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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? – Shoel U'Meishiv May 31 '15 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. – bluejayke May 31 '15 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. – Shoel U'Meishiv May 31 '15 at 14:57
  • And they have a third meal later also? – bluejayke May 31 '15 at 15:03
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    @cham many shuls have pretty substantial kiddushes featuring cholent, meat, kugel, baked goods, liquor, etc. – Daniel May 31 '15 at 15:45
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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).

  • The accepted halakha is actually to require bread at all three meals. judaism.stackexchange.com/a/76813/759 This is not withstanding that if you can't meet this requirement might as well fulfill the obligation according to opinions we don't rule like. – Double AA Dec 10 at 12:47
  • @DoubleAA Agreed. Edited to tighten the language – Joel K Dec 10 at 12:52
  • @DoubleAA not necessarily according to chabad at all many hold even singing a niggun would count. Also the Tzemach Tzedek says one would fulfill his obliation... – bluejayke Dec 11 at 2:32
  • @blue I'm only speaking according to traditional Judaism. Singing a song is not a traditional Jewish food nor is it mentioned as a meal option according to any of the opinions in Shulchan Arukh. As the Alter Rebbe of Chabad wrote about the other opinions ואין לסמוך כלל על כל זה אלא אם כן אי אפשר כלל בענין אחר כגון שהוא שבע ביותר ואי אפשר לו לאכול פת בלא שיצער את עצמו So if you have no bread, sing all the songs in the world. It can't hurt. – Double AA Dec 11 at 2:42
  • @Double the words of the shulchan aruch arne't the only thing we poskin like ,it happens to be that rubam kikulom of the laws mentioned in the alters rebbes shulchan aruch are not what we follow; rather, what is mentioned either in his own siddur, or the descisions of the tzemach tzedek made afterwards, which reflect the alter rebbe's later opinion, which we always go by -- the later decisions of a posik. It happens to be that the established chabad minhag as recorded in sefer minhagim (from various letters of the rebbeiem) is to specifically eat only a mezonos meal by the seuda shlishis – bluejayke Dec 12 at 1:08
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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? – bluejayke May 31 '15 at 15:45
  • @user2016831 no, you understood correctly. It's one of the opinions. – Y     e     z May 31 '15 at 15:46
  • So then that still doesn't account for the second meal consisting of mezonos only – bluejayke May 31 '15 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. – Y     e     z May 31 '15 at 17:33
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    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 '16 at 19:03

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