In this article regarding the Shabbat Challah loaves, The Shmirat Shabbat KeHilchata (vol. II 55:5) is quoted as saying:

The loaves must each be at least the size of an olive

Normally, the size of the food being eaten does not matter when making a preceding blessing (see here, for example). The only requirement is that, in order to make an after-blessing, one must eat the required amount within a set time-period (see here, for example)

I don't have access to the Shmirat Shabbat KeHilchata, and I'm looking for sources and an explanation why the loaves used on Shabbat have a minimum size requirement.

  • 2
    I'm thinking you may want to take a look at the original Hebrew if you can get it. Check Hebrewbooks.
    – Seth J
    Jul 26, 2012 at 4:52
  • @SethJ: I haven't found Shmirat Shabat Kehilchata anywhere online yet, and I have no access to the original sefer.
    – Menachem
    Jul 26, 2012 at 6:21
  • @SethJ Menachem, I have transcribed the english text in my answer.
    – Ariel
    Jul 26, 2012 at 6:32
  • -1; IMHO, I think that if a kezayit is not enough to induce oneg shabbat, a person has not fulfilled their obligation of a seudah. Aug 12, 2012 at 20:36
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    @AdamMosheh: Thanks for explaining your reason for downvoting. However, I'm not sure I understand it. You seem to be addressing something different to my question. Regardless of whether the person is satisfied with a kezayit, the Sh"Sh"K is saying that the challah rolls used when making the Hamotzie blessing should be at least a Kezayit. I'm asking why. Your response seems to be that it is not a good question because a person must eat until he is satisfied on Shabbat. Even if that is the case, why couldn't he have a bunch of small rolls until he is satiated?
    – Menachem
    Aug 12, 2012 at 22:09

2 Answers 2


The minimum shiur to fulfill the mitzva of eating a seuda on Shabbos is a kezayis O Ch 271 MB [35].

That means that you must have one loaf of at least a kezayit. The second loaf comes for the (separate) obligation of lechem mishneh.

ADDITION: The sources quoted by the Shmiras Shabbos Kehilchoso are:

  1. Kaf Hachaim 274 sk 8 says that in בית מנוחה או׳ י״ב‏ it says that loaves less than a kezayis are alright for Lechem Mishneh but the Kaf Hachaim (of R' Chaim Pelaji) 36:44 does not allow it even if you have 12 loaves like that. He also quotes the ד) ,פתה״ד) (Petach HaDvir) who agrees with the Kaf Hachaim.

  2. Rivevos Efraim 1 (204). He quotes as follows:

    • Sdei Chemed (Ma'arechet Lamed, Klal 27) brings:
      • Chikrei Lev – doubtful
      • Beis Menucha - ok
      • Pesach HaDvir – is machmir but it does work bedieved
    • Rabbi Y Bernstein (?) – one should be concerned for those who who do not allow it; even if he could make up the kezayis with other pieces of bread
    • Rav Ch Kanievsky wrote to him that “מסתבר שצריך כזית”. He recommends studying שאלי ציון part 1 (9) (not on Hebrewbooks.com).


  • 4
    I don't follow. Couldn't you have two loaves each a half zayit, and eat both of them?
    – Double AA
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:15
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    As @DoubleAA pointed out, that is just how much you have to eat. That applies during the week as well. It doesn't say that the loaves you're making a blessing on have to have a minimum size, just that you have to eat a minimum amount ---- Also, look in Shaar HaTzion 43, where he says that it looks like one has to eat the volume of an egg to fulfill the mitzva of seudat shabbat.
    – Menachem
    Jul 26, 2012 at 22:47
  • I had found the Petach Devir from the Kaf HaChaim hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=7976&st=&pgnum=187 but I wasn't able to understand his argument
    – Double AA
    Jul 27, 2012 at 14:21
  • Avrohom Yitzchok, thanks for the additional information and sources!
    – Seth J
    Jul 27, 2012 at 14:39
  • 1
    @DoubleAA From what I could see the Petach Dvir that you quoted is concerned with joining two “half breads” when he does not have a whole loaf. I suggest the reference is to here where he says that it is poshut that you cannot use bread less than a kezayit because (my translation) it is “not bread as far as the brocho of hamotzi is concerned and as far as doing your duty of eating matzo on Pesach”. (!) I haven’t been able to decipher the rest now. Jul 27, 2012 at 16:00

Someone told me that his father taught him that in order to wash, the bread must be at least the size of an egg. I asked him for sources but he didn't have any, so neither do I.

But maybe someone here has heard this too.

From the English, volume 3 (not 2):

One should make a point of taking, for lechem mishneh, loaves which are each at least a ka-zayith in size.

Note the change from "must" to "make a point of".

  • 1
    This is really a separate question, rather than an answer to this one. That being said, one must always wash, but in order to make a blessing on the washing, one must eat at least 2 olive-size worth of bread (i.e. the size of an egg) See "Seder Netilat Yadayim Le'Seuda" in the Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Halacha 18: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=25072&pgnum=664 -- see here for an explanation (Orach Chaim 158:2) chabadlibrary.org/books/adhaz/sh/sh1/13/158/2.htm
    – Menachem
    Jul 26, 2012 at 6:33
  • @Menachem Thanks! Sorry I couldn't answer your question, but I did get an answer to mine :) (I've always wondered why.)
    – Ariel
    Jul 26, 2012 at 6:36
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    @DoubleAA: I should have. In fact, that's what is says in the Shulchan Aruch I linked to.
    – Menachem
    Jul 26, 2012 at 22:36
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    @msh210: The second Shulchan Aruch HaRav I linked to above (158:2) says that the reason we wash without a blessing is because some say that there is no need to wash if one is eating less than an egg size piece. See a discussion on this in the Ketzos Hashulchan, Badei HaShulchan 36:4, who brings the Beit Yosef who quotes the Rokeach that one should wash without a blessing, and explains why the Shulchan Aruch HaRav gives a different reason than the Beit Yosef. hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=7721&pgnum=34 -- can you point out any Acharonim who say one need not wash at all?
    – Menachem
    Jul 26, 2012 at 22:46
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    @Menachem The Mishna Berura quotes the Bach, Taz, Gra, Birkei Yosef, and Rashbatz who hold that no washing at all is necessary on less than an olive. I haven't checked those inside. The Aruch Hashulchan notes that the common practice is not to wash on less than an olive in accordance with the above cited opinions.
    – Double AA
    Jul 27, 2012 at 0:37

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