Rabbi Yehuda added: One must enjoy himself on this day [of Shabbat, not only set the table] with three meals, in order that there will be satisfaction and pleasure in the world on that day. [Human delight stimulates delight Above which then prevails below.]

Rabbi Aba explained that [this is] in order that blessings may spread to the supernal days which receive their blessing from that day. On this day, the head of Zeir Anpin is filled with dew which descends from the most hidden Atika Kadisha [in Keter]. He [Zeir Anpin] causes it to descend into the Field of Holy Apple Trees [Shechinah] three times [at each of the Shabbat meals] from the time of the entrance of the Shabbat, in order that all [seven lower sefirot and thus all seven days of the week] may enjoy the blessing.

Therefore, a man should enjoy [Shabbat meals during] these three times for on them depends [sustenance] from the true supernal faith [of Ohr Ein Sof, as these meals correspond to three sefirotic realms]: in [1] Atika Kadisha [2] in Zeir Anpin and [3] the Field of Holy Apple Trees. [He who lessens the number of the meals exposes a blemish into the regions Above, and his punishment will be great. One who omits a meal impairs its corresponding divine aspect; one who completes all three meals demonstrates and actualizes the entire spectrum of faith.]

Therefore, it is necessary to prepare the table with three meals upon the entrance of the Shabbat, and his table must not be empty. Thus, blessing will rest upon it during all the other week days, for therein depends [sustenance] from the true faith Above.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

What is Above is below, and what we do below influences Above.
This is the spiritual version of give-and-take. All of our actions, words, and thoughts cause tremendous effect onto the sublime worlds. Our Shabbat is a taste of Heaven on earth. Many of us unfortunately fail to keep this before us always for the 25+ hours. What does it mean to rest? To cease? To enjoy? To delight? To be joyful? These are questions we should ponder before every Shabbat, so that when the Gates to this awesome "Palace of Time" (as it referred to by Rabbi Heschel) open, we are present and mindful and accepting. This Shabbat, contemplate the Above and create for yourself a world of difference between it and the weekday.

What does this mean to you, and why are you reading it now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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