Tuesday, January 23, 2007


The Magen Avraham (250:1) quotes the Arizal as saying that it is more preferable to purchase items for Shabbos on Friday, rather than on Thursday. Some explain that the reason for this is based on the verse “v’hayah bayom hashishi, v’heichinu eis asher yaviu” – “And it will be on the sixth day, you should prepare for Shabbos.”

The Magen Avraham concludes by instructing us to analyze the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch (O”C 572:1) where it is implicit that purchases for Shabbos were done on Thursday and not on Friday.

The Mishna in Taanis states that they would not decree an initial fast on Thursday because that would cause an unwarranted price increase. Rashi explains that when the storekeepers will observe people purchasing food in large quantities, they will assume that a famine is coming and thereby raise all the prices. The sellers would not realize that people are buying food for two large meals, one to break the fast this evening and the other for Shabbos. It is evident from this Gemora that people purchase food for Shabbos on Thursday.

A proof to the Arizal’s viewpoint can be found in the Gemora Taanis (8b). Rabbi Yitzchak said that even during an extreme drought, rain that falls on a Friday is nothing but a curse since it will inconvenience those that are shopping for Shabbos.

Rabbi Tzvi Yaakov Abramowitz in the sefer Ta’am Hatzvi answers the Magen Avraham’s question from our Mishna. Generally, people purchase food for Shabbos on Friday, but when they are going to the stores on Thursday anyway to buy food for the meal after the fast, they will simultaneously purchase food for Shabbos. While it is true that the meticulous people will wait for Friday to prepare for Shabbos, most of the community will not wait and that is why we try to avoid beginning the first series of fasts on a Thursday.


joshwaxman said...

related: takkanat Ezra to wash clothing for Shabbat on Thursday (rather than Friday).
one might argue that Thursday is more ideal that Friday for various reasons.

Avromi said...

probably more to do with melocha, id assume.