Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Seudos Shabbos and Oneg Shabbos

In the previous post we mentioned the Mishna in Pesachim that one should not eat on Erev Pesach. We quoted the Rashbam who explained that the gezairah is part of an inyan of hiddur mitzvah that one should eat the matzah with an appetite. The gemara there brings the opinion of R' Yehuda that this halacha is even true by erev shabbos and erev yom tov (that one should not eat then either).

I heard an interesting exposition of three ways to learn the gemara. The pashtus of the gemara would be to say that the din of not eating on erev pesach and not eating on erev shabbos/yom tov is all the same halacha. However, the Rashbam doesn't say that. Instead of discussing hiddur mitzvah by shabbos/yom tov like he did by Pesach, the Rashbam says that the inyan is one of chavivus. In order that the kiddush and the seudah should be chaviv, one shouldn't eat before them. Why does the Rashbam steer away from the idea of hiddur mitzvah that he proposed by Pesach.

The idea may be that whereas by Pesach there is a maaseh mitzvah to eat matzah. By Shabbos and Yom Tov there is no maaseh mitzvah of eating. Rather, the whole concept of the seudah is an inyan of oneg shabbos. If so, it is the person's individual pleasure that is important, not the specific performance of a maaseh mitzvah of achilah. Therefore, the Rashbam turns to chavivus when discussing Shabbos and Yom Tov.

The idea that the seudos are inyanim of oneg shabbos is clear from the Rambam in Hilchos Shabbos 30:9. The Rambam in Chometz U'Matzeh 6:12 is also clear that the idea not to eat on erev pesach is because of chavivus (against the Rashbam). It could be that the Rambam understood this way because he wanted to learn the gemara k'pshuto, that the din by Shabbos/Yom Tov and the din by Pesach is all one din.

Finally, we can present a possible third shitah as the shitah of the Yeraim. The Yeraim in Siman 92 discusses the mitzvah of the seudos shabbos. In Siman 412 he brings the mitzvah of oneg shabbos. The implication is that they are two separate mitzvos (against the Rambam). Therefore, the Yeraim may hold that by both Pesach and Shabbos and Yom Tov the halacha is a halacha in hiddur mitzvah, as the halacha to eat in both situations is a formalized maaseh mitzvah. The Yeraim may even derive his halacha from this sugya in Pesachim. Once the sugya implied that Pesach and Shabbos/Yom Tov is one, it became clear that the mitzvah to eat on Shabbos is independent of Oneg Shabbos.