Chapter: 07 – Shabbat Meals and Melaveh Malka

01. The Mitzva of Se’udot Shabbat (Festive Shabbat Meals)

The Sages state: “One who eats three festive meals on Shabbat is spared from three misfortunes: the birth-pangs of the Messiah, condemnation to hell, and Armageddon” (Shabbat 118a). The Sages also state: “Whoever delights in Shabbat is spared from imperial … Continue reading

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02. The Parameters of the Mitzva

There are two mitzvot pertaining to the Shabbat meal. One is oneg, the mitzva to delight in Shabbat, as it is written: “Call Shabbat ‘delight’ (oneg)” (Yeshayahu 58:13). Oneg is fulfilled primarily through the meals, but snacks and a Shabbat … Continue reading

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03. Leĥem Mishneh (Two Loaves) and Cutting the Bread

There is a mitzva to use two loaves of bread on Shabbat, to commemorate the double portion of manna that fell on Fridays when the Jews were in the desert and that was referred to as leĥem mishneh (Shabbat 117b). … Continue reading

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04. The Importance of the Shabbat Day Meal

The daytime meal is more important than the Friday night meal, so the best foods should be saved for this second meal. Regarding kiddush, however, Friday night is more important, because we are meant to sanctify the day as close … Continue reading

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05. Se’uda Shlishit

If one does not have bread for se’uda shlishit or finds it difficult to eat bread, be-di’avad he may fulfill his obligation by eating mezonot. Although one may not use mezonot for the first and second meals (SA 274:4), when … Continue reading

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06. Birkat Ha-mazon

The Sages instituted a special passage to be inserted into Birkat Ha-mazon on Shabbat: “Retzei Ve-haĥalitzenu” (“Favor and strengthen us”). In it we ask that our Shabbat rest and our fulfillment of Shabbat mitzvot find favor with God, and that … Continue reading

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07. The Significance of Melaveh Malka

The Sages state that it is a mitzva to set the table on Saturday night for the melaveh malka (lit. “accompanying the queen”) meal, with which we honor Shabbat at its departure (Shabbat 119b). When one must say goodbye to … Continue reading

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08. The Laws Pertaining to Melaveh Malka

Since the melaveh malka is meant to extend the Shabbat experience to the weekdays, it is comparable to the other Shabbat meals. Thus it is appropriate to put a tablecloth on the table and set it nicely. It is also … Continue reading

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