbos and Yom Tov. One is not to divert from this custom.[95]

How much is one to bake? One is to bake at least the amount that requires one to remove Challah from the dough.[96]

Pas Akum[97]:[98] (For those who are accustomed to eating Pas Akum throughout the week it is proper for them to refrain from eating it on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Rather they are to eat from the Kosher breads which have been kneaded in their homes, as this is included in the Mitzvah of honoring Shabbos and Yom Tov.[99])


One is to bake Challahs for Shabbos as opposed to buying them from a store.



Why today are not all women particular to bake Challahs for Shabbos and rather they buy Challahs from the store?

Some Poskim[100] rule that today being that fresh and tasty Challahs are available in all bakeries it is not necessary for every woman to bake Challahs in their home. This especially applies if there is much work needed to be done for Shabbos in the home and it is a short Friday. Other Poskim[101] however argue that even today one may not divert from the custom of baking Challahs in the home.


May one bake only a few Challahs and buy the remainder from a bakery even according to the above custom?[102]

Yes. One may use some home baked Challahs and some bakery Challahs even according to the above-mentioned custom.


Is one to bake the Challahs specifically on Erev Shabbos?

Yes.[103] It is proper to bake the Challahs specifically on Erev Shabbos.[104] If, however, one is unable to do so, he may also bake them on Thursday or Thursday night.

May one bake Challahs for Shabbos at the same time he is baking meat or chicken?[105]

Covered: If the meat or chicken is covered, it is allowed to bake the Challah simultaneously if the oven is clean of any meat or chicken residue. If the bread is covered it may be done in all cases. In both of the above cases, the bread remains Pareve [although in the former case, only if the oven was not Ben Yomo, as explained next].

Uncovered: If the meat and bread are both uncovered, it is forbidden to bake the Challah together with the meat unless 1) one will not eat the bread with dairy [as the bread becomes meaty], and 2) is only baking enough to last that Shabbos, or is forming the Challahs in a special shape that reminds him of its meat status, so he does not come to eat it with dairy. If one transgressed and baked them together without fulfilling the above conditions, then by today’s ovens, seemingly the bread is forbidden just as if it were kneaded with meat.[106] One is to thus contact a Rav.]

May one bake Challahs directly after he baked meat or chicken in the oven? Do the Challahs remain Pareve in such a case?[107]

Meat residue in oven:[108] One may not bake bread on a surface that contains meat residue [unless 1) one will not eat the bread with dairy, and 2) is only baking enough to last that day, or is forming the Challahs in a special shape that reminds him of its meat status, so he does not come to eat it with dairy]. If one transgressed and did so, then the bread receives the same law as bread that was kneaded with milk/meat [in which case we rule that the bread is forbidden to be eaten[109]].

How to clean an oven of residue:[110] A meat [or dairy] oven must be cleaned of residue prior to baking bread inside of it, as explained above. The only way a proper cleaning can be accomplished is through performing Libun [even Kal] inside of the oven. [This can be accomplished by turning the oven on to a hot temperature and having it burn out any leftover residue.[111]] It does not suffice to merely clean the oven with a sponge and water, without also turning it on and burning any leftover residue that is inside.[112]

No meat residue in oven:[113] If there is no residue of meat/dairy in the oven, and one preheats the oven to burn any meat/dairy residue that it may contain, then one may bake the Challahs in the oven even if it was previously used to bake meat/dairy.[114] In such a case the Challahs remain Pareve.[115] Some Poskim[116] rule that this applies even if the oven is Ben Yomo of meat/dairy use at the time of the baking.[117] However, other Poskim[118] rule that one may never bake bread in a meat or milk oven which is Ben Yomo and if one did so, then one may not eat the food together with the opposite food but may eat it before or afterwards.[119] Practically, one is to be stringent like this approach if possible and wait 24 hours from meat use prior to baking bread[120], however, in a time of need one may suffice with turning on the oven for 15 minutes and “Koshering” its walls from its Ben Yomo use, and then bake Pareve Challahs in the meat oven.[121]

 Separating Challah:[122]

The greatness of the Mitzvah:[123] The Mitzvah of separating Challah is very great. It corresponds in Gematria to all 613 Mitzvos.[124] In merit of this Mitzvah blessing is found in one’s home and livelihood[125] and women are protected during childbirth.[126] In merit of this Mitzvah we were granted ability to enter Eretz Yisrael.[127]

Charity:[128] Some are accustomed to give charity prior to separating the Challah.

The amount of flour needed to separate with a blessing:[129] One may only separate Challah with a blessing if he has 1,666.6[130] grams of flour.[131] If one has less than this amount but more than 1,250 grams[132] he is to separate Challah without a blessing. If one has even less than this amount of 1,250 grams, then one does not separate Challah at all.

How much dough is one to separate:[133] Lechatchila, the custom is to separate one Kezayis [approximately 28 grams[134]] of dough. If one separated less than this amount it is nevertheless valid.

Saying the blessing? One is to designate an area from the dough that the Challah will be separated from. Then one is to say the blessing of “Lehafrish Challah[135]”. One then separates[136] a Kezayis of dough and says “Hareiy Zu Challah” or “This is Challah”.[137] If one separated the Challah prior to the blessing one may still say the blessing if he [or she] has not yet said “Hareiy Zu Challah”.[138]

Praying for one’s children:[139] It is a great Segula to pray for one’s children upon separating Challah. One is to pray that one’s children be Tzaddikim, and G-d fearing Jews.[140]

What to do with the Challah:[141] The separated piece of Challah is to be wrapped in tinfoil and burnt in the oven [or on the stove].[142] It is to be wrapped well to the point that the dough will not become revealed while being burnt, as Challah is forbidden to be eaten and thus burning it in the oven is similar to cooking a non-kosher food in one’s oven.[143] Due to this reason, one is to never bake any other foods in the oven until the Challah is burnt or removed. Alternatively, rather than burning the Challah, one is to wrap[144] the Challah and discard it in the garbage.[145] Practically, today this is the more preferred custom to follow due to a Kashrus worry that the tinfoil of the Challah may open prior to the Challah becoming fully burnt hence causing a Kashrus issue for the oven.[146] Furthermore, today most garbage is burnt and hence one regardless fulfills the Mitzvah of burning the Challah when discarding it in the trash, and there is thus no need to burn it in one’s Kosher oven.

May one save the Challahs in his freezer until Bedikas Chameitz? No. It is forbidden to own non-Kosher food in one’s home for a long period of time due to fear one may come to eat the food.[147] It may only remain in one’s home for a short period of time, between one to two months.[148]

 The name Challah:

Bread in Hebrew is called Lechem while the separated dough is called Challah. It is customary to call the Shabbos bread Challah in order to serve as a reminder to women to separate Challah from the dough.[149] In previous times, it was common in many communities to refer to the Shabbos bread as “Barchas.” The reason for this is because these Challahs serve as a channel of blessing during the Shabbos meal.[150]

Shape of the Challahs:

It is customary to form the Challahs for Shabbos as a long straight dough. This is opposed to round or square. The reason for this is because the Challahs represent the letter Vav of the Tetragrammaton.[151] Alternatively the two Challahs in the shape of a Vav represent the twelve showbreads of the Temple, as Vav is Gemtria of six.[152]

Rosh Hashanah:[153] The ancient custom of Ashkenazi Jewry is to bake round Challahs in honor of Rosh Hashanah. This symbolizes the roundness of a crown and corresponds to the coronation of Hashem on Rosh Hashanah. Alternatively, it is done as a symbol of good omen as all round items due to not have a start or finish and hence reflects longevity of life. Likewise, round represents unity. Some[154] write that this applies only on Rosh Hashanah itself, however on Shabbos Shuva one is to return to the accustomed shape of the two Vav’s.

