Chapter 3: Erev Yom Tov

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Chapter 3: Erev Yom Tov

Laws and Customs pertaining to the Kitchen on Erev Yom Tov

  Introduction: In this chapter we will learn the laws relating to the preparation of Yom Tov food which takes place on Erev Yom Tov.

1. The mitzvah of Kavod and Oneg Yom Tov:[1]

A Biblical or Rabbinical precept: There are two matters regarding Shabbos that were expounded on by the prophets, which is [the Mitzvah] to honor Shabbos [i.e. Kavod Shabbos] and [the Mitzvah of] Oneg Shabbos.[2] These two Shabbos obligations [to honor and enjoy it] are in truth rooted in a Biblical precept, and are included within the Biblical command to sanctify the Shabbos.[3] However, some Poskim[4] rule that these two above obligations of Kavod on Shabbos and Yom Tov and Oneg on Shabbos 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] However, according to all opinions, it is Biblically forbidden to fast on Shabbos.[9]]

The reward: Whoever fulfills the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos his reward is explicitly mentioned in the Prophets[10] that he will merit “basking in pleasure of G-dliness”.[11] Furthermore, the sages[12] state that whoever performs the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos all his sins are forgiven, and he is saved from the judgment of Gehenom.[13] 

  Summary: It 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 Gehenom.   Q&A Why is no blessing said over the fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Oneg Yom Tov? Various answers have been given towards this question: 1.       As there is no specific food that one is required to eat in order to enjoy Shabbos.[14] 2.       It is included in the blessing said over the lighting of candles.[15] 3.       It is included in the blessing said over Kiddush.[16] 4.       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.[17]   Should one do “Iskafya[18]” on Yom Tov 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 Yom Tov, by eating delicacies and drinking fine beverages, and the concept of sanctifying oneself with that which is permitted does not apply on Yom Tov. 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 Yom Tov.[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 Yom Tov but to be honoring himself on Yom Tov.[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 Yom Tov.[27]    

  1. How much should one spend in order to enhance Yom Tov?

Whoever increases in his expenditure of Yom Tov foods [and other Shabbos needs] in accordance with the amount he can afford, is praised. The money spent for one’s fulfillment of Oneg Yom Tov is not included in the budget decreed on Rosh Hashana.

3. Preparing for Yom Tov-A Mitzvah and obligation upon each person:[28]

Best to personally perform all the Yom Tov preparations: Even if one has many servants he is to endeavor to personally prepare [all[29] or as much as possible of] his Yom Tov needs.[30] [This applies even if doing all the Yom Tov 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 Yom Tov 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 Yom Tov:[40] One is not to hesitate against performing even belittling acts for the sake of honoring Yom Tov, as honoring Yom Tov 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 Yom Tov: 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 Yom Tov but also the wife and mother, even if she is going with her family to a hotel for Yom Tov, or as guests to someone’s house, they are all to strive to prepare at least one item for the sake of Yom Tov.  
  Sparks of Chassidus:[43] It is written in the name of the Arizal that the sweat which one breaks due to preparing for Yom Tov is auspicious for erasing one’s sins, just as are tears. Therefore, one needs to exert much effort in honor of Yom Tov.  

  1. When on Erev Yom Tov is one to begin the preparations for Yom Tov?[44]

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

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

5. Shopping for Yom Tov:

May one go shopping before Davening?[50]

It is forbidden for one to go shopping prior to Davening Shacharis, [starting from Alos Hashachar[51]].[52] Even on Erev Shabbos, it is forbidden for one to go shopping prior to Davening Shacharis[53], unless the store will close, in which the following laws apply:

Store is closing, or product will sell out: If one will not be able to go shopping for Shabbos after he finishes Davening [such as if the store will close, or the store will sell out of the product[54]], then he should first go shopping, and then Daven afterwards.

