Vol 36.12 - Beshalach 2 Spanish French Audio Video
1. The Alter Rebbe writes in his Shulchan Aruch regarding the laws of the Melave Malka meal (Seudat Melave Malka):
“It is desirable to cook meat or another food on Motzai Shabbat night in honor of this meal. In our era, when we (are accustomed to) delaying the third meal and thus we are unable to eat Motzai Shabbat night, it is possible to fulfill (the Mitzvah of partaking of) this meal with fruit”.
Afterward he continues (within parentheses):
“(It is not necessary to partake of the third (Shabbat) meal earlier so that one will be able to partake of this meal in a befitting manner, because the obligation for this meal is not that binding (אינה חובה). It is merely the optimum manner of fulfilling the Mitzvah (מצוה מן המובחר -Mitzvah Min HaMuvchar))”.
Seemingly, one must somewhat examine his words:
“The obligation for this meal is not that binding. It is merely the optimum manner of fulfilling the Mitzvah”.
For seemingly, he should have said that it is a “regular Mitzvah” (מצוה בעלמא), and so forth – and not that it is,
"the optimum manner of fulfilling the Mitzvah”,
that one must, from the outset fulfill it precisely in this manner?
2. This can be understood by prefacing an explanation in the source and scope of the Seudat Melave Malka. The obligation for the three Shabbat meals is learned in the Talmud from the three times that the word "today" (היום) is stated regarding the Manna:
“And Moshe said: Eat it today, for today is Shabbat for G-d, today you will not find it in the field” (Ex. 16:25).
(and some say that this is a Biblical obligation).
Whereas we do not find a derivation in Scripture for the Seudat Melave Malka.
The Talmud further states:
“A person should always set his table at the conclusion of Shabbat, even if he only needs the table set for an olive-bulk (Kezayit) of food”.
“On Motzai Shabbat, it is also deference to the Shabbat to escort it upon its departure, in a manner of honor, like one who escorts the king when he departs from the city”.
The Talmud continues and relates a story that they would prepare for R’ Avahu, at the conclusion of Shabbat, a “third-born calf” (even though he would only eat a small portion – “a kidney” - from it).
This plainly implies that this is the reason for this meal - in order to honor the Shabbat at its departure (“like a person who escorts the king when he departs from the city”) - through this meal.
To note, the statement does not speak regarding the obligation of eating a meal on Motzai Shabbat, but only in arranging the table. This is proven since this statement is cited in the Talmud following the statement of R’ Elazar,
“A person should always set his table on Erev Shabbat, even if he only needs the table set for an olive-bulk of food”.
From this it is simple, that the statement,
“A person should always set his table on Erev Shabbat etc.”
is not an obligation for the Shabbat evening meal (which is at night).
Rather it is an obligation to set the table on Erev Shabbat (before the entering of Shabbat).
(This is a matter of honoring Shabbat, as Rambam states,
(after citing these two statements as Halacha regarding setting the table on Erev Shabbat and Motzai Shabbat)
“in order to honor it (Shabbat) when it commences and when it departs”.
He further cites, in continuation, to other aspects of preparation that one must do in the house, on Erev Shabbat, for the sake of honoring the Shabbat. However, the law of the Shabbat meals are not an aspect of honoring Shabbat, but rather of enjoying the Shabbat (לעונג שבת)).
From this it is understood that even the statement,
“A person should always set his table on Motzai Shabbat”
does not speak regarding the obligation of eating a meal, but rather regarding the manner of arranging the table for the meal in order to honor the Shabbat, at its departure.
This is like the words of the Alter Rebbe here,
“A person should make a preparation in arranging the table, for example, by spreading out a tablecloth and the like”.
(For although, the person’s intention is to only eat a Kezayit, it is a part of honoring Shabbat (even when it departs) to set the table as if he is going to eat a "complete meal").
Seemingly, there is room to say, that in essence, this meal is not obligatory. However, since it is the way of people, to eat on Motzai Shabbat. For although they already ate the Seudah Shlishit (the third Shabbat meal), since the night is usually the time for a meal. Therefore, one eats another meal (at the very least – a small meal) at night.