Braid: It is customary to braid the Challas baked for Shabbos as in the past it was common to add meat gravy to the dough and hence the Challah required a sign that would remind one not to eat it with dairy.[155] This custom has remained today as well despite that the Challahs are left Parev.

Placing the Challah on the table after baking:

Some Poskim[156] record that the custom is to place the Challahs that will be eaten Friday night on the Shabbos table directly after removing them from the oven, and that doing so is included within Kavod Shabbos.[157] This is not the current widespread custom.[158] Nevertheless, it is proper to do so.[159]

8. Sharpening knives on Erev Shabbos:[160]

One is to beware to sharpen the [kitchen and eating] knives every Erev Shabbos, as preparing oneself for eating is included within the honor of Shabbos.[161] In addition, [at times] one needs to sharpen the knives for the sake of Shalom Bayis [marital harmony], such as if the blade has dulled and one is unable to cut with it.[162] [Some Tzadikim were accustomed to personally sharpen their knives using one of the stones of their home.[163] Accordingly, some are accustomed to eat their Shabbos meals using non-serrated knives due to the above reasons, and likewise due to reasons of Kabbalah.[164]]


One should be careful to sharpen the knives on Erev Shabbos. This is done for honor of Shabbos and for purposes of shalom bayis.

Does this law apply even today, and how practically is it to be accomplished?

Yes, the above law applies even today, and so is the custom of G-d fearing Jews. Accordingly, one should purchase a knife sharpener for the sake of fulfilling this custom on Erev Shabbos. Although the process of sharpening a knife is much simpler and easier accomplished with a non-serrated knife, it is possible to likewise sharpen a serrated knife.[165]

9. Setting the table for Shabbos:[166]

When to set the table:[167] One[168] is to set up the Shabbos table [including its chairs[169]] on Erev Shabbos in preparation for the Friday night meal.[170] [The silverware and china are to be clean and polished for the meal.[171] There is no need, however, to set up one’s bed on Erev Shabbos.[172]]

Placing a tablecloth on the table: It is customary for there to be a tablecloth spread over one’s [dining[173]] table throughout the entire Shabbos. One may not swerve from this custom.[174] There are those who have the custom to spread two tablecloths over the [dining] table [and so is the widespread custom today].[175] [It suffices to use a white tablecloth and a plastic over it in order to fulfill this custom, however some use two white tablecloths as was done in past times prior to the plastic covering being used.[176]]


Q&A on setting the table

Who should set up the Shabbos table; the husband or the wife?[177]

Some Poskim[178] rule that the husband is to set up the Shabbos table on Erev Shabbos.[179] Other Poskim[180], however, rule that the wife is to set up the Shabbos table on Erev Shabbos.[181]

One who comes home and sees the table is not yet prepared:[182] Even in families in which the custom is for the wife to set up the table on Erev Shabbos, if upon coming home from Shul the husband sees that the table is not set, extra care must be taken not to voice anger at one’s wife, and one must rather judge her favorably to the point he feels no resentment in his heart.


Should one eat specifically on a four-legged table?

The Arizal was very careful to only eat on a four-legged table, to emulate the table of the Tabernacle.[183] This law, however, was omitted by Admur.

Q&A on the tablecloths

Should one cover other tables of the house?[184]

One is to cover all the tables that are within the room that the meal is eaten in. It is likewise proper to cover the tables of the other rooms of the house.[185]

What color tablecloth is one to use?[186]

The age-old custom is to use a white tablecloth to cover the dining table.

When after Shabbos may the tablecloth be removed from the table?

Some[187] write one is not to remove the Shabbos tablecloth until after Havdala.

Covering the tables in Shul:[188]

It is customary to cover the tables in Shul with a white tablecloth.

10. Tasting the foods on Erev Shabbos:[189]

One is to taste the Shabbos foods on Erev Shabbos [to see if they need anything added to them in order to ensure their tastiness[190]]. [Nevertheless, this was not seen to be the custom of the Previous Rebbe.[191]] It is proper to taste each and every dish of food.[192]


[1] Admur 242:1

[2] The source: As stated in the verse in Yeshaya [58:13] “/וקראת לשבת ענג לקדוש ה’ מכובדAnd one calls Shabbos enjoyment, to sanctify the honored G-d”.

[3] The reason: As Shabbos is included within the group of days called “Mikraeiy Kodesh” or “A calling of holiness”, and the Sages have learned that the term “A calling of holiness” is coming to teach that one is to sanctify and honor the Shabbos with clean clothing, and to enjoy the day through pleasurable foods and drinks. [Admur ibid] So rules Sefer Chareidim chapter 4

[4] Tosafos; Mahril

[5] The reason: As they learn that the wording of “A calling of holiness” is coming to teach that one is to sanctify the Shabbos through refraining from doing forbidden labor. [Admur ibid]

[6] From all the above we can deduce the great importance emphasized in fulfilling this Mitzvah which Klal Yisrael is so careful to follow, and in the wording of the Rosh, one of the greatest Rishonei Ashkenaz “The Jewish people are Adukim/fervently attached to the fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos.”

[7] Admur 529:5

[8] Opinion of the Mishneh Berurah: The Mishneh Berurah in Biur Halacha [250 “Yashkim”] sides that the eating of bread during the meal is Biblical while other delicacies are Rabbinical.

[9] Yeshaya 58:14

[10] Admur ibid; Tur 242; Levush 242; Shabbos 118a

[11] Shabbos 118a

[12] One of the explanations mentioned behind this seemingly puzzling statement is that Shabbos is a day where we reconnect with Hashem our father and king. On Shabbos the inner love between Hashem and the Jewish people is revealed and hence it has the capability to forgive and erase all of man’s iniquities. Thus, if one respects Shabbos properly, he benefits from this special relationship with Hashem and is told that his sins are forgiven and he will be saved from the judgment of Gihennim. 

[13] Toras Shabbos 263:7

[14] Toras Shabbos 263:7

[15] Keren Ledavid 61

[16] Sdei Chemed Asifas Dinim Brachos 1:16

[17] Admur 529:8; and so is proven from 242:1 that Shabbos does not have a Mitzvah of Simcha. However, the Rebbe in Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 1:127 writes that the reason that the Mitzvah of Simcha was not written regarding Shabbos is because it is nullified to the Mitzvah of Oneg applicable on Shabbos. However this requires further analysis as by Yom Tov there is also a Mitzvah of Oneg [Rabinically (529:5 as is the second opinion in 242:1), and if the Oneg involves Simcha-Biblically (242:1 KU”A 2)] and nonetheless Admur mentions also the Mitzvah of Simcha by Yom Tov. Thus, omitting the Mitzvah of Simcha by Shabbos seems to imply it does not exist, as writes Admur explicitly in 529:7.