Saying Kerias Shema before shopping:[55] Whenever one needs to go shopping before Davening, he must recite the Shema within its proper time prior to shopping.[56]

If will miss Zeman Tefila: The above allowance to shop prior to Davening if the store will close applies even if it is possible[57] that due to the purchase he will miss praying within Zman Tefila, nevertheless he is to first make his purchase.[58] [However, if doing the purchase will cause him to definitely fail to pray within Zman Tefila, then he is to first pray.[59] If, however, he will still have enough time to Daven prior to Sof Zeman Tefila in the form of skipping parts of Pesukei Dezimra, then he may go shopping beforehand, and then afterwards pray an abridged prayer .[60]]

If will miss Minyan:[61] If, however, delaying the prayer until after shopping will cause one to fail to pray with a Minyan, then he is to first pray. [Some Poskim[62], however, rule that only if there is also a chance that one will miss Zeman Tefila do we instruct them to first Daven with a minyan. If, however, he will for certain be able to Daven within Zeman Tefila, then it is better that he misses the Minyan and first goes shopping if he will not be able to shop afterwards. Furthermore, some Poskim[63] completely argue on the above and always permit shopping prior to Davening if one will not be able to shop afterwards even in expense of missing the minyan, so long as it is not certain that he will miss Zeman Tefila.[64] Nonetheless, certainly if one is the 10th man needed for the Minyan then he should not go shopping beforehand and cause the minyan to fall apart.[65] Likewise, some Poskim[66] limit disallowance of missing Davening with a Minyan for the sake of going shopping before prayer only to those food items that are absolute Shabbos necessities such as bread, meat, fish, and win. However, regarding all other delicacies, one may not miss Davening with a minyan for the sake of purchasing them, although he may purchase them prior to prayer if he will not miss the Minyan and will not be able to do so after Davening.]

  Summary: It is forbidden for one to go shopping prior to Davening Shacharis, even on Erev Shabbos, unless all the following apply: 1.       He will be unable to go shopping afterwards or the food item will be unavailable 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.   Q&A Does the above laws apply to women; may a woman go shopping prior to her Davening Shacharis?[67] A woman should not go shopping for Shabbos prior to her Davening at least her abridged obligatory sections of prayer, although those who do so do not have to be protested, although are to be taught at the very least to say the morning blessings beforehand.  

Verbalizing that the bought produce is for Yom Tov:[68]

It is proper[69] for one to say on every item of purchase “This is for the honor of Shabbos”.[70] Likewise, on all matters that one does it is good to think that he is doing so for the honor of Shabbos. 

  Summary: 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 Lekavod Shabbos. May one shop before prayer on Erev 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.[71]  

6. How much money should one spend in order to enhance Yom Tov and what should be part of the Yom Tov menu?[72]

The foods eaten to fulfill the mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos vary in accordance with each country’s definition of luxurious food. Thus, those foods and beverages which are considered delicacies in one’s area are to be eaten on Shabbos.[73]

Meat and wine:[74] 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 with their affordability.

Fish:[75] Eating fish is included in the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos. In the times of the Talmud Oneg Shabbos was fulfilled through eating large fish.[76] Fish should be eaten in every meal[77], 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.[78] It should especially be eaten by the third meal.[79]

At the very least-two cooked dishes:[80] 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[81] 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.[82] 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.[83]]

Increasing in ones Shabbos expenditure-making many dishes of foods:[84] Besides for the basic Shabbos foods listed above, whoever increases in his expenditure of Shabbos foods [and other Shabbos needs[85]] in accordance with the amount he can afford, is praised.

The Shabbos and Yom Tov expenses are not included in yearly budget:[86] 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.[87]

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

  • Challah
  • Meat and wine
  • At least two cooked
  • 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?


  1. Borrowing money and taking money from charity for the sake of the Yom Tov meals:

Borrowing money to enhance Shabbos:[89] 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[90].[91] 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 on 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:[92] It is permitted to borrow money under terms of Rabbinical interest[93] [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[94] 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.[95] 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.[96] 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.[97] 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:[98] 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].[99]

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?[100] 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.[101] Likewise, it is proper for him to have at least two dishes, as stated above.

8. Baking Challahs:[102]

One is to bake Challahs for Yom Tov which will be used for Lechem Mishneh and is 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 Yom Tov. One is not to divert from this custom.[103]

How much is one to bake? One is to bake at least the amount that requires one to remove Challah from the dough.[104]

Pas Akum[105]:[106] (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.[107])



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 Yom Tov and rather they buy Challahs from the store?

Some Poskim[108] 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[109] 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?[110]

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

Shape of the Challah:

It is customary to form the Challah 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.[111] Alternatively the two Challahs in the shape of a Vav represent the twelve showbreads of the Temple, as Vav is Gematria of six.[112]

Rosh Hashanah:[113] 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 do not have a start or finish and hence reflects longevity of life. Likewise, round represents unity. Some[114] 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 Challah 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.[115] This custom has remained today as well despite that the Challahs are left Pareve.

