I heard in a shiur from Rav Daniel Glatstein that the Shelah HaKadosh explains that your table is like the mizbeach and your eating is like a korban, and every korban needs viduy.

So, the Shelah says, therefore before you eat, you need to say viduy and do teshuvah every time you are partaking of a meal.

Does anyone know where the Shelah (Shenei Luchos HaBris) writes this?

  • Similar: sefaria.org/…
    – shmosel
    Commented May 14 at 20:06
  • @shmosel thanks I was right that it was in emek bracha maybe. Does this mean that saying over Divrei Torah atones for sins when eating a meal?
    – Shmuel
    Commented May 14 at 20:13
  • Something like that. Especially if you're sharing your meal with a needy person.
    – shmosel
    Commented May 14 at 20:18
  • @shmosel in your link above, the Shelah mentions the Reishis Chochmah, citing the Yaavetz on Avos 3:3 and a posuk in Yechezkel. Do you know where I can find that, and what it says?
    – Shmuel
    Commented May 15 at 19:34
  • It's linked in the answer below: sefaria.org/Reshit_Chokhmah%2C_Gate_of_Holiness.15.149
    – shmosel
    Commented May 15 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


שני לוחות הברית, שער האותיות, קדושת האכילה, מאכלות אסורות ז׳:י

In the notes, it says:

ולי נראה, שכל אדם כשר יתוודה, ואז מקיים (תהלים נ, כג) זובח תודה יכבדנני, כי האכילה היא במקום קרבן, ובכל קרבן היה וידוי לכפר על עונותיו, וסימנך (איוב ג, כד) כי לפני לחמי אנחתי תבוא. ויתוודה וידוי אשמנו כו' הרשענו כו' עד כי ירבה לסלוח. ובשבת ובימים טובים שאין אומרים וידוי, יאמר במקום הוידוי זה הפסוק (דברים ל, ו) ומל ה' אלהיך את לבבך ואת לבב זרעך לאהבה את ה' אלהיך בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך למען חייך, ולהרהר תשובה בלב

And it appears to me that all good men should confess, to fulfill Tehillim 50:23 "whoever offers praise honours Me", for behold, eating has taken the place of korbanot, and with every korban there was a confession to atone for one's sins, and a sign for this is Iyov 3:24 "For my sighing comes before I eat".

He should confess from "Ashamnu" until "Ki Yirbeh Lislo'ach", and on Shabbat and Yommim Tovim when we don't say Vidui, he should say the pasuk (Devarim 30:6) "And Hashem your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your children, to love Hashem your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, so you may live." with thoughts of Teshuva in his heart, in its place.

Note that there are many mentions of this concept of "eating in place of korbanot" in קדושת האכילה, and the phrase השלחן במקום המזבח - one's table is in place of the mizbe'ach appears many times too, including ibid 8:6, 8:9, 8:23, Emek Beracha 1:1. It is also discussed in ראשית חכמה, שער הקדושה ט״ו, which appears to be the source of this concept for the Shalah (both bring the Zohar in Teruma, 170a that explains how difficult it is for HKB'H to feed sinners), if not the original source in Shaarei Teshuva.

  • I don't see the quoted text at the link.
    – shmosel
    Commented May 14 at 20:54
  • 1
    @shmosel It's in the note next to אז בצדקתו ובטהור מחשבתו מוריד השפע של מאכל
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 14 at 20:55
  • 1
    This is brought down in the כתבי ארי many times
    – zunior
    Commented May 15 at 0:43
  • @zunior does it explain anywhere what one should do for bread? Does the viddui come before or after netilat yadayim? If after, I assume it must be before hamotzi, and is not a hefsek? Is this only for a seuda or is it for any eating and drinking?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 15 at 7:13
  • 1
    @Shmuel TY! Might expand later, but that will do for now ^
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 15 at 17:36

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