[18] Iskafya is a Chassidic term used to describe self-control from indulgent in pleasures.

[19] For a full analysis on this see Kitzur Hilchos Shabbos Miluim p. 7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:3-5

[20] As explained above in the Shulchan Aruch

[21] Tanya chapter 7; Igeres Hakodesh 26; Mamarim Haketzarim of Admur Hazakein [p. 59]; Likkutei Torah Beshalacha 2a “There is no need for Avoda on Shabbos, in the same way as done during the week, which is through plowing and having a broken heart, and Iskafya. Rather Shabbos is a time for Avoda of Taanug on Hashem, and Ishapcha.”

Background: Tanya chapter 7One who eats fatty ox meat and drinks tasty wine…., when done for the sake of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos and Yom Tov, its divine sparks become elevated.” This is in contrast to during the week that one who eats for the sake of fulfilling his desires descends the Divine sparks to impurity. The Mitzvah is likewise stated in Igeres Hakodesh 26However on Shabbos that there is an elevation of the Kelipas Nogah itself together with the external aspects of all worlds, therefore it is a Mitzvah to eat all the delicacies on Shabbos and to increase in meat and wine, even though that during the week one would be considered a gluten for doing so.” This matter of difference between the eating on Shabbos and weekday is discussed in various Mamarim in Torah Oar and Likkutei Torah. [See Torah Oar Chayeh Sara 15b; Torah Oar Beshalach 65b; Siddur 200-203; Sefer Hasichos 5703 p. 142-146] In the Mamarim Haketzarim of Admur Hazakein [p. 59] he writes that in essence Shabbos is meant to be a day without eating or drinking, as it is similar to the world to come, however since it is impossible to receive the G-dly pleasure of Shabbos without a physical vessel for this pleasure, therefore one is obligated to eat on Shabbos in order to receive the spiritual pleasure which is contained within it.

[22] Shlah [Shabbos Neir Mitzvah]; Kesav Sofer 107:16; Kaf Hachaim 529:45; Baal Shem Tov in Keser Shem Tov 395; Sefer Hamamarim Samech Vav p. 154 “Eating on Shabbos is not a physical pleasure but a spiritual pleasure.”; Rebbe in Sichas 1951 Chayeh Sarah 18; See also Elya Raba 293:2; Reishis Chochmah Shaar Hakedusha 15:53; Mateh Efrayim Alef Hamagen 581:3

Background: Kesav Sofer 107:16 writes that one who does not eat for the sake of the Mitzvah then that meal is considered Seudas Reshus and does not contain a Mitzvah. So is also evident from Tanya chapter 7 from the words “for the sake of Oneg Shabbos”; Shlah [Shabbos Neir Mitzvah] writes: Those which eat and drink to their hearts content and due to the great amounts of foods fall into slumber are not considered to be pleasuring Shabbos but to be pleasuring themselves on Shabbos; Keser Shem Tov writes that when eating on Shabbos and Yom Tov one’s intent must be for the Taanug found in the G-dly vitality that is in the food and not the phsycial pleasure and one who atatches to the phsycial pleasure distnaces himself from Hashem; Sefer Hamamarim Samech Vav p. 154 “Eating on Shabbos is not a physical pleasure but a spiritual pleasure.”; Rebbe in Sichas 1951 Chayeh Sarah 18 states that even the scrupulousness of eating on Shabbos needs a measurement, and that measurement is in accordance to the amount one is scrupulous by other Mitzvos, especially Mitzvos that are painful to accomplish. To note from a story of the Baal Shem Tov who showed his students on Shabbos a man with Shabbos clothes and he appeared like an ox due to his over involvement in eating his meat; To note also from Mateh Efrayim Alef Hamagen 581:3 which writes that one may delay eating a Shabbos delicacy in middle of his meal, for the sake of Iskafya, and one who does so is considered that he has fasted the entire day. Reishis Chochmah Shaar Hakedusha 15:53 states: It is proper that one does not satiate himself with coarse foods, and he should not fulfill his desires for good foods even on Shabbos. Elya Raba 293:2 brings in name of Abudarham that one is not to eat too much on Shabbos as this will refrain him from having an appetite for the coming meal. Thus, one is to control his inclination and push away the next food even if he desires it.

[23] So is evident from Ksav Sofer ibid

[24] Shlah ibid

[25] Kitzur Hilchos Shabbos ibid states that this is a tradition amongst Chassidim.

[26] Rav Moshe, the son of the Alter Rebbe would diminish his eating throughout the week including Shabbos and Yom Tov. [Igros Hakodesh Rebbe Rayatz 7 p. 18]; Magid Meisharim end of Bo states that the Magid commanded the Beis Yosef to diminish in eating food even on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

[27] See Shlah ibid

[28] Admur 250:4; Michaber 250:1

[29] Ketzos Hashulchan 70 footnote 14 and so is implied from Admur. In any event the more Shabbos preparations one personally performs the greater the Mitzvah.

[30] As it is better for one to personally fulfill a Mitzvah rather than do so through an emissary. This concept is a general rule which applies by all Mitzvos. [Admur ibid]

[31] Mishneh Berurah 250 in Shaar HaTziyon 9

Other opinions in Admur and other Poskim: Some understand from Admur that one who is able to learn Torah is to do so and have another person do the remaining Shabbos preparations [besides for the one preparation which he must personally perform]. [Ketzos Hashulchan 70 footnote 14; Kitzur Hilchos Shabbos 250 footnote 3] So rules also other Poskim that one who has someone else available to prepare his Shabbos needs for him, is to do have them do so if he plans to spend his time learning. [Kaf Hachaim 251:22; Aruch Hashulchan 251:3]

Defense of the ruling of the Mishneh Berurah in accordance to Admur: It is evident from Kuntrus Achron 2 that the above ruling applies even by a Torah Scholar, as Admur there explains that only by the Amoraim which were Toraso Umnaso did they have to suffice with one act of preparation and not more, being that they had to follow the dictum [Yoreh Deah 246:18] that learning Torah pushes off a Mitzvah which could be fulfilled through others. This wording of Admur implies that today being that the Halachic concept of Toraso Umnaso no longer applies, seemingly the Mitzvah remains upon all to increase in their Shabbos preparations even on expense of their Torah learning. Now, although following the above dictum is not limited to one who is on the level of Toraso Umnaso, and rather all Jews which are learning are to continue learning if the Mitzvah is able to be performed through another, [as explained in Yoreh Deah ibid], nevertheless preparing for Shabbos is considered like a Mitzvah Shebegufo, in which the above dictum does not apply. [Shaareiy Tziyon ibid] This too is possibly hinted in Admur which regarding the above dictum referenced the reader to chapter 240:8, which is not the source of the dictum, as there it is explained that only by a Mitzvah Overes is one to precede the Mitzvah to serving his father, thus implying here too that by this type of Mitzvah of preparing for Shabbos [which is no less than serving ones father] one only gives up its extra preparations if he has to do a Mitzvah Overes, and the idea of Torah learning being defined as a Mitzvah Overes only applies by one who is Toraso Umnaso. Accordingly the footnote of the Ketzos Hashulchan [70:14] which understood the M”B to be contradicting the Kuntrus Achron of Admur, is inaccurate and in truth the explanation of the Mishneh Berurah compliments it. However, based on this, that today even learning is to be pushed off, a question would arise on the ruling of Admur in 250:2 that there is no need to diminish in ones learning sessions or other activities if others are doing the preparations for them. In truth however this question would regardless apply as according to all there is a Mitzvah to personally prepare all or many of one’s needs of Shabbos, as Mitzvah Bo Yoser etc., thus why does Admur in 250:2 not require diminishing other activities even if someone else will be preparing for Shabbos on his behalf. Hence one must conclude that in 250:2 Admur was referring to the letter of the law while in 250:4 he mentions the preferred method of one doing as much as he can personally.

