Setting the table for Melaveh Malka

Setting the table for Melaveh Malka:[1]

One is to always set up his meal table on Motzei Shabbos.[2] This is done in order to escort the Shabbos in its leave in an honorable manner, just as it was honored in its entrance.[3]

How to set the table: It is to be set up with all the normal meal table settings that he is accustomed to arrange for a regular meal.[4] Thus, one is to cover the table with a tablecloth, and do other matters of the like [such as to prepare a lit candle[5]] just as would be done for a complete meal. This applies even if only plans to eat a Kezayis [of bread or food] either due to not having more food available, or due to lack of an appetite to eat more [than a Kezayis], nevertheless, he is to set and prepare his table as is usually done.[6]


[1] Admur 300:1

[2] Admur 300:1; Michaber 300:1; Rav Chanina Shabbos 119b

[3] Admur ibid; Michaber ibid; Tur 300; Rashi Shabbos ibid; Shivlei Haleket 130; See Admur 262:1

[4] Admur 300:1; Taz 300:1; Kaf Hachaim 300:3

Other opinions: The Bach rules “setting the table” means to prepare many dishes of food on the table even just as is done for the Shabbos meals, even if he does not intend to eat more than a Kezayis. [See Likkutei Sichos 36 Beshalach footnote 18; Peri Megadim 300 M”Z 1]

[5] M”B 300:3; The Imreiy Eish writes in the name of the Baal Shem Tov that one is to light four candles in honor of the meal

[6] Admur ibid; See Likkutei Sichos ibid for an analysis on the essence of the Mitzvah of Melaveh Malka. On the one hand it implies from the Gemara and Shulchan Aruch that the main aspect of this meal is not the actual meal but the preparation of the table for the meal, and this preparation is done out of respect for Shabbos, as opposed to Oneg Shabbos, just as is the preparation of the table on Erev Shabbos. Nevertheless, from other wordings of Admur it is implied the Seuda itself is part of the Mitzvah and not simply the preparation.

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.