Placing the Challah on the table after baking:

Some Poskim[116] 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.[117] This is not the current widespread custom.[118] Nevertheless, it is proper to do so.[119]

9. Sharpening knives on Erev Yom Tov:[120]

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.[121] 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.[122] [Some Tzadikim were accustomed to personally sharpen their knives using one of the stones of their home.[123] 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.[124]]

  Summary: 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.[125]  

  1. Setting the table for Yom Tov:[126]

When to set the table:[127] One[128] is to set up the Yom Tov table [including its chairs[129]] on Erev Yom Tov in preparation for the Yom Tov night meal.[130] [The silverware and plates are to be clean and polished for the meal.[131] There is no need, however, to set up one’s bed on Erev Yom Tov.[132]]

Placing a tablecloth on the table: It is customary for there to be a tablecloth spread over one’s [dining[133]] table throughout the entire Shabbos. One may not swerve from this custom.[134] There are those who have the custom to spread two tablecloths over the [dining] table [and so is the widespread custom today].[135] [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.[136]]

  Q&A on setting the table Who should set up the Shabbos table; the husband or the wife?[137] Some Poskim[138] rule that the husband is to set up the Shabbos table on Erev Shabbos.[139] Other Poskim[140], however, rule that the wife is to set up the Shabbos table on Erev Shabbos.[141] One who comes home and sees the table is not yet prepared:[142] 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 at a four-legged table? The Arizal was very careful to only eat on a four-legged table, to emulate the table of the Tabernacle.[143] This law, however, was omitted by Admur. Q&A on the tablecloths Should one cover other tables of the house?[144] 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.[145]   What color tablecloth is one to use?[146] 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[147] write one is not to remove the Shabbos tablecloth until after Havdalah.   Covering the tables in Shul:[148] It is customary to cover the tables in Shul with a white tablecloth.  

  1. Tasting the foods on Erev Yom Tov:[149]

One is to taste the Shabbos foods on Erev Yom Tov [to see if they need anything added to them in order to ensure their tastiness[150]]. [Nevertheless, this was not seen to be the custom of the Previous Rebbe.[151]] It is proper to taste each and every dish of food.[152]


[1] Admur 242:1; See M”B 242:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:3; Sichas 24th Kisleiv 5732; Yagdil Torah 67 p. 355; Likkutei Sichos 4:1091; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 7:9; 32:1

[2] Admur 242:1; Rambam Shabbos 30:1

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.” [Admur ibid; See also 262:3; 610:8; Likkutei Sichos 16:522]

[3] 1st and Stam opinion in Admur ibid; Kuntrus Achron 242:1 that so is opinion of Rashi; Opinion in 250 Kuntrus Achron 2; Opinion in 288:7; Sefer Chareidim 4; Opinion in M”B 242:1; Implication of: Sefer Yereim Mitzvah 417; Ramban Parshas Emor Vayikra 23:2; Mechilta Bo 9; Sifra Emor 12; Sifri Pinchas 147; See Likkutei Sichos 11:66; Yireim 412; Tzemach Tzedek 28

The reason: As Shabbos is included within the group of days called Mikraeiy Kodesh or “A calling of holiness”, as the verse states [Vayikra 23:3] “Ubayom Hashevi’i Shabbos Shabbason Mikra Kodesh,” and the Sages [Mechilta Bo 9; Sifra Emor 12; Sifri Pinchas 147] have taught that the term “Mikra Kodesh/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; Sefer Yereim Mitzvah 111 [417]; Mechilta Bo 9; Sifra Emor 12; Sifri Pinchas 147; See Mordechai Rosh Hashanah Remez 708; Likkutei Sichos 11 p. 66; 15:374 p. 528]

[4] 2nd opinion in Admur 240:1; Kuntrus Achron 242:1 that so is opinion of Rambam 30:1; Opinion in 250 Kuntrus Achron 2; Opinion in 288:7; Rambam Shabbos 30:1; Yom Tov 6:16; See Sefer Hachinuch 297; Beis Yosef 487; P”M 242 M”Z 1; Kaf Hachaim 242:6; Opinion in Shaar Hatziyon 242:1; See Admur 487:6; 490:5; 529:5; Tzemach Tzedek O.C. 36