[32] Admur 250 Kuntrus Achron 2

[33] The proof: There is an obligation upon every person to do some preparation for the honor of Shabbos, as is evident from the fact that many Tzadikim even though they would learn Torah without stop ((תורתו אומנתו, on Erev Shabbos they would stop to do this mitzvah. [250 Kuntrus Achron 2]

[34] The reason: As this is required out of respect and honor for Shabbos [which is an obligation upon all, and thus at least some act of honor in preparing for Shabbos must be done by all]. [Admur ibid]

[35] Meaning that at the very least one is obligated to perform one act to fulfill the Mitzvah of honoring Shabbos, which is a Mitzvah that cannot be fulfilled through another person. However, to personally perform more than one act is not an obligation, but nevertheless is a Mitzvah, as said earlier, that it is better to perform a Mitzvah personally than through an emissary. [Kuntrus Achron 2]

[36] This follows that which was explained above that it is better for one to personally perform a Mitzvah then for one to send an emissary to so for him. See footnote there!

[37] Kuntrus Achron 2. There Admur explains that when the Amoraim would salt the fish, which was their greatest delicacy, they fulfilled, in addition to the obligation to assist in preparing for Shabbos, as well the Mitzvah of “Mitzvah Bo Yoser Mebishlucho”

[38] Kuntrus Achron 2.

[39] This is done in order so one also benefit from the Mitzvah of “better to perform a Mitzvah personally than through a messenger” in the item of which the actual Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos is being performed with. [ibid]

[40] Admur ibid; Michaber ibid

[41] Thus, there is no room to say, “How can I belittle my honor with doing such a belittling task”, as in truth by doing so he is really gaining the respect that his honor demands.

[42] The Sages would personally perform tasks which were beneath their dignity. Rav Chisda would chop vegetables very thin; Raba and Rav Yosef would chop wood; Rav Zeira would ignite the bonfire; Rav Nachman would tidy the house. [Shabbos 119a; It requires further analysis why Admur omitted the names of the Sages, in contrast to the Michaber which lists them as written in the Gemara.] This was all done to show their respect for Shabbos, emphasizing the importance it had to them, and that they were in awe of its honor. This is just like a servant who is hosting his master in his home in which case the servant endeavors to show that the master is of importance to him and he awes his honor to go out of his way and do preparations for his arrival. [Admur ibid]

[43] Shaareiy Teshuvah 250, brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 70 footnote 14

[44] 250:1

[45] Admur ibid; Michaber 250:1; Rav Chisda Shabbos 117b

[46] This is hinted to in the verse [Exodus 16:5] regarding the gathering of the Man of which it states that the Man was gathered in the morning of each day, and regarding Erev Shabbos the verse states “And it was on the 6th day that they prepared that which was brought”. This implies that they immediately began preparing the Shabbos foods after gathering the Man, which, as said, took place in the morning. Hence today we too begin the Shabbos preparations in the morning. [ibid]

[47] Admur ibid; M”A 250:1; M”B 250:2; Shivlei Haleket 55; Midrash Tanchuma

[48] This is hinted to in the above verse which states “and there will be double of that which they gather each day”. This implies that the preparation should be done twice, once by morning of the 6th day and once towards the 7th day. [ibid]

[49] Toras Shabbos 250:2; Aruch Hashulchan 250:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 250:1

[50] 250:7; Tosefes Shabbos 250:1; M”B 250:2

[51] Meaning they require cooking or grinding etc in order to become edible or in order to be served.

[52] Admur ibid; Tosefes Shabbos 250:1; M”A 575:4

The reason: This is in order to give one enough time to prepare these foods as well as the other Shabbos needs. [ibid; M”A ibid; Tosefes Shabbos ibid]

[53] Admur ibid and Tosefes Shabbos ibid in explanation of M”A 250:1 in name of Arizal Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar 18:1; Shaar Hakavanos Thursday night who states it is better to purchase the foods on Erev Shabbos than on Thursday

The reason: In order so it is more recognizable that one is shopping for Shabbos. [M”B 250:2]

[54] Admur 250:3

[55] The reason: He must say the Shema prior to shopping even if there may be time left to say it after shopping, as we suspect that perhaps it’s time will pass prior to him finishing shopping. [ibid]

[56] But not definite, as will be explained.

[57] The reason: We do not suspect that one will come to pass the time for Davening [which is the 4th hour of the day], as we do by Shema, as Davening contains one more hour then does the Shema. Now, although there is room to suspect that this time will too pass until the shopping is complete, nevertheless since the Mitzvah of preparing for the Shabbos meals will definitely be not fulfilled if one Davens first, due to the closing of the stores, while it is possible that he still be able to Daven on time if he go to the store first, therefore he is to first go to the store. [ibid]

[58] Admur ibid writes that one is to first purchase his groceries and then pray even if there is doubt that he may not be able to pray within Zman Tefila due to this. Nevertheless “if the congregation is praying, he is not to separate himself from the congregation.” This implies that if one will miss the Minyan due to the shopping he is to first Daven and then shop.

Other Opinions-Mishneh Berurah: The Mishneh Berurah [250 Biur HalachaYashkim”] questions how could the Rabbinical Mitzvah of Davening with a Minyan push off the Mitzvah and obligation to prepare for the Shabbos meal, which is a Biblical command of Oneg Shabbos. Furthermore, even if Oneg Shabbos is only of Rabbinical origin, since one can Daven in private how can we allow Davening with a Minyan to completely nullify the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos. He thus concludes that one is to first go shopping, even on expense of missing the Minyan, and then Daven in private.

Opinion of Ketzos Hashulchan: The Ketzos Hashulchan [70 footnote 11] suggests that in truth everyone agrees that Davening with a Minyan alone is not enough to nullify the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos, and one is to thus first go shopping in such a case. When, however, do we say that Davening takes precedence? In a case that in addition to one losing out in praying with a Minyan, there is also possibility that if he shops before Davening, he will miss Zman Tefila, and in such a case that there is possibly two transgressions involved in first going shopping, one is to forgo the shopping and first pray. However, if one knows for certain that he will not miss Zman Tefila then he is to first go shopping, even on expense of missing the Minyan. [This opinion of the Ketzos Hashulchan does not contradict the ruling of Admur or the ruling written above, as whenever one goes shopping in the morning there seemingly is doubt he will lose Davening within Zman Tefila, as there is no prediction of how long the shopping will take.]

