Kavod and Oneg Shabbat
This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
Kavod Shabbat is the mitzvah of honoring Shabbat, such as by wearing respectable clothing, while Oneg Shabbat is the mitzvah of enjoying Shabbat, such as through eating special foods. There are two expressions of how to observe Shabbat in the Torah, שמור and זכור, which the prophet explains includes the mitzvos of כבוד (respect) and עונג (enjoyment) of Shabbat. Some hold that the primary obligation of Kavod and Oneg Shabbat are from the Torah.
Kavod Shabbat (Respecting Shabbat)
Doing Laundry before Shabbat
- 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. Laundry should be done before Friday so that one has time to prepare for Shabbat.
- One should check one's clothing on Friday to make sure that there's not a needle left stuck in them or something in the pockets so that one doesn't come to carry on Shabbat and even if there's an eiruv one should still check to make sure that there's nothing Muktzeh in the clothes.
Special Clothing for Shabbat
- One should try to have nice clothing and a special Tallit out of respect for Shabbat. This is true even if one is alone or with non-Jews.
- One need not have special shoes for Shabbat but one should try to polish and shine them. Someone who has special shoes for Shabbat is worthy of blessing.
Clash between Kavod and Oneg
- If wearing a nice tie or jacket on Shabbat in the summer makes a person very hot and uncomfortable some say that it is preferable to wear fancy respectable clothing but not be uncomfortable than to be even fancier and uncomfortable.
Cleaning the House for Kavod Shabbat
- One should try to clean and sweep the house for Shabbat.
- One should place a tablecloth on the table special for Shabbat for the duration of the Shabbat, on all the tables of the home and the shul.
- A person should should spend time preparing the house or the room he's staying in for Shabbat even if he's a guest in someone else's house.
Other Examples of Kavod Shabbat
- Shabbat Candles
- Saving an Appetite for Shabbat
- Laundering Clothing for Shabbat
- Wearing Shabbat Clothing
- Brushing one's Hair for Shabbat
- Showering for Shabbat
- Buying Food for Shabbat
- Baking Challah for Shabbat
Oneg Shabbat (Enjoying Shabbat)
- What is Oneg? There is a mitzvah to prepare tasty and special food for Shabbat, everyone 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. However, it is improper to get drunk on Shabbat.
- Included in enjoying Shabbat (Oneg Shabbat) is giving charity to the needy so that they can also enjoy Shabbat.
- It is forbidden to fast on Shabbat unless one enjoys fasting. 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.
- Workers who usually don't establish a time to learn during the week, should endeavor to learn Torah on Shabbat even more than Talmidei Chachamim who learn all week.
Is it Necessary to have Meat for Shabbat Meals?
- There is a mitzvah to prepare special foods for Shabbat and to enjoy them on Shabbat. Generally, meat and wine are foods used for this mitzvah and that is recommended. However, it is possible to fulfill this mitzvah by eating other foods that one enjoys and one does not need specifically to eat meat.
- Some poskim hold that this is a specific need to have meat on Shabbat because there is a mitzvah of simcha on Shabbat. To fulfill this opinion it is sufficient to have one meal of meat.
Minimum Food Requirements for Shabbat
- 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.
- Even someone who doesn’t have a lot of money should make an extra effort to fulfill Kavod Shabbat and have something special even it is just small fish. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Spending on Shabbat
- One should note that the Rabbis tell us that what one spends on Shabbat is fixed from the beginning of the year and if one spends more, Hashem will repay him. This promise only applies if his intentions are purely to honor Shabbat and for him own pleasure.
- A person should spend on honoring and enjoying Shabbat and not be cheap when spending on Shabbat because of the concern about his future finances. However, this is only within a person's budget. Spending beyond one's budget is ill advised and not included in this recommendation of Chazal.
Zechirat Shabbat (Remembering Shabbat)
- According to some rishonim, there is a mitzvah from the Torah 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.
- 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].”
- This is the language of the Rambam (Shabbat 30:1) which implies that the mitzvah of Oneg is Derabbanan. The obligation of Oneg comes from the pasuk in Yishayahu 58:13 וקראת לשבת עונג. The Mishna Brurah 242:1 writes that the Ramban holds that this mitzvah is Deoritta while the Sefer HaChinuch holds that it's only Derabbanan. See Sh"t Yabia Omer 4:26(2) who proves that there is no mitzvah of Simcha by Shabbat like there is by Yom Tov.
