The Sanctity of the Sabbath
4. [Exodus 20:8] states: "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." This implies that one should remember the Sabbath and sanctify it each day. [For example,] if one finds a choice type of food that is not generally available - and it will keep until the Sabbath - one should buy it to honor the Sabbath.
On Friday, one should rise early to purchase one's Sabbath needs. One may even purchase them before reciting one's morning prayers, provided doing so does not cause one to be late for the communal service.
Generally, it is preferable to purchase articles for the Sabbath on Friday, rather than on Thursday. If, however, the preparation of the article requires time, it is preferable to purchase it on Thursday. Whenever one buys anything for this purchase, he should specifically say that he is purchasing it "to honor the Sabbath."
Ezra ordained that one should launder one's clothes on Thursday in honor of the Sabbath. This should not be done on Friday, since then, one must be involved in [preparing for the other] needs of the Sabbath.
5. It is a mitzvah incumbent on every individual, even one who has several servants, to perform some activities himself in honor of the Sabbath. Thus, we find that Rav Chisda would personally slice his vegetables in to thin slices. Rabboh and Rav Yosef would chop trees for firewood. Rav Zeira would kindle the fire and Rav Nachman would tidy the house, bringing in the utensils he needed for the Sabbath and taking out those used during the week.
The behavior of these sages should serve as an example to every individual, teaching him that such activities are not beneath his dignity. On the contrary, he is honored by honoring the Sabbath.
6. It is customary in all Jewish homes to bake bread in honor of the Sabbath. Surely, this applies in homes where, during the week, bread is purchased from a non-Jewish baker. On the holy Sabbath, we should serve bread which has been baked by a Jew.
Even in homes where, during the week, bread is purchased from a Jewish baker, in honor of the Sabbath it is proper to bake at home. In this manner, the women will be able to fulfill the mitzvah of separating challah [which shares an intrinsic connection to Friday]:
Adam, the first man, was created on Friday. He was considered as the Challah of the world. Through his wife's sin, he was ruined. Therefore, it is proper for women to compensate for and correct this manner.
Three loaves should be baked: a large one, an intermediate one, and a small one. The intermediate one should be used for the evening meal, the large one for the meal of the day to show that the greatest honor should be paid to the day, and the smallest one for the third meal.