[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] Admur ibid; Eiruvin 21b; Yerushalmi Brachos 1:4; Shaar Hatziyon 242:1; 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] Admur 288:7; Michaber 570:3; M”A 288:7; Rashba 4:262; P”M 242 M”Z 1 that this applies evena ccoridng to Rambam; Kaf Hachaim 242:6;However, see Kuntrus Achron 242:1 that according to the Rambam it is only a Rabbinical prohibition to fast on Shabbos

[10] Yeshaya 58:14

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

[12] Shabbos 118a

[13] 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 Gehenom.

[14] Toras Shabbos 263:7

[15] Toras Shabbos 263:7

[16] Keren Ledavid 61

[17] Sdei Chemed Asifas Dinim Brachos 1:16

[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 Chapter7; 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 Chapter7One 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 Chapter7 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 physical pleasure and one who attaches to the physical pleasure distances 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; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 6:7

[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 conceptis 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 Chapter240:8, 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] Admur 250 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] Admur 250 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. [Admur 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] See Admur 250:1; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 6:1 and 3

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

[46] The reason: 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. [Admur ibid]

[47] Admur ibid; M”A 250:1; M”B 250:2; Shibulei Haleket 55; Midrash Tanchuma; Kaf Hachaim 250:4

[48] The reason: 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. [Admur ibid]

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

[50] See Admur 89:4; 250:3; M”A 251:6; Seder Hayom Shabbos; Kaf Hachaim 89:25; Piskeiy Teshuvos 89:15; 250:2; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 6:2

[51] M”B 89:17; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; See Admur 89

[52] See Admur 89:4 and Michaber 89:3 regarding the general prohibition to do one’s errands before Shacharis; Admur 250:3 and M”A 251:6 regarding the cases of allowance on Erev Shabbos, hence proving that regularly, this is forbidden.

[53] Admur 250:3 “If one will not be able to go shopping after he finishes Davening, then he should first go shopping, and then Daven afterwards. However, he must recite the Shema prior to shopping, as perhaps it’s time will pass by the time he finishes shopping. However regarding the prayer itself, it contains more time. Now, although there is room to suspect that this time will pass, nevertheless [we ignore this worry] since the Mitzvah of preparing for the Shabbos meals will definitely not be fulfilled, due to that he will no longer have the ability to buy. Nonetheless, if the congregation is praying, then he is not to separate from them.”; M”A 251:6; Seder Hayom Shabbos; Shaareiy Teshuvah 89:2, 10; M”B 89:36; 250:1

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one may always go shopping for Shabbos before Davening, being that one is doing so for the sake of a mitzvah, and the prohibition against doing errands prior to Davening only apply to personal errands and not errands done on behalf of a mitzvah. [Peri Chadash 89:6; Yifei Laleiv 89:5; P”M 89 A”A 15; 250 M”Z 1, Brought in Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[54] The implication from Setimas Haposkim is that even if one will not find a certain food available that he wants for Shabbos, even though other foods will still be available, then he may go shopping prior to prayer. [So rules Birur Halacha Zilber 250; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid] However, some Poskim rule that one may only go shopping prior to prayer if he will not find anything at all available to purchase for Shabbos. [Chayeh Adam Shabbos 1:2; Brought in Kaf Hachaim, ibid]

[55] Admur ibid; M”A ibid; Seder Hayom ibid; P”M 250 M”Z 1

[56] 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. [Admur ibid]

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

[58] 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. [Admur ibid; M”A ibid; Seder Hayom ibid] Alternatively, the shopping for Shabbos overrides Davening, being that doing so is a biblical obligation, as opposed to prayer. [Seder Hayom ibid, omitted from Admur ibid]

[59] Implication of Admur ibid; P”M 250 M”Z 1; Ketzos Hashulchan 70:5; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[60] Ketzos Hashulchan 70 footnote 11

[61] Admur ibid “Nevertheless if the congregation is praying, he is not to separate himself from the congregation.”; M”A ibid; Seder Hayom ibid; See Admur in 90:17

[62] Ketzos Hashulchan 70 footnote 11 [in answer to questions raised by Biur Halacha against the above ruling]

Opinion of Ketzos Hashulchan: The Ketzos Hashulchan ibid 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 are 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 if he will lose Davening within Zman Tefila, as there is no prediction of how long the shopping will take.]

