Halacha for Wednesday 11 Nissan 5781 March 24 2021

The Third Shabbat Meal on Erev Pesach

During the past few days, we have explained the proper procedure regarding the meals for this upcoming Shabbat. We have explained that the best idea would be to use cooked or fried Matzah for all of the Shabbat meals.

The same applies to the third Shabbat meal (held on Shabbat afternoon) in that one should preferably use cooked or fried Matzah as well. However, this meal should preferably be held before the end of the ninth hour of the day (approximately 4:00 PM) so that one will be able to eat Matzah later that night with a hearty appetite, for if one eats this meal at a later hour, it may interfere with one’s ability to eat at night.

Nevertheless, even if one did not have a chance to eat the third Shabbat meal by the time prescribed above for whatever reason, one may hold it even later, provided that one does not eat more than a Kebeitza (54 grams) of the cooked or fried Matzah. If one wishes to use Egg Matzah for the third Shabbat meal (in accordance with the Sephardic custom), one may eat even more than a Kebeitza (before 4:00 PM) and it will require the “Mezonot” and “Al Ha’Michya” blessings.

In any event, one may not eat Chametz for the third Shabbat meal since it is already forbidden to eat Chametz since earlier that morning. It is also forbidden to use regular Matzah since it is prohibited to eat Matzah all day long so that one can eat Matzah that night with gusto.

Is Matzah Muktzeh?
Since eating Matzah on Erev Pesach is forbidden and this year (5781), Erev Pesach coincides with Shabbat, it is prohibited to move the Matzah on Shabbat as it is Muktzeh. If one places any food item permitted to be eaten on Erev Pesach, such as lettuce, on the Matzah, it will then be permissible to move the Matzah along with the other food.

However, the above only applies to Shemura Matzah one has designated for use for the Mitzvah on the Seder night, which, in general, one is careful not to feed to children before the Seder. However, regular Matzah which is not reserved for the Seder and is permissible to be consumed on Erev Pesach by children too young to understand the story of the Exodus, may be moved on this Shabbat and may also be used for the Mitzvah of “double bread.”

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