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Chapter 72:7-9
The Sanctity of the Sabbath

7. Every person should prepare fine meat, fish, choice wine, and other delicacies for the Sabbath meals to the [fullest] extent of his means. It is a mitzvah for a person to eat fish at each of the Sabbath meals, unless it will adversely affects one's health or one doesn't like fish, for the Sabbath was given for our pleasure, and not for our discomfort.

A person should sharpen his knife before the Sabbath (or perform any other similar necessary preparation), for this also is a means of honoring the Sabbath. Similarly, he should clean the house, make the beds, and spread a tablecloth over the table, leaving it there for the entire Sabbath. Some customarily cover the table with two tablecloths.

A person should rejoice at the arrival of the Sabbath, thinking that if an important person would come to visit him, he would surely prepare the house in his honor; all the more so, he should do so in honor of the "Sabbath queen".

In certain communities, it is customary to serve pies or stuffed derma at the evening Shabbos meal, in remembrance of the manna that was found as if in a container - dew on top and dew below.

On Friday, it is proper to taste the foods prepared for the Sabbath.

8. Even a poor person should make every effort to celebrate the Sabbath in a pleasurable manner. He should limit himself throughout the entire week so that he will have funds to use in honor of the Sabbath. If he has no money, he should borrow - even if it is necessary to give collateral - in order to purchase his Sabbath needs.

Concerning this, the Talmud [Beitzoh 15b] states, "G-d said to the Nation of Israel: 'My son, borrow on My account, sanctify the day and have faith in Me, and I will repay." A person's entire livelihood is fixed on the festival of Rosh HaShanah, with the exception of what he spends for the Sabbath and festivals. If he spends extra for these days, more [than what was originally allotted] is granted to him.

If, however, a person is in very dire financial straits, he should adhere to the following advice of the Talmud [Shabbos 118a]; "Make your Sabbaths as weekdays rather than becoming dependent on others." Nevertheless, even under such circumstances, if possible, he should try to do at least a small thing in honor of the Sabbath - e.g., prepare small fish, or the like.

If one was sent food to eat for the Sabbath, one should eat it on the Sabbath rather than saving it for the coming week.

9. A person should not do regularly scheduled work (Melacha) on Friday afternoon after mincha k'tanoh.* To do so on occasion is, however, permitted.** Similarly, one may perform work for the sake of the Sabbath. It is, however, forbidden to fix one's colleague's clothes (for the Sabbath) for a wage.

* {Mincha k'tanoh is nine and half hours after sunrise. These hours are, however seasonal hours, which are not 60 minutes each, but rather one twelfth of the daytime period. Thus, the exact time fluctuates throughout the year. Mincha K'tanoh ends up being approximately an hour (seasonal) and a quarter before sunset (Mishna Berura 256:1) }

** { One may even work for a wage as long as this is an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence and does not become a regular pattern (Mishna Berurah 251:4).This prohibition against regularly scheduled work only applies to someone doing work for himself, however, a hired worker can work up to just before sunset, as long he leaves himself time to make the minimal preparations for the Sabbath and to light Sabbath candles (See Mishna Berurah Siman 251:3).

[The above does not apply to] a poor man who works in order to earn his Sabbath necessities. He may work the entire day, as he may on Chol Hamo'ed.

A person - even a professional barber who receives payment for his work - may cut a fellow Jew's hair throughout the entire day, because it is obvious that the haircut is in honor of the Sabbath.

Stores should be closed approximately one hour before sunset.

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2000 ProjectGenesis, Inc.

 






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