Vetzaruch Iyun on the above distinction of the Ketzos Hashulchan, as Admur in 90:17 rules that the Mitzvah of Davening with a Minyan which contains the greatest positive command of sanctifying Hashem’s name in public, pushes off even a negative command of not freeing a slave. [This is in contrast to other Poskim, such as Michaber Yoreh Deah 267:79 who do not view any special advantage in Davening with a Minyan regarding pushing off this negative command, and rather rule that all Rabbinical Mitzvos may push off this command of not freeing a slave.] Thus certainly in our case that a) there is a dispute if Oneg Shabbos is Biblical or Rabbinical, and b) It is possible for one to eat at someone else’s house or borrow food, that Davening with a Minyan would push off shopping, even on expense of Oneg Shabbos.

However perhaps one can differentiate between the Halacha here and in 90:17, as perhaps only in a scenario that there will not be a Minyan at all do we say that making a Minyan overrides even a Biblical command. However, if there will be a Minyan regardless of if one joins this Minyan, then Davening with a Minyan does not override even a Rabbinical command. This distinction can also be proven from the law that one may not delay praying within Zman Tefila even if he needs to use the bathroom, if he can withhold himself for a Shiur Parsa. However, one is to delay praying with a Minyan if he has to use the bathroom even if he can withhold himself for Shiur Parsa. Likewise, the law states that if Zman Tefila is passing he is to begin Davening Shemoneh Esrei before the Minyan even though he will miss Davening with the Minyan due to this.

In any event one can deduce from here that if one is the 10th man for a Minyan he may not leave the Minyan and go shopping even if the store will be closing, and even if he will be able to Daven later, after shopping, within Zman Tefila.

[59] So is implied from Admur and so rules Ketzos Hashulchan 70:5

[60] Admur 250:6; M”A 250:1 in name of Arizal; M”B 250:2

[61] Lit. good

[62] The reason: As by doing so the holiness of Shabbos befalls onto that food. [Machatzis Hashekel, brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 70 footnote 13]

[63] Admur 242:10

[64] Based on footnote above.

[65] Admur 242:2

[66] Admur 242:2; See Rama Y.D. 341:1 and Shach Y.D. 341:7

[67] Admur 242:7

[68] Admur 242:2; Rav Yehuda in Shabbos 118a

[69] Admur ibid; M”A 242:1 in name of Tikkunei Shabbos; M”B 242:2

[70] Admur ibid; M”A ibid

The reason: In such a case he should not eat fish, as Shabbos was given for pleasure. [ibid]

[71] Siddur. Sefer Chareidim [chapter 33] states it is a mitzvah to eat fish by all the meals, especially by third meal in order to elevate the souls that have been reincarnated into the fish. In the writings of the Arizal it is taught that the souls of the Tzadikim are reincarnated into fish. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 242 footnote 63] In Kuntrus Achron 242:4 Admur mentions an opinion which rules that eating fish on Shabbos is a Biblical command. However, Admur rejects this ruling saying there is no legal basis to say that the Sages instituted specifically fish to be eaten.

[72] Admur 242:7; M”A 242:1; Zohar 1:48; M”B 242:2

[73] Lit. Tavshilin. This refers to two cooked foods. [see Peri Megadim 242:1; 527:12] As for the definition of cooked foods in this regard the Peri Megadim [242 A”A 1] refers the reader to chapter 627:3-4 [Admur 11-12] in which the definition of Tavshilin, cooked foods, is discussed regarding the Mitzvah of Eiruv Tavshilin. There cooked foods are defined as follows: Any food which is cooked, fried, baked, pickled and is eaten together with bread is defined as a cooked food. Thus, one may use meat, fish or eggs. A raw food is invalid.   

[74] Nimukeiy Orach Chaim 242

[75] Kaf Hachaim 242:9

[76] Admur 242:3

[77] So is implied from Admur’s wording of Shabbos expenditures and making lots of foods.

[78] Admur 242:3; 529:4; Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:7 [includes tuition]; Beitza 16a

[79] This is consistent with the saying of the Sages that “All of man’s food and expenses is allocated on Rosh Hashanah. It is then decided as to how much income he will make on behalf of providing him food and all his other needs for all the days of that year. This however is with exception to the expenses of Shabbos and Yom Tov of which no budget is allocated for it on Rosh Hashanah and thus if one increases in expenditure of Shabbos and Yom Tov [Hashem] adds [to his budget]. [242:3] If he decreases in his expenditure then Hashem decreases in his budget. [529:4]

[80] As there is no obligation to eat specifically meat or drink wine on Shabbos, and since to this person eating or drinking the above is not enjoyable, he does not have to make an effort to eat or drink it.

[81] Admur 242:3

[82] From which the lender can collect the money from just in case the borrower cannot find the money to pay him back.

[83] Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one is to only borrow money if he has a business, or other means, in which he can expect an income that he can then use to repay the loan. [Aruch Hashulchan 242:44] According to Admur however this is unnecessary as we have absolute trust that Hashem will pay him back.

Chasidic Explanation: The Rebbe explains that money used for Shabbos is considered similar to Mon which is heavenly bread that derives from G-dliness that is above nature. One thus does not need to have available a proper vessel within nature that can bring him back the money, and rather Hashem compensates him on His own. This is further seen from the fact that the money spent for Shabbos is not included in one’s yearly budget allotted to him on Rosh Hashana. Nonetheless this is only to be done if one owns collateral, as the blessing of G-d must be invested in some form of action. [Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 1:128]

[84] Admur 242:9

[85] It is forbidden to lend or borrow money from a Jew with interest. However certain forms of interest are Biblical while others are only Rabbinical. It is permitted to pay interest which is only Rabbinical to the lender for the sake of enhancing Shabbos.

[86] Regarding asking for extra delicacies, Admur writes it is forbidden, while regarding asking for a 3rd meal he writes “not to do so”.

[87] Admur 242:4; As in such a case we apply the saying of Chazal: “Make your Shabbos like a weekday and do not become needy unto the public.” [Admur ibid]

[88] The reason: As once a person is in need and thus may receive from charity, he has to be given all that he lacks, including what he lacks for Shabbos. [Admur ibid] Meaning that to originally be eligible for charity one must lack his necessities, however, once is eligible then he is given all that he lacks, even things that are not necessities.

[89] Admur 242:5; As in such a case he has ended up placing the burden of his honoring Shabbos expenses onto the community, which negates the saying of the Sages that one is to have a weekday Shabbos rather than be needy onto the public. [Admur ibid]

[90] 242:6; Michaber Y.D. 255:1; Pesachim 113a

[91] Its implied that nevertheless if one chooses, he may ask others for help, although he is not obligated to do so, and perhaps is even shunned.

