Setting table for Shabbos

When to set the table:[1]

One[2] is to set the Shabbos table [including its chairs[3]] on Erev Shabbos in preparation for the Friday night meal.[4] [The silverware and china are to be clean and polished for the meal.[5] There is no need however to set one’s bed on Erev Shabbos.[6]]



Who should set the table the husband or the wife?[7]

Some[8] write the husband[9] is to set the table on Erev Shabbos. Others[10] write it is to be done by the wife.[11]

One who comes home and sees the table is not yet prepared:[12] Even in families that it is the custom of the wife to set the table on Erev Shabbos, if one comes home to see 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.


[1] 262/1

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

[3] Aruch Hashulchan 262/1

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. 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 setting up the sitting beds of back then. The Aruch Hashulchan however learns differently.

[4] This is done out of honor for Shabbos so that when he returns from Shul he finds everything already set and organized. [ibid]


This follows the ruling of the Michaber. The Rama writes 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 learns that the Rama [and so learns Kaf Hachaim 262/22] 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.

[5] Aruch Hashulchan 262/1

[6] Admur ibid, based on M”A, 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.

[7] Kaf Hachaim 262/21

[8] Chesed Leavraham 2

[9] As it is his Mitzvah to prepare for the meal [ibid]

[10] Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeira 17

[11] This is based on Kabala. [ibid]

[12] Kaf Hachaim 583/1

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