What makes the Shabbat meal special?

Thursday, 19 August, 2021 - 1:09 pm

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Shabbat is a special day. We dress nicely, we eat special foods. The Jewish kitchen is full of dishes we encounter (usually only) on Shabbat. Why?

In our Prophets (Isaiah 58:13) we find two words associated with the observance of the Shabbat: Kavod, Honor and Oneg, Pleasure.

Our Sages explain that Kavod, Honor, means having clean and nice cloths that we do not use during the rest of Shabbat and are exclusively worn on Shabbat. Oneg, Pleasure, is enjoying the Shabbat with delicious food.

To distinguish the Shabbat from the other days, Jews in all generations always had special food (the best their economic situation allowed) put aside for the Shabbat. From a young age, everyone knew that Shabbat means a big table with good food, special Shabbat clothes etc.  

Let us try this Shabbat to make it different from the rest of the week, by preparing something special for the meals of Friday evening and Shabbat lunch.

Shabbat Shalom,

Arie from the Yeshiva

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