Seuda Shelishit

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Obligation

  1. There is an obligation to eat three meals on shabbat, [1] and if one missed the meal on friday night, he should eat three during the day. [2]
  2. The obligation of eating the third meal of Shabbat (Seudat Shelishit) is rabbinic. [3]
  3. Women are obligated in Seudat Shelishit. [4]

Amount to eat

  1. If one is full one should eat at least a KeBaytzah of bread.[5] However, if one is unable one should at least have a Kezayit. [6]
  2. If one can not eat at all then one is not obligated to pain oneself, as this would violate oneg shabbos. Nonetheless, a wise person will see ahead and leave room for Suedat Shelishit. [7]
  3. One must eat bread for Seudat Shelishit, however, if one is very full and is unable, then one should eat Mezonot. If that is also impossible one should have food which usually accompany bread such as meat or fish or at least fruit (cooked fruit is preferable). If one doesn't have fruit then one may use a Reviyit of wine. [8]
  4. According to Sephardim one should be careful to have two whole loaves of bread for Lechem Mishneh at Seudat Shelishit. However, according to Ashkenazim, it's preferable to have two whole loaves but it's sufficient to have just one whole loaf. [9]
  5. If one only has one whole loaf of bread and a broken piece one should use the whole one for Seuda Shelishit instead of saving it for Melava Malka. [10]
  6. One doesn't need to cover the loaves of bread before making HaMotzei, however, it's preferable to cover them even at Suedat Shelishit. [11]

Timing

  1. The earliest time to fulfill Seudat Shelishit is from 6 and a 1/2 hours (Shaot Zmaniot) into the day. [12]
  2. The Minhag is to eat Seudat Shelishit between Mincha and Maariv/Arvit. [13] If one is unable to have it after mincha one should have it before mincha. [14]
  3. Although it is forbidden to begin eating after sunset until one says havdala, [15] and it is definitely preferable to eat before sunset, some poskim give extra time to begin the meal if one hasn't yet eaten seuda shlishit.
  • Mishna Berura 299:1 says that if one hasn't yet eaten the meal or is really starving then one can still eat until a half hour before the tzet hakovachim.
  • Pninei Halacha Shabbat vol. 1 page 130 quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein Iggerot Moshe 4:62 and Yalkut Yosef 291:20 that one has until thirteen minutes and a half minutes after sunset.
  1. If one began eating before sunset he may continue after. [16]

Other

  1. There is no obligation to do Kiddush at Suedat Shelishit, but it is nice to make a beracha on wine during the meal. [17]

References

  1. Mishna Berura 291:1. This is based on the gemara in shabbat 117b which derives from the verse in Shemot 16:25 which mentions the word "hayom" meaning today three times.
  2. Rama 291:1
  3. Mishna Brurah 291:1. See Sh"t Tzitz Eliezer 16:13. Maharil 94, Peri Megadim 291 in Mishbetzot Zahav 1 say that it is rabbinic. Sefer Chareidim 14:3 disagrees though and says that it is from the torah.
  4. S"A 291:6. This is based on Rabbeinu Tam in Sefer Hayashar 70:4 which says that women are obligated because they too were part of the miracle of the manna. The Ran on Shabbat 44a says that it is based on the same source as a woman's obligation in kiddush, that since they are obligated in refraining from melacha, they are also obligated in the mitzvot aseh even if it is only rabbinic. The Aruch Hashulchan 291:4 says that many women are unaware of their obligation and we should work to fix that.
  5. S"A 291:1
  6. Mishna Brurah 291:2, Kaf HaChaim 291:5, Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat vol 1 pg 399)
  7. S"A 291:1
  8. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat vol 1 pg 409)
  9. S"A and Rama 291:4. SA is based on Rambam Shabbat 30:9 and Rama based on Tosafot Yoma 79b "minei"
  10. Biur Halacha 291 D"H VeLePachot
  11. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 291:9)
  12. S"A 291:2. The Behag quoted by the Ran Shabbat 43b "tanu rabanan" says that it could be eaten at any time of the day, but Tosfot Shabbat 118a "bimincha" and Rosh Shabbat 16:5 say that it is specifically at the start of mincha gedola. Shulchan Aruch rules like Tosfot and the Rosh. Aruch Hashulchan 291:3 says that you don't fulfill your obligation if you eat earlier than that. He says though in 291:6 that if one began before mid-day and had in mind to continue until after mid-day and fulfill his obligation then he does fulfill it.
  13. Rama 291:2. Rabbeinu Tam quoted by the Tosfot Pesachim 105a "vihanafka mina", as well as the Rosh Shabbat 10:13 say that one should eat before saying mincha because it is forbidden to drink water between mincha and arvit on shabbat. Rambam Hilchot Shabbat 30:10 writes that it is best to eat it after saying mincha. The Rama quotes both opinions and says that the minhag is to do like the Rambam. The Magen Avraham 291:5 says this is because of the prohibition to eat before davening mincha. Aruch Hashulchan 291:4 also says the minhag is that way also.
  14. Aruch HaShulchan 291:4. Mishna Berura 291:11 says to make sure to eat before the time of mincha ketana arrives.
  15. Shulchan Aruch 291:1
  16. Shulchan Aruch 299:1. Mishna Berura 291:2 says that having said the beracha is enough of a start to your meal to allow one to continue afterwards. Shulchan Aruch says that this only applies to one who is eating, but if he is only drinking not as part of the meal, he may not continue. He also quotes an opinion that this only applies during bein hashemashot but after tzet hakochavim one would not be allowed to continue. Rama says that the minhag is not so, rather one can continue even after tzet hakochavim.
  17. Shulchan Aruch 291:4 says you do not need to say kiddush for seudat shlishit, and Mishna Berura 291:21 adds that it is nice to make the beracha on wine because it enhances the meal. Rambam Shabbat 30:9 says that we establish the third meal with lechem mishne and wine. The Tur 291 says that this sounds like we should say kiddush on seudat shlishit as well, but says that the Rosh disagrees because just like there is only one kiddush at night, so too in the day. The Beit Yosef 291 says since most rishonim hold that we don't say kiddush, it is unnecessary, but you don't lose anything if you do. Rav Avigdor Neventzal in the Misna Berura Biyitzchak Yikare 291:4 footnote “ein tzarich” says that Rav Shlomo Zalman did drink wine during the meal, and adds that if one person says the beracha out loud, everybody fulfills the rambam that one should establish his meal on wine.