The law if one is the 10th man for the Minyan: 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, which 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.

[63] Mishneh Berurah 250 Biur Halacha “Yashkim”; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[64] The reason: As 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. [Biur Halacha ibid]

[65] See Admur 90:17 and previous footnotes

[66] Birur Halacha Zilber 250; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[67] See Admur 106 for a dispute as to whether women are obligated in the daily prayer, and that the main ruling follows that they are obligated, and therefore consequently all the laws applicable to men would apply to women as well. Even according to the lenient opinion, they are still obligated to say the morning blessings in place of their prayer, and according to many Poskim, including Admur, are independently obligated to recite the sections of Shema and Birchas Shema that discuss the Exodus, and hence due to this would have all the restrictions apply. Nonetheless, those who are lenient do not have to be protested, as according to some opinions they are not obligated in the daily prayer, or in mentioning the Exodus.

[68] Admur 250:6; M”A 250:1 in name of Arizal; M”B 250:2; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 6:1

[69] Lit. good

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

[71] Based on footnote above.

[72] Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 6:8; 32:5

[73] Admur 242:2

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

[75] Admur 242:7

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

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

[78] Admur ibid; M”A ibid

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

[79] Siddur. Sefer Chareidim [Chapter33] 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.

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

[81] 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 Chapter627:3-4 [Admur 11-12] in which the definition of Tavshilin, cooked foods, is discussed regarding the Mitzvah of Eruv 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.   

[82] Nimukeiy Orach Chaim 242

[83] Kaf Hachaim 242:9

[84] Admur 242:3

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

[86] Admur 242:3; 529:4; Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:7 [includes tuition]; Beitza 16a; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 6:8

[87] 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 excePiskeiy Teshuvosion 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]

[88] 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.

[89] Admur 242:3; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 6:11

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

[91] 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]

[92] Admur 242:9; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 6:10

[93] 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.

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

[95] Admur 242:4; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 6:11; 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]

[96] 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.

[97] 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]

[98] 242:6; Michaber Y.D. 255:1; Pesachim 113a

[99] It’s 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.

[100] 242:6; Michaber 242:1

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

[102] Admur 242:12; Rama 242:1; M”E 581:51; Kaf Hachaim 581:100; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 7:5

[103] The reason: The reason behind this custom of baking Challahs on Erev Shabbos is due to the Mitzvah to honor Yom Tov. [Admur ibid] The effort exerted in the kneading and baking for the sake of Yom Tov, rather than buying it from a store, honors Yom Tov. [M”B 242:6] Likewise having fresh and hot home baked bread also honors Yom Tov. [Siddur Yaaveyz; Likkutei Mahrich]

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

[105] Gentile baked bread

[106] Admur 242:13

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

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

[109] Mishneh Halachos 15:95

[110] Chelkas Yaakov 1:59

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

[112] Likkutei Mahrich in name of Divrei Chaim

[113] Piskeiy Teshuvos 583 footnote 46; 242 footnote 105; Otzar Minhagei Chabad 129

[114] Brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 583 footnote 46

[115] P”M 242 M”Z 1; See Yoreh Deah 97:1; “A Semicha Aid for the Laws of Basar Bechalav” Chapter97

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

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

[118] Likkutei Mahrich

[119] Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:11

[120] 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

[121] 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]

[122] 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]

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

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

[125] See TeshuvosU3s&feature=emb_logo

[126] Admur 262:1; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 8:2

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

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

[129] 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.

[130] 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 tablecloth, 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]

[131] Aruch Hashulchan 262:1

[132] 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 the beds of sleeping as well. [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.

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

[134] See previous footnotes

[135] 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]

[136] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 262 footnote 2

[137] Kaf Hachaim 262:21

[138] Chesed Lealafim 262:2

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

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

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

[142] Kaf Hachaim 583:1

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

[144] 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

[145] 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.

[146] Drashos Mahariy Even, student of Rashba; See Maharshag 2:82; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 8:3

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

[148] Makor Chaim 271:9

[149] Admur 250:8; Machzor Vitri 191 in name of Yerushalmi; Shivlei Haleket 82; Mateh Moshe 408; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 7:8

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!

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

[151] Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 1:130

[152] 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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