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On days when we are obligated to eat (at least) 2 festive meals, must one eat one on the evening and one as lunch? Or may one have 2 daytime meals. This may come up if at a hotel or the like dinner is served before shkiya.

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The Gemara in Shabbat 117b (bottom of the daf) brings an argument between the Sages and Rabbi Chidka on how many meals one must eat on Shabbat. The Sages say 3 - 1 at night and 2 in the day; R' Chidka says 4 - 1 at night and 3 in the day. The halacha is like the Sages, but either way, we see that we need one at night.

ת"ר כמה סעודות חייב אדם לאכול בשבת שלש רבי חידקא אומר ארבע. א"ר יוחנן ושניהם מקרא אחד דרשו (שמות טז, כה) ויאמר משה אכלוהו היום כי שבת היום לה' היום לא תמצאהו בשדה; רבי חידקא סבר הני תלתא היום לבר מאורתא, ורבנן סברי בהדי דאורתא. (text from Sefaria)

Interestingly, and relevant to the case you mention, the Rema in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 291:1 says that one who did not eat a meal Friday night can make it up and have 3 meals during the day.

ומי שלא אכל בליל שבת יאכל שלש סעודות ביום השבת

  • Do you know if this applies equally to yom tov? And how lechatchila or bedieved is the making up meals during the day? – andrewmh20 Apr 9 '15 at 4:08

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