Halacha for Sunday 26 Tevet 5784 January 7 2024

Eating Cake on Shabbat Morning

Today's Halacha is dedicated for the merit and protection of
All Our Dear Soldiers
May Hashem give them strength and courage to vanquish our enemies and may they return home safe and sound amid health and joy. May Hashem protect all the captives and have mercy upon them so that no harm befalls them and may they be released quickly, Amen!
* * * * * * * * * *

A few days ago, we had discussed that if one omitted “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzenu” from Birkat Hamazon of the Shabbat night or day meals, one must repeat Birkat Hamazon.

The reason for this is because if one omitted “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzenu” from Birkat Hamazon of a meal during which one was obligated to eat bread, one must repeat Birkat Hamazon. However, if there was no obligation to eat bread during that meal and one forgot “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzenu,” one need not repeat Birkat Hamazon. For instance, if one ate the Shabbat morning meal and recited Birkat Hamazon as prescribed by Halacha, and then one ate another bread meal and forgot “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzenu” in the Birkat Hamazon that followed, one need not repeat Birkat Hamazon since this additional meal was halachically unnecessary according to all opinions.

Moreover, even one who forgets to recite “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzenu” during Birkat Hamazon of Seuda Shelishit (the third Shabbat meal) need not repeat Birkat Hamazon since, according to many Poskim, bread is not compulsory during this meal.

The Law Regarding the Shabbat Morning Meal
There is a disagreement among the Poskim whether the Shabbat morning meal must be held with bread or if eating cakes and other pastries is sufficient to fulfill one’s obligation. Most Poskim maintain that the second Shabbat meal must be held with bread, and this is how we rule. Thus, if one omitted “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzenu” from Birkat Hamazon of the second Shabbat meal, one must repeat Birkat Hamazon.

If One Ate Pastries in the Morning
Based on the above, Hagaon Harav Yitzchak Harari (one of the greatest sages of Aleppo, Syria) writes in his Responsa Zechor Le’Yitzchak (Chapter 80) that one who ate pastries after the Shabbat morning services, recited “Al Ha’Michya,” and a few hours later forgot “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzenu” during one’s second Shabbat bread meal, one would be required to repeat Birkat Hamazon, for “there is no Posek” who maintains that one may fulfill one’s obligation of eating the second Shabbat meal with cakes and pastries. Thus, the second meal is only the one being held with bread and if one omitted “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzenu” from this meal, one must repeat Birkat Hamazon.

The Opinion of Maran zt”l
On the other hand, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l (in his Chazon Ovadia- Shabbat, Volume 2, page 346) questions this ruling, for we do find several Rishonim who rule that eating cakes and pastries is sufficient to fulfill one’s obligation to eat the Shabbat day meal, among them Rabbeinu Yeshaya di Trani the First (in his Piskei Rid, Sukkah 27a). This opinion is quoted by the Rashba as well.

Thus, Maran zt”l rules that if one eats cakes or pastries on Shabbat morning (obviously a Kezayit worth, i.e. approximately 27 grams), there is room to claim that the bread meal one eats later is actually considered Seuda Shelishit and, as we have explained above, if one omits “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzenu” from Birkat Hamazon of Seuda Shelishit, one need not repeat it. (Maran zt”l proceeds to strengthen his ruling based on several other sources.)

Summary: If one at cakes or pastries at a Kiddush on Shabbat morning and then forgets “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzenu” from the Shabbat day bread meal held a few hours later, one need not repeat Birkat Hamazon, as this meal retains the law of Seuda Shelishit.

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