Last week we learned about the importance of one preparing for Shabbat by himself, this week we will learn about what are the preparations one should make for shabbat.
The Sages state that there are three things one must say in his home as it gets dark on Friday: (1) “Has the produce been tithed?” If it has not, he must do so; (2) “Has an eruv ĥatzerot been set up?” If it has not, he must do so. (3) “Remember to light the candle on time” (Shabbat 34a).
Today, when we generally buy our produce already tithed, and there are community representatives in charge of the eruv, we no longer need to ask about the first two. But each person still needs to make sure that his home is ready for Shabbat: that the timers controlling lights and the heat/air conditioning are set, that the refrigerator light is off, and that the food is on the plata (a warming tray with no temperature controls), and, with the new type of refrigerator, that it has been set to “Shabbat” mode. It is also proper on Friday to separate the attached plastic containers of some dairy products, and to open bottles that have metal caps. It is good to open those cans and packages that will be used to store food for a few days or longer.