Halacha Weekly ~ Parshas Mishpatim: Hilchos Pesach Part 3 – Shalosh Seudos on Shabbos Erev Pesach

Halacha Weekly ~ Parshas Mishpatim: Hilchos Pesach Part 3 – Shalosh Seudos on Shabbos Erev Pesach


This year, since Erev Pesach is on Shabbos, bedikas chometz will be on Thursday night, the thirteenth of Nissan.  A brocha is recited as well as annulling the chometz.  The Mechaber (444:1) says that one should leave over enough chometz for two Shabbos meals, and the rest should be burned before Shabbos.  One cannot leave over chometz for Shalosh Seudos.  Since the zman for Shalosh Seudos is after Mincha, both chometz and matzah cannot be eaten then.  One can only use matzah ashira – flour mixed with fruit juice.  However this also has to be eaten before the tenth hour because after that time even matzah ashira cannot be eaten, so that one should have the proper appetite to eat the matzos mitzvah (Mechaber 471:2).

The Biur Halacha points out that the reason the Mechaber says to leave over only enough for two seudos is because, l’halacha, one can burn his chometz right before Shabbos.  However, the Mechaber in seif bais says that it is better to burn the chometz before chatzos in the beginning of the sixth hour like every other year.  This way one won’t make a mistake other years and burn it after the zman.  Therefore, since the minhag is to burn it earlier than Shabbos, one may leave over chometz that he will need before Shabbos as well, besides what he will need for Shabbos.

Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank zt”l explains that even though the Mishna Berura (434:12) says that in a regular year it should be burned before the sixth hour, that is in order that one should have enough time to be mevatel his chometz after the biur.  However, in a year when Erev Pesach is on Shabbos when one does the bittul on Shabbos itself, one can wait until the beginning of the sixth hour.

The Chazon Ish holds that one can and should use matzah for lechem Mishna instead of leaving over more chometz.  There is a machlokes haposkim if the matzos mitzvah are muktza on Erev Pesach that falls out on Shabbos.  The Chasam Sofer holds that if one does not have any chometz or matzah ashira, he should use matzah even though it is Erev Pesach.  The mitzvah to have a seuda on Shabbos is from the Torah and the prohibition to eat matzah on Erev Pesach is only M’derabanan. 

The Rema says that the minhag of the Ashkenazim is not to eat matzah ashira on Pesach, therefore one cannot use it for Shalosh Seudos.  In this situation one can rely on the poskim that say one can fulfill the mitzvah of Shalosh Seudos with fruit or fish.  The Mishnah Berura says that if one is eating fish or fruit, he may do so even after the tenth hour, but should be careful not to fill himself up in order that he should have the proper appetite for the matzos mitzvah.

Some poskim hold that one can eat Shalosh Seudos even before Mincha. Therefore one can split up his morning seuda into two meals.  This is the opinion of the Gr”a.  This can only be done if one has enough time to bentch and take a break in between, otherwise it is considered making an unnecessary brocha.  Some say it should be a fifteen minute break.  The Chazon Ish holds it should be a half hour break.  One has to leave his place and take a short walk.  Reb Elyashiv zt”l says that one should only eat the shiur of a k’baya for the first meal so he will still be hungry for the second meal.

Davening on Shabbos morning should start early and shouldn’t be schlepped out so there is enough time to eat the seuda properly.1

Prepared by R’ Avrohom Yehoshua Ziskind

1Sources: Mishnah Berurah, Dirshu, Piskei Teshuvos

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