In many synagogues, it is common to have an informal food gathering after services on Shabbat morning. This is very rarely, if ever, done Friday night. On Shabbat morning the way it's done is usually to have one person make Kiddush for everyone, and then everyone eats, although generally there is no Motzi made and no bread served. Some are careful to eat Mezonot so that the Kiddush has a Makom Seudah status. There are instances when this is done, along the same lines, at home.

Can one eat after Kiddush Friday night along the same lines? If not, why is it different?

The rules of eating a meal in the same place one made or heard kidush are written among the rules of Friday night's kidush (and applied to both). Thus, the rule (Mishna B'rura 273:25) that cake suffices for this (so one need not immediately eat bread) applies to the nighttime as well as the daytime kidush. (However, even if he is famished during the day and cannot eat cake or the like so eats fruit, he can't do so at night: cake or the like is required at night. MB 273:26.)

Why, then, don't people do this in synagogues? I suspect it's practical considerations: women aren't there (in many synagogues, and, in any event, traditionally haven't been there, and old habits die hard), so it's unusual to make a celebration in the synagogue, for the community, Friday night. Moreover, people with children want to go home before the children need to go to sleep. And similar considerations.

Moreover, there are two specific reasons to have a kidush with no bread in the morning that don't apply at night. One is that (in many synagogues) the prayers end before lunchtime in the morning, and people want to eat something light. The second is a specific custom (Taame Haminhagim, asterisked footnote to 299) to eat "four meals" (the second of which requires no bread) on Shabas, so that some people deliberately (even at home) eat something light and take a break before lunch even if it is already lunchtime.

  • 1. What is the reason given by the M"B? 2. What is the source for the 4th meal custom? – Seth J Jul 23 '12 at 1:17
  • @SethJ Which MB are you referring to? – Double AA Jul 23 '12 at 1:22
  • @doubleaa Cake being required at night. I can look it up, a but a brief explanation would make for a better answer. – Seth J Jul 23 '12 at 1:26
  • @SethJ You mean as opposed to fruit? He's quoting the Chaye Adam 2:6:22 who quotes the Elya Rabba which as far as I can tell doesn't exist. It's probably just a chumra because night time kiddush is deoraita. – Double AA Jul 23 '12 at 1:31
  • @SethJ, re night vs. day, MB doesn't give a reason, and, while I haven't checked, I'll take DoubleAA's word for what he wrote above. Re the fourth meal, see Taame Haminhagim, asterisked footnote to 299. – msh210 Jul 23 '12 at 3:33

Although msh210's answer would appear to reflect the opinion of Mishnah Berurah which does not differentiate between kiddush at night or during the day, there are opinions that argue and would limit the permission to follow kiddush with cake instead of bread to only the daytime kiddush (at least ideally).

R. Shlomo Ganzfried, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 77:14:

וְאִם לֹא אָכַל מִיָּד לְאַחַר הַקִּדּוּשׁ, לֹא יָצָא יְדֵי קִדּוּשׁ. וּבַיּוֹם אַף שֶׁאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לֶאֱכוֹל מִיָּד סְעוּדָּה קְבוּעָה, יָכוֹל לְקַדֵּשׁ וְלֶאֱכוֹל קְצָת פַּת כִּיסָנִין, וְאָז צָרִיךְ לִשְׁתּוֹת מִן הַכּוֹס רְבִיעִית.‏

And if one did not eat immediately after kiddush, he did not fulfill the mitzvah of kiddush. By day, even if he does not want to eat a formal meal immediately, he can recite the kiddush, and eat some cake, but then he must drink a revi'it [of wine] from the cup.

R. Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor, Ein Yitzchak 12:11:

לכתחלה יחוש להחמיר לאכול תיכף לחם אחר הקידוש של לילה אכן בקידוש היום יש להקל ולסמוך על מיני תרגימא או כוס יין שני

Ideally, one should be concerned for the stringent opinion and eat bread immediately following the nighttime kiddush. However, at the daytime kiddush, one can be lenient and rely on mezonot or a second cup of wine.

The reasoning behind this approach is summarized nicely in this article:

Although the Magen Avraham did not distinguish between the Friday Night and Shabbos Day Kiddush, and held that his ruling [i.e. that mezonot suffices for the meal following kiddush - JoelK] should apply equally, on the other hand, Rav Yitzchok Elchanan Spektor, the Kovno Rav and Gadol Hador of the late 1800s, did. He explained that on Shabbos Day, when Kiddush is only mandated derabbanan, one may certainly rely on Mezonos as a Seudah. Yet, on Friday night, when Kiddush is an actual chiyuv d’oraysa, due to the strength of the opposition to the Magen Avraham’s approach, he maintains that one should not rely on mere Mezonos, but should ensure that Kiddush is recited along with an entire bread-based Seudah.

This is why one does not often see a Friday night Kiddush being performed with Mezonos instead of Hamotzi.

  • IIUC R Soloveitchik (or R Moshe Feinstein?) concurred, reasoning that the Raavad (?) anyway permitted snacks before the morning Kiddush, so there's be a Sefek Sefeka in favor of eating Mezonot after Kiddush then. – Double AA Oct 11 at 13:54
  • 1
    @DoubleAA Raavad (Hil. Shabbos 29:10) maintains there is no prohibition against eating before kiddush with regard to the daytime kiddush. Indeed R. Soloveitchik explained that one may therefore only rely on פת הבא בכיסנין for the daytime kiddush (contra Magen Avraham). See Nefesh HaRav, p. 165 – wfb Oct 11 at 18:23

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