- Mishna Brurah 242:1, Yalkut Yosef 242:1. Ran Pesachim 99b writes that Oneg Shabbat is biblical.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 242:1, Mishna Brurah 242:5, Yalkut Yosef 242:8
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 242:1 writes that laundry should be done on Thursday. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata (ch. 42 fnt. 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 not 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. This is also the opinion of Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat 242:8, vol 1 pg 13), Chazon Ovadia Shabbat volume 1 page 24, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv quoted in Avnei Yashfei 1:49, Sh"t 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) writes if one didn't have a chance for whatever reason to do laundry prior to Friday they can certainly be lenient.
- The Briatta in Gemara Shabbat 12a states that one should check one's clothing on Friday. Rashi explains that one should check to make sure there aren't things attached to the clothing so that one doesn't come to carry on Shabbat. Shulchan Aruch 252:7 codifies this as halacha. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 72:23 adds that even if there's an eiruv one should check to make sure that there's nothing Muktzeh in the clothes.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 72:16 from gemara Shabbat 113a which explains the verse in Yishaya 58:13 as saying that one should wear nice clothes different from the weekdays clothing. Yalkut Yosef 242:5
- Yalkut Yosef 242:6
- Chashukei Chemed Shabbat 25b quotes the Chazon Ish as saying that if a person feels that wearing a tie on Shabbat will make him hot and uncomfortable then it isn't a fulfillment of Kavod Shabbat, honoring Shabbat, if it won't also fulfill Oneg Shabbat, enjoying Shabbat. Or Avraham Brachot siman 79 quotes this as well from the Maaseh Ish p. 134. Chut Shani Shabbat ch. 1 fnt. 2 is cited to agree with the Chazon Ish and explain that it isn't a condition in Kavod Shabbat to be Oneg Shabbat but that it isn't a violation to Kavod Shabbat to remove the uncomfortable clothing when it isn't Oneg Shabbat. Rivevot Efraim 3:554 agrees. See Shalmei Yohanatan 242:1 p. 32 who poses the question whether it preferable to use challah that is store bought and nicer since it is more Kavod Shabbat or the tastier homemade bread since it is more Oneg Shabbat.
- Yalkut Yosef 242:7
- Yalkut Yosef 242:7
- Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky (Kovetz Halachot Shabbat v. 1 p. 16)
- Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (Intro to new edition 2:10) based on Rambam (Shabbat 30:7,9,10), Yalkut Yosef Shabbat vol. 1 Siman 242:1-2. The gemara Shabbat 118a explains in different ways how great the reward is for one who properly fulfills this mitzva of oneg Shabbat.
- Rav Nevensal in BeYitzchak Yikare on Shulchan Aruch 250:2
- Rav Nevensal in BeYitzchak Yikare on Shulchan Aruch 250:2
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 288:1, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (Intro to new edition, chap 2 note 42). Beiur Halacha s.v. Asur, Sh"t Yabia Omer 4:26
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 77:20
- Rama 290:2
- Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky (Kovetz Halachot Shabbat v. 1 p. 28) based on Rambam (Shabbat 30:7), Kuntres Shoel Umeishiv v. 5 p. 234 quoting Halichot Shabbat 1:5:1 of Rabbi Ofir Malka. Avnei Darech 13:47 quotes a dispute between Piskei Teshuvot 250:12 who writes that a person should not have dairy meals on Shabbat and Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 42:16 who writes that it is recommended to have meat meals, but not an absolute obligation.
- Kuntres Shoel Umeishiv v. 5 p. 234 quoting Rabbi Yigal Cohen
- Mishna Brurah 242:2. Yalkut Yosef 242:3 writes that one should try to have fish at all three meals or at least at the first and third unless he doesn't like fish in which case he wouldn't have to eat fish at all.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 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.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 242:1, Mishna Brurah 242:1, Yalkut Yosef 242:1
- 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.
- Mishna Brurah 242:1, Yalkut Yosef 242:2
- Beitzah 16a, Tur 242:1
- Aruch Hashulchan 250:4, Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky (Kovetz Halachot Shabbat v. 1 p. 10)
- Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky (Kovetz Halachot Shabbat v. 1 p. 11)
- Ramban Shemot 20:8 writes that there’s a mitzvah Deoritta in counting every day of the week towards Shabbat. This is also the opinion of Chaye Adam (Shabbat 1:1), Mekor Chaim 271:3, and Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 42:3
- Amot Shel Halacha (by Rabbi Ari Enkin)