Having a Meal on Erev Shabbat

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Eating on Friday

Having a festive meal

  1. On Friday, even in the morning, one may not make a large meal which one normally wouldn't have during the week. [1]

Normal meals

  1. Strict halacha permits one to eat an amount that’s normal for a weekday meal, however, one should refrain from beginning a meal which is normal for a weekday meal from the 9th hour (Shaot Zmaniot) in the day. [2]
  2. In the winter months when the Shaot Zmaniot (halachic hours) are short one should refrain from having a meal too close to Shabbat so that if one has a meal one will still have an appetite going into Shabbat. [3]


  1. It’s totally permissible to have a snack the entire day of Friday and there’s no preference not to eat after 9 hours. [4]


  1. Past the 9th hour, one shouldn’t drink so much that one won’t be hungry for the Shabbat meal. [5]

Brit Milah or Pidyon HaBen on Friday

  1. One may have the festive meal of a Brit Milah or Pidyon HaBen on Friday.[6] However, it is preferable to make the meal in the morning (before Chatzot, halachic midday). [7]

Wedding on Friday

  1. Similarly, a wedding which took place on Friday may be accompanied by a feast. However, it's preferable to push off the feast until Shabbat or another day. [8]

Engagement party on Friday

  1. One should not make a feast for an engagement party on Friday. [9]

Fasting on Friday

  1. There have even been individuals who would fast each and every Friday in order to ensure that they would have an appetite for the Shabbat meal. [10] While such a practice is simply not possible for the masses, it is recommended, however, that one not eat an actual meal (but rather a light meal or a snack) on Friday, especially during the winter months when Shabbat arrives early. [11]


  1. S"A 249:2, Aruch HaShulchan 249:4, Amot Shel Halacha (by Rabbi Ari Enkin). The Shulchan Aruch explains that the reason is so that a festive meal on Friday doesn't take away from one's appetite for the Shabbat meal and this is included in Kavod Shabbat. The Mishna Brurah 249:10 quotes another reason; if one is involved in preparing a festive meal it'll prevent one from preparing for Shabbat.
  2. S”A 249:2 writes that halachically it’s permissible to have a meal the whole day because we hold like Rabbi Yose in Pesachim 98b. However, even Rabbi Yose agrees that establishing a meal is forbidden after 9 hours.
  3. Mishna Brurah 249:16
  4. S”A 249:2 who writes that one can have a snack the whole day and preferably one shouldn’t have a normal meal after 9 hours. Mishna Brurah 249:15 writes this explicitly that a snack is permitted the whole day.
  5. Mishna Brurah 249:14 writes that the permit to have snacks the whole day doesn’t include drinks. He concludes that one should at least be careful from 9 hours and on not to have too much that one won’t be hungry for the Shabbat meal.
  6. Rama 249:2 writes that if the meal of a mitzvah that has a set time such as Brit Milah and Pidyon HaBen one can have the meal even on Friday. Mishna Brurah 249:12 adds that even if the Brit Milah was delayed because the child was sick or a Pidyon HaBen which was not performed on the 30th day, nonetheless the feast may be held on Friday. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat vol 1 pg 531) agrees.
  7. Mishna Brurah 249:13, Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat vol 1 pg 62)
  8. Mishna Brurah 249:9
  9. S"A 249:2 writes that one should not make a feast even for an engagement which is a seudat mitzvah. However, the Mishna Brurah 249:9 writes that this is only true if the engagement took place on a different day however, if the engagement actually took place on Friday the feast may be held. Nonetheless, the Mishna Brurah concludes that the engagements that we perform nowadays are not halachically binding as they were in the times of the gemara and so it's not considered a seudat mitzvah which would permit a feast on Friday.
  10. Yerushalmi Ta'anit 2:12; S"A OC 249:3, Amot Shel Halacha (by Rabbi Ari Enkin)
  11. Aruch HaShulchan 249:6, Amot Shel Halacha (by Rabbi Ari Enkin)