Taking charity for the sake of the Shabbos meals

Taking charity for the sake of the Shabbos meals:

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[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] 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:[5] 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].[6]

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?[7]

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


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

[2] 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]

[3] 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.

[4] 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]

[5] 242:6; Michaber Y.D. 255:1; Pesachim 113a

[6] 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.

[7] 242:6; Michaber 242:1

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

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