[92] 242:6; Michaber 242:1

[93] As he too must fulfill the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos. [ibid]

[94] Admur 242:12; Rama 242:1; 529:2 regarding Erev Yom Tov

[95] The reason: The reason behind this custom of baking Challahs on Erev Shabbos is due to the Mitzvah to honor Shabbos. [Admur ibid] The effort exerted in the kneading and baking for the sake of Shabbos, rather than buying it from a store, honors Shabbos. [M”B 242:6] Likewise, having fresh and hot homebaked bread likewise honors Shabbos. [Siddur Yaaveyz; Likutei Mahrich] Likewise it resembles the showbread which was baked on Erev Shabbos. [Siddur Yaavetz; Likutei Mahrich] Likewise, separating Challah rectifies the sin of Adam, that occurred on Erev Shabbos, which was the Challah of the world. [M”A 243:4; M”B 242:6]

[96] See also Shach Yoreh Deah 324:25 that the women are scrupulous to specifically bake enough to separate Shiur Challah on Erev Shabbos.

[97] Gentile baked bread

[98] 242:13

[99] As for why this law was placed in parentheses by Admur, see Chikreiy Halachos 3:30

[100] Oar Letziyon 2:47; Mishnes Yosef 5:63

[101] Mishneh Halachos 15:95

[102] Chelkas Yaakov 1:59

[103] Seder Hayom; Siddur Yaavetz; Machatzis Hashekel 242:10; Likutei Mahrich

[104] As amongst the reasons for baking Challahs for Shabbos is because it resembles the showbread which were baked on Erev Shabbos as well as that it rectifies the sin of Adam which was the Challah of the world.[See Siddur Yaavetz; M”B 242:6]

[105] See “A Semicha Aid for the Laws of Basar Bechalav” Chapter 97

[106] See Shach 108:11 or “A Semicha Aid for Learning the Laws of Taaruvos” chapter 108 Halacha 2I and 3A; Chochmas Adam 62:6; Kreisy 108:12; Kaf Hachaim 108:33; Igros Moshe 1:40; See Darkei Halacha p. 242; Mahrsham 3:208; Minchas Yitzchak 5:20; Kinyan Torah 1:24

Opinions that are lenient: See Peri Chadash 108:10 who argues on the entire ruling of the Shach ibid which prohibits the bread; See the following Poskim who are lenient in certain cases even if the bread was actually kneaded with milk or meat: Kreisy Upleisy 97:1 in name of his grandfather; Daas Eish 12 and Chamudei Daniel brought in Darkei Teshuvah 97:21Hakashrus 10 footnote 33 in name of Rav Moshe Halbershtam; Kreisy Upleisy 97:1 in name of his grandfather.

[107] See Igros Moshe 1:40; Pischeiy Halacha p. 27; 157; Hakashrus 1:40; Kinyan Torah 1:24; Minchas Yitzchak 5:20 or “A Semicha Aid for Learning the Laws of Taaruvos” chapter 108 Halacha 2I and 3A

[108] Michaber 97:1 and 3

[109] Minchas Yaakov 60:1; Kaf Hachaim 97:18; This is referring to the bread baking of previous times in which the oven was often fueled with fat of the tail of an animal, and the bread would then be placed directly on the oven wall for baking. The same would apply today if one placed the pan on top of meat gravy and the like

[110] Michaber 97:2

[111] Kinyan Torah 1:24

[112] Taz 97:4; Peri Chadash 97:4; Chavas Daas 97:9; Aruch Hashulchan 97:12; Kaf Hachaim 97:34]

The reason: As the fat does not clean off well and requires the oven to be lit in order to burn the fat. [Poskim ibid]

[113] See Igros Moshe 1:40; Pischeiy Halacha p. 27; 157; Hakashrus 1:40; Kinyan Torah 1:24; Minchas Yitzchak 5:20 or “A Semicha Aid for Learning the Laws of Taaruvos” chapter 108 Halacha 2I and 3A

[114] Kinyan Torah ibid writes that one is to simply turn the oven on for some time prior to baking the Pareve food and this will verify that any leftover food in the oven has become destroyed.

[115] See Igros Moshe 1:40; Pischeiy Halacha p. 27; 157; Hakashrus 1:40

[116] Igros Moshe 1:40; All Poskim who rule Nat Bar Nat is even initially permitted

[117] The reason: As Challahs are dry and hence do not release vapor. [Igros Moshe ibid] This also follows those Poskim who rule that dry foods do not release a problematic vapor: Toras Chatas 35:6 [See Minchas Yaakov ibid]; Masas Moshe 4:30; P”M O.C. Hanhagos Horaos Issur Viheter Seder Sheiyni 37, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 92:6 that only liquids release vapor; Beis Meir 461; Poskim in Darkei Teshuvah 92:164; Igros Moshe 1:40 unless one sees that it released vapor; See Tzemach Tzedek ibid who brings the P”M but then negates his conclusion as being not substantive; See Admur 451:42 regarding a Chararah who states the pot requires Libun because it touches it most of the time, and does not mention the aspect of Zeiah [brought in Tur and Bach ibid], however seemingly, this is simply because Admur is explaining why it needs Libun, and not simply Hagala due to the vapor; Likewise, see Admur 447:9 who permits

[118] See Pischeiy Halacha p. 27; 157; Hakashrus 1:40; This follows the ruling of those Poskim who rule that Nat Bar Nat is initially forbidden. [See Rama 95:2; Chapter 4 Halacha 1];

Other opinions-Sephardic custom: According to the Sephardic custom, and the Poskim who rule that Nat Bar Nat is initially permitted, the bread remains Pareve even if the oven is Ben Yomo. [See Michaber 95:1]

[119] The reason: As according to most Poskim, even dry foods release vapor. [See Tur 451:15 regarding Charara “And it releases vapor”; Bach 451:13; M”A 451:30; Yad Yehuda 92 Aruch 53; Masas Binyamin 42:58; Chacham Tzvi 20; P”M 451 A.A. 30; Rivash 295; Tzemach Tzedek O.C. 43; Shoel Umeishiv Chamisha 4; Beis Shlomo Y.D. 1:162 and 164; Maharsham; Daas Sofer; Levushei Mordechai; Poskim in Darkei Teshuvah 92:164; Rav Elyashiv in Beis Yitzchak; See Peri Haretz Y.D. 2:14]

[120] It does not initially suffice to Kosher the oven before the 24 hours have passed through turning it on, as most modern oven walls are covered with enamel and require Libun Chamur. [See Admur 494:1 [and 461:1; 451:7 regarding Chametz] that an earthenware oven requires Libun Gamur to be Koshered from meat to milk and our oven interiors are plated with enamel which some Poskim rule have the same status as earthenware [Tuv Taam Vadaas Kama 183] However, if one has a self-cleaning oven, then it suffices for one to perform a self-cleaning cycle to clear it of its Ben Yomo status and bake Pareve bread.

[121] As some Poskim [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 451:49] rule that even enamel is Kosherable with Libun Kal, unlike earthenware, and here regarding Nat Bar Nat one may be lenient like their opinion.

[122] For a general summary of the order of Hafrashas Challah see Hakashrus 14:18-22; Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:11; Spice and Spirit Lubavitch cookbook p. 47-50 [The Halachas in Spice and Spirit were edited by Harav Y.K. Marlow OBM]; Hiskashrus 731

[123] See Hagahos Maimanis end of Hilchos Zeraim on Rambam for an overview of the greatness of this Mitzvah.

