Other than being an opportunity to experience spiritual reawakening and rejuvenation, Shabbat is also about experiencing the true joy of Shabbat, known as Oneg Shabbat. According to the Chassidic leader Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, our main source of this joy comes from the food we eat on Shabbat. He explains that by preparing special delicacies and fine dishes, we bring honor to the Shabbat, and doing this infuses the food with a unique holiness similar to the holiness of God. For this reason, Rabbi Nachman says that one must make sure he has plenty of food on Shabbat since partaking in the Shabbat meals is enough to make up for desecrating the Shabbat in the past.
In addition to its spiritual meaning, Shabbat dinner is also considered one of the commandments or mitzvot that must be fulfilled during Shabbat, as the Jewish people are commanded to eat three meals over Shabbat, including dinner on Friday night.
The foods served on Shabbat usually vary from family to family; however, most traditional Shabbat meals typically consist of an assortment of side dishes and appetizers like salads, fish, and soups, and elaborate main courses made from meat or chicken, accompanied by rice, vegetables, and other hearty dishes.
Make every Friday night dinner a truly festive occasion with a beautiful tablecloth or table runner and intricately decorated serving dishes and other tableware!
Unsure what to serve at your shabbat meal? Shop our selection of kosher Israeli foods and wines, and check out our Jewish & Israeli Food blog category for recipes and fun food facts!