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When is the last time one can eat a meal on Motzei Shabbos and still have it considered Melavah Malkah? When is the deadline?

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Out of curiosity, what is the 'hava mina' on this question? –  avi Aug 8 '11 at 4:46
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@avi, there must be some end time. What that time is seems to me to be a natural question. –  msh210 Aug 8 '11 at 19:25
    
Why must there be an end time? What makes something a 'melavah malka' other than intent? Until what time can one eat dinner? Until what date can one have a birthday party? I'm not suggesting its a bad question, I'm just curious what the 'options' are here. –  avi Aug 8 '11 at 19:37
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@avi, the g'mara says (I don't know where, and, tbh, am not sure it's a g'mara but know it's an early source) that the body part from which we'll be regenerated at t'chiyas hamesim is nourished by m'lave malka and nothing else (whatever that means), so there must be some food which qualifies as m'lave malka and some which does not. You propose that intent is what determines whether given food is m'lave malka. The asker proposed that time does. No offense, but time sounds more reasonable to me: Thursday breakfast, no matter my intent, likely doesn't count. Maybe I'm wrong, though. –  msh210 Aug 12 '11 at 5:00
    
@msh210 - It's the Luz bone. –  Adam Mosheh May 13 '12 at 5:25
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Melavah Malkah means escorting the queen. Therefore the sooner one eats Melavah Malkah the better. However, if one is not capable of eating right after Shabbos one may delay the meal until later, however not later than midnight (Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchoso 63:5, Yechave Da'as 4:25). Kaf HaChaim 300:14 holds that it should L’Chatchila be eaten within four provisional hours after sunset. I have heard that there were some Chasidishe Rabbis that ate Melava Malkah Sunday morning however I do not know which ones.

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Doesn't the Aruch Hashulchan write that if your Seudah Shlishit continues past shkiyat hachammah, then it can be considered your melaveh malka if you eat another kezayit of lechem. –  Adam Mosheh May 13 '12 at 5:27
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Rav Ovadia Yosef rules like the Gr"a - that you can do it until morning. Of course one should try do do it as prescribed by the Caf Hahaim (in @GershonGold's answer), but if this time passes it doesn't mean you've lost the opportunity of the misva. You still can (and should) do it.

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