[124] The words “Zu Hi Mitzvas Hachallah” is Gemtraia of 613. [Hagahos Maimanis ibid]

[125] Shabbos 32b

[126] Mishneh Shabbos 31b

[127] Hagahos Maimanis end of Zeraim; Yalkut Shimoni Shlach 747

[128] Ben Ish Chaiy 2 Lech Lecha 6

[129] See 324:1 in Halacha we are given a very exact measurement for the amount of flour that one needs to separate Challah from. If you have less then this measurement, you don’t have to separate Challah at all. In other words, the Torah only obligated one to separate Challah if he has a certain amount of flour. What is this amount of flour? 43 eggs and 1:5 of an egg worth of volume of flour. Not only does calculating this volume not sound simple, but the measurement itself is unclear as eggs come in many sizes, so which eggs are you to measure with. Because of the various unclarities involved in this measurement, we therefore practically have today two Shiruim of Challah, one of which you separate without a blessing and one that you separate with a blessing. However, in these measurements itself there are various opinions, and we will summarize those opinions and the practical ruling of today.

[130] While in Shiureiy Torah he records the amount with a blessing is 1666.6 grams in Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:11 and Hakashrus 14:7 they record in the name of Grach Naah 1660 grams. In Piskeiy Teshuvos 457:1 he records 1,670 grams. Seemingly this is a typing error. In “Spice and Spirit” they record 1666.6 grams.

[131] Shiureiy Torah Chapter 3:3-4; This follows the ruling of Rav Avraham Chaim Naah the noted Chabad Posek, author of Shiureiy Torah. So is also the custom of the Sefaradim [see Yechaveh Daas 4:55], and is the vintage custom of Jerusalem Jewry.

Other opinions-Chazon Ish: Some [Chazon Ish] are stringent to require there be 2,250 grams of flour to be allowed to separate with a blessing.

The old Ashkenazi custom: The vintage custom of Ashkenazi Jewry was to separate Challah with a blessing from three Kvartin of flour. [This equals approximately 3 Russian liters which is 1213 grams. If one measures three American pounds, then it is 1363 grams. See Koveitz Zalman Shimon p. 77.] Thus, they would separate with a blessing from this amount and higher. The source for this custom is Harav Yaakov Viyal in his Sefer Mahriy Viyal chapter 153. There he writes that the Shiur of Challah is a vessel that holds three Kvarton of flour. The Shach [324:3] brings down this opinion and writes that this is the custom. The Aruch Hashulchan [324:10] writes that this is the custom amongst all Jewry, and one should not question this ruling.

The Chabad custom: The Tzemach Tzedek [Yoreh Deah chapter 323] writes that “It is known that by us the Shiur of Challah is approximately three Liters [1213 grams]”. This is also recorded to be the practical directive given to people who asked Rav Z.S. Dworkin regarding how much flour is needed to separate Challah with a blessing. [Koveitz Zalman Shimon p. 77] The Ketzos Hashulchan however claims that this Teshuvah printed in the Shut of the Tzemach Tzedek is not truly from the Tzedek Tzedek, as is known that many Teshuvos of other Geonim found their way into the Teshuvos of the Tzemach Tzedek. The Ketzos Hashulchan’s final ruling is as stated above that one is not required to separate from this amount at all and only if there is 1250 grams is it good [but not an obligation] to separate without a blessing. Practically the widespread custom amongst Chabad Chassidim follows the ruling of the Ketzos Hashulchan printed above to separate with a blessing from 1666.6 grams. Nevertheless, there are Chabad Rabbanim who rule that one is to separate from three pounds [1363 grams- Koveitz Zalman Shimon p. 77] or 1230 grams [Hiskashrus 731]

[132] Shiureiy Torah ibid writes one is to separate from 1615.3 without a blessing and less is exempt from separation. However, one who is scrupulous separates from even 1,250 grams without a blessing. In however Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:11 they record that one is to separate without a blessing from 1,200 grams according to all opinions. This is the opinion of the Chazon Ish. In Hakashrus 14:7 they record 1,150 grams. In “Spice and Spirit” they record 1,230. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[133] Rama 322:5

[134] Following the ruling of Rav Avraham Chaim Naah. However according to the Chazon Ish one separates 55 grams.

[135] Some have the custom to add “Min Haisa” [see Taz Yoreh Deah 328:1]

[136] As applies by all Mitzvahs that the blessing is said prior to the Mitzvah. [Chochmas Adam Shaareiy Tzedek Mitzvos Hateluyos Baretz 14:32; So writes Hakashrus 14:20; “Spice and Spirit”] However Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:11 records that one is to only say the blessing after completely separating the Challah from the rest of the dough in order so no part of the Challah remains on the dough if one were to separate it after the blessing. See also Rav Akiva Eiger 328:1 and Piskeiy Teshuvos 457:1

[137] Rav Akiva Eiger 328:1 in name of Raavad, in name of Rav Acha Gaon; Beis Yosef 228; Rashba Chulin p. 94; See Admur 457:18 “All the sanctifications of Teruma and Maaser is through speech…One calls it the name Challah”; Admur 527 KU”A 2 based on Tosefta in Teruma chapter 3 “Although Terumah is sanctified with thought alone, if one plans to call it a name the food is not sanctified until one does so”

Bedieved if was not said: If one did not say “Hareiy Zu Challah” but had in mind for it to become Challah, it is valid. [Admur 4578:18 in parentheses “Or even thought about it alone”; Admur in KU”A ibid; Michaber Y.D. 331:46 regarding teruma; Implication of Setimas Haposkim who do not mention the need to say Harei Zu Challah.]

[138] Hakashrus 14:21

[139] Hagahos Maimanis ibid

[140] The acronym of the name Chana stands for Challah; Nida and Hadlakas Neiros. In merit of her fulfilling these three Mitzvos properly she had her prayers answered and had a son Shmuel which was a prophet and leader onto Israel. Thus, each woman should Daven upon separating Challah to have children that are proper and G-d fearing. [ibid]

[141] See Hakashrus 14:22; Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:11

[142] Yoreh Deah 322:5

[143] If the Challah became revealed in the oven prior to becoming burnt one is to contact a Rav. The answer to this question depends on whether the dough touched the oven floor, walls or oven grates.

