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Tractate Berachot, Chapter 5, Tosefta 1

Berachot, Chapter 5
Tractate Berachot, Chapter 5

Tosefta 11

“A person should not eat on Shabbat eve (i.e. Friday) from the afternoon and on in order that he will desire [to eat food] when Shabbat starts.”2 [These are] the words of Rebbi Yehudah. [However,] Rebbi Yossi says, “A person can continue eating [on Friday afternoon] until it gets dark.”3 “[If a person was eating on Friday afternoon4 and Shabbat started then he must] interrupt [his meal] because of Shabbat (i.e. in order to make Kiddush and start the Shabbat meal from scratch).” [These are] the words of Rebbi Yehudah.5 [However,] Rebbi Yossi says, “[If a person was eating on Friday afternoon then he] does not [have to] interrupt [his meal because of Shabbat].6, 7

מסכת ברכות פרק ה

תוספתא א

לא יאכל אדם ערב שבת מן המנחה ולמעלה כדי שיכנס לשבת בתאוה דברי רבי יהודה. רבי יוסי אומר אדם אוכל והולך עד שתחשך. מפסיקין לשבתות דברי רבי יהודה. רבי יוסי אומר אין מפסיקין.


  1. Mishna 1 of chapter 8 talks about the Beracha of Kiddush on Shabbat night. Our Tosefta starts with some laws about the oncoming of Shabbat as an introduction.
  2. In other words that he will be hungry enough to want to eat the food during the Friday night Shabbat meal. There are 3 meals required to be eaten on Shabbat, one on Friday night and 2 during Shabbat day.
  3. Rebbi Yossi says that he can continue eating until Shabbat already began and it is the time to make Kiddush and eat the Friday night meal. Rebbi Yossi’s reasoning is simple. He does not require to a person to reduce his enjoyment on Friday in order to increase his enjoyment of the Friday night meal on Shabbat, but rather he may eat as much he wants on Friday and just eat the minimum required (i.e. an piece of bread the size of Kezait (an olive)) during the Shabbat meal.
  4. Rebbi Yehudah forbids in his first statement to begin a meal on Friday afternoon. However, here we are talking about a case where he started eating on Friday morning and then he continued eating the whole afternoon through until Shabbat began. This is allowed even according to Rebbi Yehudah.
  5. The simple meaning of what Rebbi Yehudah holds is that since the obligation to make Kiddush begins as soon as it gets dark on Friday night a person cannot continue eating without making Kiddush. So he must pause his meal, say Kiddush, and then he may continue eating and what ever he eats will count as his Shabbat meal. He does not have to say Birkat Hamazon and completely restart the Shabbat meal from scratch, but rather he must pause for Kiddush. This is my explanation based on the language in Talmud Yerushalmi (Pesachim 10:1, Daf 68b) and also based on the wording of the Tosefta, since the word מפסיקין, means to pause and not to completely stop, in which case the Tosefta should have used the word מעקרין (to uproot). The Meiri (Pesachim 102b, Benei Chabura) says partially similar to my explanation that Rebbi Yehudah holds that he should say Kiddush first and only then say Birkat Hamazon for the Friday afternoon meal, and after that start the Shabbat meal from scratch. However, other Rishonim (medieval commentators) that comment on Rebbi Yehudah’s opinion, the Meiri who seems to contradict himself in a different place (Pesachim 100a, Venashuv Letoref), the Ran (Pesachim 102a, Kos Rishon), and the Raza quoted in the Ritva (Pesachim 99b, May Irya), explain that Rebbi Yehudah requires to completely stop the Friday meal, say Birkat Hamazon, and only then say Kiddush and then start the Shabbat meal from scratch. According to this explanation, the reason that the Tosefta uses the word מפסיקין and not the word מעקרין is because one is not required to uproot the table itself (i.e. to clear the table and set it from scratch with a table cloth and utensils specially for the Shabbat meal). See Ritva. (ibid.) It is possible that the Rishonim chose this explanation over the one I propose is because otherwise according to Rebbi Yehudah how does one fulfill the obligation of having a Shabbat meal on Friday night if what he is really doing is continuing the meal from the previous day just with an interruption for Kiddush. In my defense however I can say that after making Kiddush he can eat another Kezait of bread and have in mind that he is eating for the Shabbat meal which should be sufficient to fulfill his obligation of the Shabbat meal. It is also plausible that the Rif would agree with my explanation in Rebbi Yehudah and not with the other Rishonim, since he explains the opinion of Shmuel in a similar way. See Tosafot Rid (Pesachim 100a, Mahadura Tinyana, Ela Pores Mapa) for the discussion of the Rif’s opinion.
  6. Rebbi Yossi holds that he does not have to interrupt his Friday afternoon meal in order to say Kiddush, because then since he is continuing his meal from the previous day the obligation of Kiddush does not start until he will finish that meal.
  7. The second argument between Rebbi Yossi and Rebbi Yehudah regarding pausing the Friday afternoon meal is not present in either the Vienna or the Erfurt Tosefta manuscripts. However it is present in the quote of our Tosefta in Talmud Bavli (Pesachim 100a) and Talmud Yerushalmi (Pesachim 10:1, Daf 68b). I have decided to keep it here because otherwise the story in the next Tosefta does not make any sense.
  1. simcha firestone
    November 10th, 2009 at 22:02 | #1

    In a gemorah shiur on moed katan last night the Rabbi giving the shiur asked a trick (or maybee not) question. “Can you have two meals on Friday night and one Shobbos day?” We are required halachically to have three meals, but do they have to be 1) Friday night 2) Shobbos after davening and 3) in between Minch and Maariv?
    Simcha Firestone
    Boca Raton, Florida

  2. Eli
    November 10th, 2009 at 23:09 | #2

    Good question. It’s a machloket Rishonim. The Rambam holds that the meals have to be at specific times. 1 on Friday night, 2 on Shabbat mroning before chatzot and 3 on Shabbat afternoon after chatzot. Other Rishonim don’t seem to care when they are. Most people don’t hold like the Rambam and eat the 2nd meal after chatzot since most shuls finish davening around that time. I will tell what I think about the answer. The purpose of having Shabbat meals is to fufill the obligation of Oneg – having pleasure on Shabbat. You can’t fulfill it by eating 2 meals in a row and then starving the whole next day. However many seforim say including the Rambam that if you’re full on Shabbta afternoon you don’t have to eat the 3rd meal, because again that would not be Oneg. So if a person was starving on Friday night and for some reason wanted to eat 2 meals and then he was so full on Shabbat day that 1 meal was enough for him then he probably would fulfill the mitzva of Oneg. but if he stuffed himself on Friday night from having 2 meals and then starved on Shabbat day because he did not eat enough the that’s not Oneg so he didn’t fulfill the mitzva. So it all depends on how you feel.

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