The first siman in the Mishna Berura (MB) chelek 3 is about how to maintain the honour of Shabbat:

דהיינו לקדשו ולכבדו בכסות נקיה ולענגו בעונג אכילה ושתיה

...To sanctify and honour [Shabbat] with clean clothes, and to take pleasure [in Shabbat] with [good] food and drink.

Within this siman, the Shulchan Aruch recommends the practice to launder ones clothes on Thursday in preparation for Shabbat.

Are there any sources that specifically mention/recommend wearing formal/smart clothes, other than just 'clean clothes' (as mentioned above)?

The enjoyment of food can be considered subjective (see here) despite the MB recommending (amongst other things) fish, meat and wine. In order to enhance oneg one can choose foods which they enjoy eating.

Can the same subjectivity be said by clothes on Shabbat? If you enjoy wearing sandals, jeans and t-shirt and despise wearing a suit/tie due to its lack of comfort (or where adverse weather conditions make it difficult), is this ideal? Or do the 'kiddush', 'kibbud' and 'oneg' mentioned in the MB have much more specific applications?


2 Answers 2


Kavod and Oneg are not interchangeable. Your preference in taste will define your Oneg but what is considered honorable is not a taste issue. Secondly, the example of sandals is a mistake since you are using enjoyment to define honor.

The Gemara in Shabbos 113a says:

אמר רב הונא אם יש לו להחליף יחליף ואם אין לו להחליף ישלשל בבגדיו מתקיף לה רב ספרא והא מיתחזי כרמות רוחא כיון דכל יומא לא קעביד והאידנא הוא דקא עביד לא מיתחזי כרמות רוחא {ישעיה נח-יג} וכבדתו מעשות דרכיך וכבדתו שלא יהא מלבושך של שבת כמלבושך של חול וכי הא. דרבי יוחנן קרי למאניה מכבדותי

This is about wearing different clothing to honor the שבת.

Then, in 113b we have:

ורחצת וסכת ושמת שמלותיך א''ר אלעזר אלו בגדים של שבת

And Rashi:

רש'י: שמלותיך וכי ערומה היתה אלא שמלות מיוחדות והיינו דשבת:

See also Tosafos in Bava Kama 37:

הרי הוא מועד לשבתות. מפרש בירושלמי לפי שראה אותם במלבושים נאים אחרים וחשובים בעיניו נכרים ואינו מכירם:

  • Thanks for the answer. Again, the source you brought says nothing about smart clothes. Rashi says מיוחדות - does that mean smart or just 'different from weekday'/'clean'
    – bondonk
    May 28, 2015 at 12:34
  • שלא יהא מלבושך של שבת כמלבושך של חול. Is that about clean clothing? Besides, מיוחדות means designated, not washed.
    – HaLeiVi
    May 28, 2015 at 13:50
  • See also Tosafos in Bava Kama 37: הרי הוא מועד לשבתות. מפרש בירושלמי לפי שראה אותם במלבושים נאים אחרים וחשובים בעיניו נכרים ואינו מכירם:
    – HaLeiVi
    May 28, 2015 at 13:56
  • Great! Please include in answer?
    – bondonk
    May 28, 2015 at 14:06

R' Aharon HaKohein MiLunil writes in his Orchos Chaim, din erev shabbos #9 that changing weekday clothes into Shabbos clothes is 'in order to remember that the day is holy and work is not allowed'.

He goes on to quote the statement that if someone does not have special clothes for shabbos, he should be 'mishalshel' his regular clothes. He explains this as meaning, normally a person's work clothes are worn high so they don't very ruined in the dirt as he works or runs, so on shabbos wear them lower so as not to be the regular way which is involved with work.

  • It seems that this source is talking about hard manual labour. In many jobs people wear smart/casual clothes without them getting spoilt.
    – bondonk
    May 27, 2015 at 11:33
  • First of all that would only be true concerning his second statement. But i also don't think he believes this halacha was invented only for people involved in certain labor. He is making a general point.
    – user6591
    May 27, 2015 at 11:39

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