[144] Some write the Challah is to be doubly wrapped. This is done for purposes of respect so the Challah not be discarded as regular trash. [See Hakashrus ibid] Others however make no mention of this requirement and as long as it is wrapped once it suffices. [Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]

[145] See Minchas Yitzchak 4:13

[146] See Koveitz Mibeiys Leivi 3 p. 22; Avnei Yishpeh 3:72; Hakashrus ibid

[147] Michaber Y.D. 57:20; See Admur 435:4; Kuntrus Achron 446:1; 447:1

[148] Admur 447:1; See Shach 57:47 “21 days is a short time”; Michaber ibid “12 months”

[149] Ashel Avraham [Butchach] 260

[150] Piskeiy Teshuvos 243 footnote 88

[151] Elya Raba 167:2 in name of Shlah. The five fingers on each hand which holds the Challahs represent the two Heis of the Tetragramaton, and the Challahs form a Yud when held. Hnece the Vav of the shape of the Challah complete the Tetragramaton. [Shem Havayah]. [ibid]

[152] Likutei Mahrich in name of Divrei Chaim

[153] Piskeiy Teshuvos 583 footnote 46; 242 footnote 105; Oatzar Minhagei Chabad 129

[154] Brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 583 footnote 46

[155] P”M 242 M”Z 1; See Yoreh Deah 97:1; “A Semicha Aid for the Laws of Basar Bechalav” Chapter 97

[156] Taz Yoreh Deah 178:7; Chasam Sofer in his glosses on 242

[157] This is similar to the showbread which was placed directly on the table after it was baked. [Divrei Yisrael 2 p. 30]

[158] Likueti Mahrich

[159] Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:11

[160] Admur 250:5; Rama 250:1; Taz 250:2; Bach 260; Rashal on Tur 260; Derisha 250:1; Beis Yosef 250 in name of Chayeh Olam [Sefer Hayirah of Rabbeinu Yona] 309; Kol Bo 31 in name of Sifri; Rokeiach, brought in Rashal and Bach ibid; Levush 250:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 250:5

[161] Admur ibid; Rama ibid

The source: This is hinted to in the verse [Beshalach] “And prepare Es/that which you brought” and a knife is alluded in the word “Es”, from the wording of “Lesim Ulemizmoros” [in Yeshaya 2:4]. Thus, implying in the verse that one is to prepare the knives before Shabbos. [Admur ibid; Taz ibid; Beis Yosef ibid in name of Rabbeinu Yonah; Rashal ibid; and Poskim ibid]

[162] The source: This is learned from the verse [Iyov 5:24] “And you shall know that your tent is in harmony” and the Sages expounded this to be referring to the sharpening of a dull knife for the sake of Shalom Bayis. [Admur ibid; Taz ibid; Rashal ibid; Beis Yosef ibid; Kol Bo ibid; Rokeiach ibid; M”B 250:5]

[163] Likkutei Maharich Seder Erev Shabbos in name of Maharam Eish

[164] Karban Shabbos 1:7 in name of Tikkunim and Chesed Leavraham and Rokeiach; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 22

[165] See

[166] Admur 262:1

[167] Admur 262:1; Michaber 262:1; Tur 261; Rebbe Yossi Ben Rebbe Yehuda in Shabbos 119b

[168] See Q&A regarding preferably who is to set the table, the husband or the wife.

[169] Aruch Hashulchan 262:1

Analysis: The ruling brought in Shulchan Aruch regarding setting up the beds on Erev Shabbos was referring to the table seats of back then, which were in essence beds which the diners lied on while eating. [Admur 262:1; M”A 261; See Aruch Hashulchan 262:1] There is thus room to learn that today there is no longer a need to set up the chairs being that they do not entail much work as do the setting up of the sitting beds of back then. The Aruch Hashulchan ibid however learns differently.

[170] The reason: This is done out of honor for Shabbos, so that when he returns from Shul, he finds everything already set and organized. [Admur ibid] The Talmud states that upon returning home from Shabbos two angels escort him to his home, and when they find that the table is set up, a good angel blesses him and the bad angel answers Amen.

Having the table set throughout the entire Shabbos: The above statement of Admur follows the ruling of the Michaber ibid. The Rama comments on this ruling of the Michaber that one is to keep his table set throughout the entire Shabbos. He concludes that so is the custom and it is forbidden to swerve from it. Admur ibid learns that the Rama’s comment was not referring to leaving the table set with its dishes and the like, but rather to leave it covered with a table cloth, and on this Admur rules that it must be covered throughout the entire Shabbos and one may not swerve from this custom. [So also learns Kaf Hachaim 262:22]

[171] Aruch Hashulchan 262:1

[172] Admur ibid, based on M”A 262 specifically mentions setting the beds of the dining room, and omits adding the beds of sleeping, despite that the Bach adds as well the beds of sleeping. [See Peri Megadim A”A 262:1] The M”B 262:2 however adds that one should also set the beds of one’s room, and so seems to be the leaning opinion of the Peri Megadim ibid, and so rules Kaf Hachaim 262:18; Aruch Hashulchan 262:1.

[173] Likkutei Maharich; See Q&A regarding other tables of the house.

[174] See previous footnotes

[175] Admur ibid; M”A 262 in name of Rashal and Mateh Moshe

This is besides for the cloth which covers the bread. The reason for this custom is because they want to ensure that the table remains constantly covered throughout the entire Shabbos, and hence even when they need to shake the [upper] tablecloth to remove crumbs from it, the table will still remain covered. [Admur ibid] There is however no Ohel prohibition involved in having only one tablecloth which one shakes and replaces on Shabbos, as is explained in Vol. 2 “The Laws of Ohel”. [Admur in 315 and M”A 262:1 unlike Bach]

[176] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 262 footnote 2

[177] Kaf Hachaim 262:21

[178] Chesed Lealafim 262:2

[179] The reason: As it is a Mitzvah upon the husband to prepare for the meal [Chesed Lealafim ibid]

[180] Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeira 17 based on Tikkunim Tikkun 24; Kaf Hachaim ibid

[181] The reason: This is based on Kabala. [ibid]

[182] Kaf Hachaim 583:1

[183] Brought in Magen Avraham 262:1. See Kaf Hachaim 262:1

[184] Biur Halacha 262 “Yisader”, brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 73 footnote 13; Elya Raba 262:3; Peri Megadim 262 M”Z 1; Makor Chaim 262; Likkutei Maharich

[185] Aruch Hashulchan 262:2 rules that all the tables of the house are to be covered throughout the entire Shabbos, and it is considered a great shame for the Shabbos if the table becomes uncovered. However, see Kaf Hachaim 262:22 which brings that there is no need to cover the other tables of the house which one is not eating on, as the Divine blessing only rests on the table which one eats on and says Birchas Hamazon.

[186] Drashos Mahariy Even, student of Rashba; See Maharshag 2:82

[187] M”B 262:4 in name of Elya Raba and Aguda

[188] Makor Chaim 271:9

[189] Admur 250:8; Machzor Vitri 191 in name of Yerushalmi; Shivlei Haleket 82; Mateh Moshe 408

Every individual or one person? The purpose of Minhag recorded in the Rishonim is to see if the food is tasty or needs any extra spices. For this purpose, it suffices if a single family member tastes the food. However, the Arizal says based on Kabala, as recorded in the Poskim, that one should taste each and every dish of food, irrelevant of the issue of taste, in order to merit the verse “Toameha Chaim Zachu.” Seemingly, according to this reason everyone should taste the food. Vetzaruch Iyun!

[190] Kaf Hachaim 250:5 in name of Mateh Moshe 308

[191] Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 1:130

[192] Admur ibid; M”A 250:1 in name of Arizal Peri Eitz Chaim 18:3

The reason: in order to merit the verse “Toameha Chaim Zachu” which means that those that taste merit life.

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