I've seen a few questions on this site relating to meals on shabbat, but I believe my question is unique from them.

At the shul I go to for shabbat, they eat one bread meal in Friday night, and one bread meal shabbos afternoon, right before shkia. In the middle, they make kiddish over mezonos delicacies right after musaf.

Can someone explain to me if this is halachically accurate? I thought that one is supposed to eat 3 meals on shabbos, with (at least) the first two consisting of bread. The Rabbi at this shul said that the middle mezonos meal counts as the second meal. What is his halachic basis for this, if any? What are the sources which discuss what the 3 meals of shabbos must consist of?

  • Does everyone go home to have their own lunch meal? May 31, 2015 at 14:24
  • Some do, but not most. The shul is actually on the same property as a house where the rabbi and his family stay on shabbos, and there they don't have a separate lunch meal.
    – user8832
    May 31, 2015 at 14:47
  • So I can't speak for this particular Rabbi. But mezonos is a enough to be called "kvias seuda" in order to make Kiddush, depending on the amount of mezonos was eaten. But the minhag is in many places to have a Kiddush after Davening usually featuring cake crackers kugel and the like. But everyone goes back home and has a regular meal with lechem mishne two loaves of bread. May 31, 2015 at 14:57
  • And they have a third meal later also?
    – user8832
    May 31, 2015 at 15:03
  • 1
    @cham many shuls have pretty substantial kiddushes featuring cholent, meat, kugel, baked goods, liquor, etc.
    – Daniel
    May 31, 2015 at 15:45

2 Answers 2


As you noted in the question, the accepted halacha is that one requires bread at the first two meals (Shulchan Aruch 274:4). At the third meal, one needs to eat bread as well; however, there are opinions that one fulfills his obligation with mezonot items (or even meat and fish, or possibly even fruit) (Shulchan Aruch 291:5).

Now, the opinion that allows one to follow kiddush with mezonot in order to fulfill the requirement of kiddush bemakom se'udah (that kiddush must take place in the context of a 'meal') is that of Magen Avraham 273:11.

However, I contend that even Magen Avraham believes that these mezonot would not count as his second shabbat meal. I base this on Magen Avraham 274:2 where he discusses someone who has no appetite to eat on Friday night. Magen Avraham writes that such a person should make kiddush on Friday night and eat/drink a little to fulfill kiddush bemakom se'udah, and then must eat three full meals on shabbat day.

So, even according to Magen Avraham, eating mezonot on Friday night does not count as his first meal. I contend the same is true regarding the second meal, as in your case.

However, it must be noted that some do hold that, bedi'avad one would fulfill his second meal with mezonot. Responsa Divrei David 86 (R. David Meldola, 18th century) writes that, although one has acted incorrectly in not eating bread at his second meal, he has fulfilled his obligation bedi'avad. He therefore rules that if one eats bread at a subsequent meal and forgets to add retzei in birkat hamazon he does not repeat, as this bread meal is considered the third shabbat meal, where forgetting retzei does not necessitate repetition (see Shulchan Aruch 188:8).

  • Great deduction! According to Magan Avraham it would seem that one needs Hamotzi also for SHabbos lunch as a Kal Vachomer from Friday Night meal based on the Principal Kevod Hayom Adif
    – user15464
    Dec 12, 2019 at 14:47
  • I was travelling and spent Shabbos with a community that fulfilled the second meal with mezonot. When I retirned I asked my Rav who said that this was satisfactory. Sep 7, 2023 at 14:58

Tosefos to Pesachim 101a s.v. טעמו מידי writes

נראה דהיינו טעימת לחם כדאמרינן בפ"ג דשבועות (דף כב:) כדאמרי אינשי ניטעום מידי ואזלי ואכלי ושתו ואם מועיל מיני תרגימא להשלים ג' סעודות שבת כמו בסוכה היינו דוקא בסעודה שלישית אבל לא בסעודת ערבית ושחרית שהם עיקר כבוד שבת

[For kiddush b'makom seudah] they specifically ate bread... and if מיני תרגימא (could be fruit, could be mezonos of the 5 species - Tosefos on 107b s.v. מיני תרגימא) and the like work to complete the 3 meals of Shabbos, that is specifically for the third meal, but not the first two, which constitute the primary honor of Shabbos.

The Tur O.C. 273 quotes the Ga'onim:

ודוקא שאכל לחם או שתה יין אבל אכל פירות לא

Specifically if he ate bread or drank wine, but not fruit.

Although there is an excluded middle in the Geonim (skipping from bread to fruit and leaving mezonos unaddressed), mezonos would seem to be included as being at least as good as wine. The Mogen Avrohom 273:11 explicitly makes this point, and writes that mezonos is more qualified for seudas Shabbos than wine is.

The Mishneh Berurah 273:25 cites this Mogen Avrohom. However, in the Be'ur Halacha there s.v. כתבו הגאונים, he cites from ספר מעשה רב that the Gra held that specifically bread makes a Shabbos seudah.

So there is room to go both ways - some opinions hold that mezonos (and even wine) is enough to fulfill the seuda requirement, and some hold that specifically bread is required.

  • It seems from the tosefos cited that fruits /mezonos only fulfill the obligation for the third meal.did I understand this wrong?
    – user8832
    May 31, 2015 at 15:45
  • @user2016831 no, you understood correctly. It's one of the opinions. May 31, 2015 at 15:46
  • So then that still doesn't account for the second meal consisting of mezonos only
    – user8832
    May 31, 2015 at 16:03
  • @user2016831 Right, according to Tosefos you could not have the second meal consist of only mezonos. That is why I also cited the Mogen Avrohom, which is cited l'halacha by the Mishneh Berurah. It is a machlokes, and I cited both opinions. The practice of the Rabbi at this shul is in accordance with the Mogen Avrohom. However, there are other opinions, and perhaps one would best have bread to satisfy all opinions. As always, consult your Rabbi for practical application. May 31, 2015 at 17:33
  • 2
    Why do you assume the requirements of Seudah regarding Kiddush BeMakom Seudah are the same as the requirements of Seudah regarding 3-Seudot? A priori they need not be the same. The MA actually implies they are different. Look at his Kol VaHomer: if Mezonot is more of a Seudah than wine as regards Seudot Shabbat, certainly it's more of a Seudah than wine as regards Kiddush BeMakom Seudah, so it too should work for the Geonim.
    – Double AA
    Oct 10, 2016 at 19:03

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