Yom Kippur -Enjoying Shabbos is Delighting in Hashem

There are those that have the custom to say the following pesukim at the beginning of kiddush every Shabbos day meal:

13 If you restrain your foot because of Shabbos, from performing your affairs on My holy day, and you call Shabbos a delight, the holy of Hashem honored, and you honor it by not doing your wonted ways, by not pursuing your affairs and speaking words.יגאִם־תָּשִׁ֚יב מִשַּׁבָּת֙ רַגְלֶ֔ךָ עֲשׂ֥וֹת חֲפָצֶ֖יךָ בְּי֣וֹם קָדְשִׁ֑י וְקָרָ֨אתָ לַשַּׁבָּ֜ת עֹ֗נֶג לִקְד֚וֹשׁ יְהֹוָה֙ מְכֻבָּ֔ד וְכִבַּדְתּוֹ֙ מֵֽעֲשׂ֣וֹת דְּרָכֶ֔יךָ מִמְּצ֥וֹא חֶפְצְךָ֖ וְדַבֵּ֥ר דָּבָֽר:
14Then, you shall delight with Hashem, and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the land, and I will give you to eat the heritage of Yaakov your father, for the mouth of Hashem has spoken.ידאָ֗ז תִּתְעַנַּג֙ עַל־יְהֹוָ֔ה וְהִרְכַּבְתִּ֖יךָ עַל־בָּ֣מֳתֵי (כתיב בָּ֣מֳותֵי) אָ֑רֶץ וְהַֽאֲכַלְתִּ֗יךָ נַֽחֲלַת֙ יַֽעֲקֹ֣ב אָבִ֔יךָ כִּ֛י פִּ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה דִּבֵּֽר:

These 2 pesukim are the conclusion of the Haftorah for the morning of Yom Kippur from Yeshayahu perek 58.

There are many aspects of Shabbos that are derived from these pesukim, amongst them being is the mitzvah of oneg Shabbos, delighting in Shabbos. This mitzvah is elaborated on in the gemara Shabbos 118b. Concerning the miztva of oneg Shabbos the gemara states, “Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: With regard to anyone who delights in Shabbos, G-D grants him his heart’s desires, as it is stated: “And you shall delight in G-D and He will grant you your heart’s desires” (Psalms 37:4). This delight in G-D, which is mentioned in the verse, I do not know what it is. When it says: “And you shall call Shabbos delight,” one must say: It is the delight of Shabbos. The Gemara asks: With what does one delight in the day of Shabbos? Rav Yehuda, son of Rav Shmuel bar Sheilat, said in the name of Rav: With a dish of beets, and large fish, and heads of garlic. Rav Ḥiyya bar Ashi said that Rav said: Even with regard to a small item and one prepared it in deference to Shabbos, it is a delight. The Gemara asks: What is the small item mentioned? Rav Pappa said: Small fried salty fish.(Click here for Hebrew text.)

What was considered a delicacy back then is very different from what we eat today. Nowadays if you want to be very fancy, people have three-layered kugels consisting of kishke, potato kugel, and pieces of meat, fancy roasts for the main course Shabbos night, pastrami meat and kishke in their cholent Shabbos day, 5 types of herring, and tons of spreads to put onto their challah, and of course dessert. By the time Shabbos is over they feel something else… sick to their stomach! Is that really what the mitzvah of delighting in Shabbos is meant to be? On the other hand, just having a can of sardines, even if you have in mind it’s for the sake of enjoying Shabbos, seems not to be the greatest respect to the mitzvah; so why just because one prepares a simple food in deference to Shabbos is it considered fulfilling the mitzvah of oneg Shabbos, delighting in Shabbos?

The Radak on these two pesukim has a very interesting approach to defining precisely what the mitzvah of oneg Shabbos is. He explains in pasuk 13 that “’If you restrain because of Shabbos’ refers to the negative mitzvos ‘and you shall call Shabbos a delight’ the positive mitzvos to delight the body on the day of Shabbos with good and sweet food. For by having better food [on Shabbos] than the rest of the week one will remember the creation of the world, and that G-D made it from nothing and rested on the seventh day. And through [thinking about this] one will give praise to G-D and glorify Him with his mouth and heart and his soul will delight in it.”

In the following pasuk the Radak elaborates, “’Then you shall delight with Hashem’ if you delight on Shabbos you will delight with Hashem, meaning He will shower you with goodness until you will delight with Him and thank Him, and His goodness for everything comes from Him and it’s all within His ability. And delighting with Hashem is the delight of the soul. Rav Saadia Gaon explain that physical delight, meaning delight of your body shall be with Hashem, unlike the fools, as it says by them, ‘delight is not nice to the fool.’ But the intellectual will not overindulge himself in delicacies, rather it will be calculated within reason, for he is involved in wisdom, and he delights in that more, however delighting the body within reason will make the mind better and strengthen its 3 powers, (1) the power of memory, (2) the power to differentiate, (3) the power to think.”
(Click here for Hebrew text.)

The gemara in Shabbos implied that one who is poor should simply have in mind that he makes is for the sake of delighting in Shabbos; then whatever it is counts for the mitzva, even if it is not so elaborate. It is the thought that counts, as they say. However, this is true even when someone is well-off. The Radak is in fact saying that one’s attitude or intent, even when creating an elaborate spread, is what is important for the mitzvah of delighting in Shabbos. Indeed, the whole point in having all these fancy foods which we would not have during the week is to come to a realization of how special this day is. To remind us of how Hashem created the world, something from nothing, and rested on the 7th day. And through this thought process, one will be inspired to sing zmiros, songs of praise to Hashem, as we have for all the meals, and finally in this way one will feel a spiritual elation, a delight for the soul that connects one to His Creator. Chazal say, in fact, that Shabbos is a taste of the Paradise in the World To Come. The key, in fact, is the intent for the sake of enjoying Shabbos, the overindulgence the gluttony is in fact foolish, as Rav Saadia Gaon points out.

One must use his or her mind intelligently and know themselves, live within their means, and not only monetarily but healthily understanding how much one can eat and exactly what can be eaten. This will improve one’s spiritual and intellectual self, and, in that way, one will come to the pure and true goal of delighting in Shabbos ,which is delighting with Hashem. But using these physical means to get to the ultimate spiritual purpose might be the hardest thing to balance, but Hashem gave us the ability and potential to understand ourselves and reach such an incredible feat.