Kavod and Oneg Shabbat

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Kavod Shabbat (Respecting Shabbat)

  1. Some hold that the primary obligation of Kavod and Oneg Shabbat is Deoraytta. Wearing nice clothes is Kavod Shabbat and eating special foods is Oneg Shabbat. [1]
  2. Having special food for the Shabbat meals for Kavod Shabbat shouldn’t be less than 2 cooked dishes. Additionally, for Kavod Shabbat one should try to have fish unless one hates it or doesn’t digest it well. [2]
  3. Even someone who doesn’t have a lot of money, has to make an extra effort to fulfill Kavod Shabbat and have something special even it’s a small fish. [3] Such a person should save up money or food from the rest of the days of the week so that he can have something special for Shabbat. [4]
  4. Only someone who is so poor who really has very little (only 2 meals to eat on Shabbat), and is unable to borrow from others, for him it’s better to have Shabbat without anything special in order not to rely on others for money. [5]
  5. However, the above is about someone who has enough money that he doesn’t need to take Tzedaka, however, someone who needs to take Tzedaka, he should get the appropriate amount to respect Shabbat properly. [6]
  6. It’s Kavod Shabbat to do one’s laundry from Thursday prior to Shabbat so that one’s clothes are clean and fresh for Shabbat. [7] Laundry should be done before Friday so that one has time to prepare for Shabbat. [8]

Oneg Shabbat (Enjoying Shabbat)

  1. There are two expressions of how to observe Shabbat in the Torah, שמור and זכור which the prophets explained as a mitzvah of כבוד (respect) and עונג (enjoyment) of Shabbat. [9]
  2. What is Oneg? There is a mitzvah to prepare tasty and special food for Shabbat each one according to their wealth. Eating the three meals of Shabbat, having meat and wine, and sleeping on Shabbat are all a fulfillment of Oneg Shabbat. [10] However, it is improper to get drunk on Shabbat. [11]
  3. Included in enjoying Shabbat (Oneg Shabbat) is giving charity to the needy so that they can also enjoy Shabbat.[12]
  4. It is forbidden to fast on Shabbat unless one enjoys fasting. [13] One may not fast even for a small amount of time if one's intent is to fast, and one may not fast past Chatzot even if one's intent is not to fast.[14]

Zechirat Shabbat (Remembering Shabbat)

  1. According to some there’s a mitzvah Deoritta to remember Shabbat every day of the week. The minhag is to fulfill this requirement by counting the day of the week before Shir Shel Yom. [15]
  2. Anticipating the arrival of Shabbat each week is actually a biblical obligation. One should even refer to Friday in connection with Shabbat. For example, it is better to say “I am going to get a haircut on Erev Shabbat” instead of “I am going to get a haircut on Friday.” This is consistent with the custom of opening the "Psalm of the Day" each morning in reference to Shabbat. For example, Sunday’s song begins with: “Today is the first day in the Shabbat [week].” [16]


  1. Mishna Brurah 242:1
  2. Mishna Brurah 242:2
  3. S”A 242:1, Mishna Brurah 242:1 explains that this applies even to someone who only has money for 3 meals on Shabbat and for just a little bit more.
  4. S”A 242:1, Mishna Brurah 242:1
  5. S”A 242:1, Mishna Brurah 242:1 explains that it only applies to someone who is so poor that he doesn’t have 2 meals for Shabbat and Mishna Brurah 242:3 adds that this is only someone who can’t borrow money.
  6. Mishna Brurah 242:1
  7. S”A 242:1, Mishna Berurah 242:5
  8. S”A 242:1 writes that laundry should be done on Thursday. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (42 note 13) writes in name of Rav Shlomo Zalman that one may do laundry earlier in the week. Additionally, Mishna Brurah 242:5 explains that it should be done on Friday so that one has time to prepare for Shabbat. However, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (42 note 13) suggests that perhaps nowadays that it’s easy and quick to do laundry it’s permitted to do it on Friday. So holds Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat vol 1 pg 13), Chazon Ovadia Shabbat volume 1 page 24, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv quoted in Avnei Yashfei 1:49, Or Litzion 2:16:1, Shevet Hakehati 2:104:4 and Piskei Teshuvot 242:3 writes that such is the Minhag. However, Rav Menashe Klein (author of Mishneh Halachot) in back of Piskei Teshuvot vol 3 writes that nowadays one should still do it on Thursday and not Friday and Chut Hashani 3:1 adds that this is true even if it is done by a non-jew it shouldn't be done on Friday. Ben Ish Chai Parashat Lech Lecha Halacha 8 says if one didn't have a chance for whatever reason to do laundry prior to friday they can certainly be lenient.
  9. This is the language of the Rambam (Shabbat 30:1) which implies that the mitzvah of Oneg is Derabbanan. The Mishna Brurah 242:1 writes that the Ramban holds that this mitzvah is Deoritta while the Sefer HaChinuch holds that it's Deoritta. See Sh"t Yabea Omer 4:26(2) who proves that there is no mitzvah of Simcha by Shabbat like there is by Yom Tov.
  10. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (Intro to new edition 2:10) based on Rambam (Shabbat 30:7,9,10)
  11. Rav Nevinsal in BeYitzchak Yikara on S"A 250:2
  12. Rav Nevinsal in BeYitzchak Yikara on S"A 250:2
  13. S"A 288:1, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (Intro to new edition, chap 2 note 42). Biur Halacha D"H Asur, Sh"T Yabea Omer 4:26
  14. Kitzur S"A 77:20
  15. Rambam Shemot 20:8 writes that there’s a mitzvah Deoritta in counting every day of the week towards Shabbat. So rules Chaye Adam (Shabbat 1:1), Mekor Chaim 271:3, and Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 42:3
  16. Amot Shel Halacha (by Rabbi Ari Enkin)