I found Jewish people use the phrase "Shabbat Treat". What does it mean and what is the origin of this phrase. Does it have any connection to Torte cake? What is the Hebrew word/s equivalent for Shabbat Treat?

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    Doesn't it just mean that the kids get a special food they don't usually have during the week (e.g. candy)?
    – Dani
    Jun 18 '20 at 14:55

Like @Dani said I do not think there is much more to it other than a special treat for the kids (and sometimes adults!) to enhance their Shabbat experience.

Whilst the day has a spiritual focus, we are also enjoined to materially delight in it. There is a concept called עונג שבת ('Oneg Shabbat') which calls for the 'enjoyment of Shabbat' which means partaking in numerous physical luxuries. Refer to Rambam who writes in משנה תורה, הלכות שבת ל:ז the following:

"איזה הוא עונג: זה שאמרו חכמים שצריך לתקן תבשיל שמן ביותר ומשקה מבושם לשבת הכל לפי ממונו של אדם. וכל המרבה בהוצאת שבת ובתיקון מאכלים רבים וטובים הרי זה משובח"

“What is ‘the delight of Shabbat’? This refers to the statement of our Sages that a person should prepare especially delicious food and special drinks for Shabbat, according to what he can afford. The more one spends on Shabbat expenses, and the more one prepares tasty foods for this day the more praiseworthy it is”.

The concept of Oneg Shabbat is learnt from a verse in ספר ישעיה נח:יג-יד:

אִם־תָּשִׁ֤יב מִשַּׁבָּת֙ רַגְלֶ֔ךָ עֲשׂ֥וֹת חֲפָצֶ֖יךָ בְּי֣וֹם קָדְשִׁ֑י וְקָרָ֨אתָ לַשַּׁבָּ֜ת עֹ֗נֶג לִקְד֤וֹשׁ ה' מְכֻבָּ֔ד וְכִבַּדְתּוֹ֙ מֵעֲשׂ֣וֹת דְּרָכֶ֔יךָ מִמְּצ֥וֹא חֶפְצְךָ֖ וְדַבֵּ֥ר דָּבָֽר׃

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, From pursuing your affairs on My holy day; If you call the sabbath “delight,” The LORD’s holy day “honored”; And if you honor it and go not your ways Nor look to your affairs, nor strike bargains—

אָ֗ז תִּתְעַנַּג֙ עַל־ה' וְהִרְכַּבְתִּ֖יךָ עַל־בָּ֣מֳותֵי אָ֑רֶץ וְהַאֲכַלְתִּ֗יךָ נַחֲלַת֙ יַעֲקֹ֣ב אָבִ֔יךָ כִּ֛י פִּ֥י ה' דִּבֵּֽר׃

Then you can seek the favor of the LORD. I will set you astride the heights of the earth, And let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob— For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Translation - Sefaria)

(Parenthetically, it is important to note that although physicality is promoted, this should not be to the detriment of the spiritual side. HaRav Eliyahu Dessler זצ"ל observes that the עונג שבת serves to enhance the spiritual enjoyment we have. This means to say, whilst we delight in various delicacies and get dressed in smart clothes, these physical elements are ultimately the conduit for greater spiritual performance. מכתה מאליהו, חלק ב', עמוד 14. He writes, "אך הלא נצטווינו לענג את השבת במאכלים ערבים בבגדים נעים במטה מוצעת ובנרות דולקים וכן כתוב "וקראת לשבת עונג ולקדוש ה' מכובד" (ישעיה נח). ועי' בזהר (אמור צד) "מאי עונג?...דהאי עונג על ה' הוא" פי' אודות ה', שהעונג יבוא מן הרוחניות לבד ולא מן התענוגים הגשמיים. כה גדולה היא קדושת השבת עד שגם אלה מוכנסים על ידה לתחום הרוחניות." – “We are commanded to take pleasure in Shabbat with tasty foods, nice clothes, a bed that is made and lit candles, as it is written, “And you shall call Shabbat ‘a delight’, and the holy (day) ‘honored’” (Yeshaya 58). And in the Zohar (Emor 94) it says: “What is this “delight”? ...It is delighting in Hashem. That means in regards to Hashem. The delight should come from spirituality alone and not from physical pleasures. This is the greatness of the holiness of Shabbos. Through it, even physical pleasure is elevated to the realm of spirituality”.)

  • I've heard the phrase used also to describe a book that's special to the individual or an interesting Shabbat magazine that are saved just for Shabbat.
    – Harel13
    Jun 19 '20 at 10:53

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