When is the last time one can eat a meal on Motzei Shabbos and still have it considered Melavah Malkah? When is the deadline?

  • Out of curiosity, what is the 'hava mina' on this question?
    – avi
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 4:46
  • 1
    @avi, there must be some end time. What that time is seems to me to be a natural question.
    – msh210
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 19:25
  • Why must there be an end time? What makes something a 'melavah malka' other than intent? Until what time can one eat dinner? Until what date can one have a birthday party? I'm not suggesting its a bad question, I'm just curious what the 'options' are here.
    – avi
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 19:37
  • 1
    @avi, the g'mara says (I don't know where, and, tbh, am not sure it's a g'mara but know it's an early source) that the body part from which we'll be regenerated at t'chiyas hamesim is nourished by m'lave malka and nothing else (whatever that means), so there must be some food which qualifies as m'lave malka and some which does not. You propose that intent is what determines whether given food is m'lave malka. The asker proposed that time does. No offense, but time sounds more reasonable to me: Thursday breakfast, no matter my intent, likely doesn't count. Maybe I'm wrong, though.
    – msh210
    Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 5:00
  • @msh210 - It's the Luz bone. Commented May 13, 2012 at 5:25

4 Answers 4


Melavah Malkah means escorting the queen. Therefore the sooner one eats Melavah Malkah the better. However, if one is not capable of eating right after Shabbos one may delay the meal until later, however not later than midnight (Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchoso 63:5, Yechave Da'as 4:25). Kaf HaChaim 300:14 holds that it should L’Chatchila be eaten within four provisional hours after sunset. I have heard that there were some Chasidishe Rabbis that ate Melava Malkah Sunday morning however I do not know which ones.

  • Doesn't the Aruch Hashulchan write that if your Seudah Shlishit continues past shkiyat hachammah, then it can be considered your melaveh malka if you eat another kezayit of lechem. Commented May 13, 2012 at 5:27

Rav Ovadia Yosef rules like the Gr"a - that you can do it until morning. Of course one should try do do it as prescribed by the Caf Hahaim (in @GershonGold's answer), but if this time passes it doesn't mean you've lost the opportunity of the misva. You still can (and should) do it.

  • +0: this answer is confusing. What does "until morning" mean? Does it mean until the crack of dawn? Does it mean until solar noon? Does it mean until sunset at the end of Sunday? Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 5:01


One should eat the meal as close to the conclusion of Shabbos as possible.[39] Some[40] rule it should be eaten no later than four hours after Shabbos. Others[41] rule it may be eaten until midnight. Others[42] rule it may be eaten any time throughout the night. Others[43] rule it may even be eaten on Sunday or anytime until Tuesday night, so long as he is making the meal in honor of escorting Shabbos.

[39] M”B 300/2 and so is evident from sources above that even Torah should not be learned until the meal commences.

[40] Yesod Veshoresh Havoda 8/12; Kaf Hachaim Falagi 31/59

[41] Mishneh Berurah in his understanding of Shaareiy Teshuva 300/1; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeitzei 23

[42] Chesed Leavraham brought in Ketzos Hashulchan ibid

[43] Ashel Avraham Butchacher 174

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Michoel, and thanks for the sourced answer! I took the liberty of editing in quote formatting to show that it's a direct quote from the site, because it's nice to do that. If there's anything you want to change, you can always click on the edit link below each post. Hope to see you around!
    – Scimonster
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 18:02

Apparently the Arizal has the latest time for the seudah until Chatzos layla motzei shabbos (Sha’arei Teshuva 1, sorry dont have the place in his actual seforim).

As to when Chatzos is, Rabbi Nachman says its always exactly 6 "solar" hours after Tzes haCochavim.

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