(And only regarding one who is supported from charity – is there a supposition in the Talmud, not to give him a meal on Motzai Shabbat -
“For we say to him, ‘That which you want to eat at the conclusion of Shabbat, eat it on Shabbat’”).
The same applies to the Seudat Melave Malka – that due to the obligation of honoring the Shabbat, one is obligated to prepare the table for this meal
(that people are going to eat, in any event)
“as if he is going to eat a complete meal".
However, one who does not eat this meal, every night, does not have an obligation to eat.
However, one cannot say so. For it is proven in many places that the essence of the meal is a Mitzvah.
This is like the words of the Alter Rebbe, that,
"it is possible to fulfill (לקיים) this meal with fruit"
and following this writes:
“This meal is not that much (כ״כ) of an obligation. It is merely the optimum manner of fulfilling the Mitzvah”.
From this, it is understood that even the essence of the meal is at least, somewhat of an obligation (so much so, that some say that this meal must include bread).
One needs an explanation. What is the source and reasoning for this meal?
3. One must also examine Rashi’s aforementioned words - that the arrangement of the table for the Melave Malka is,
“to accompany its departure in a manner of honor, as a person who escorts the king when he departs the city".
From this analogy it is understood, that until then, the Shabbat has not “left” (הלכה).
(Like in the analogy, that when they escort the king, the king is still among the people who accompany him).
Seemingly, although we are obligated to add from the mundane to the holy (להוסיף מחול על הקודש), both in the beginning of Shabbat, as well as in its departure, the aspect of Melave Malka is specifically after Havdalah and the conclusion of Shabbat.
The Alter Rebbe writes in Shulchan Aruch that,
"It is also customary . . to recite hymns and melodies after Havdalah to escort the Shabbat after it departs, as one escorts a king after he departs the city.”
Yet, it still requires explanation, as aforementioned.
For seemingly, in the analogy of the king departing – the departure is just from the city. Yet those who are escorting him are still with the king. Whereas in the lesson of the analogy (בנמשל), ostensibly after Havdalah, Shabbat is not "together" (ביחד) with Bnei Yisroel.
One must therefore say, that even after the departure of Shabbat (in Havdalah) – Shabbat has still not completely departed.
In the commentators of Shulchan Aruch, they cite in the name of the students of Arizal,
"The extra soul (שהנפש יתירה – the extra manifestation of the soul, on Shabbat) does not completely leave until after the Motzai Shabbat meal. Therefore, one should not engage in labor, that is not for the purpose of eating (אוכל נפש) until after the Motzai Shabbat meal".
One must have an explanation:
What is the connection between the departure of the extra soul (and Shabbat, in general) with the Seudat Melave Malka – that until this meal is eaten, it is like a king when he departs the city, and is still nearby and together with the people of the city, and the people accompany him.
4. One could say that the explanation of all this is:
The descent of the Manna was in the manner of the “night following the day” (הלילה הולך אחר היום). This is expressly written in Scripture that its descent was in the morning. From the Omer portion of Manna that descended in the morning, there was food for two meals - the morning meal, and the evening meal.
(as it states in the Baalei Tosafot, that “every day of the year, they would make, from the Omer, two loaves”).
From this it is also understood regarding the Manna that descended on Erev Shabbat - “two Omers for each individual”.
On this day, it was in the form of "The night following the day":
(It is problematic to say that they did not eat any meal on Motzai Shabbat since they had already eaten the Seudah Shlishit (the third Shabbat meal), on the Shabbat itself. For it is a puzzling thing to say that in the course of forty years, that Yisroel was in the desert, they did not eat any meal on Motzai Shabbat (because they had nothing to eat).
For in addition to that which a person usually eats a meal (albeit a small meal) on Motzai Shabbat, even when he eats Seudah Shlishit (as aforementioned, Par. 2),
In addition (and primarily):
Since, for the honor of Shabbat, one is obligated to escort Shabbat on its departure, by setting the table for a complete meal, it is simple that they did so, also in the desert.
(And to note, that it is extremely problematic to say that there is an aspect of arranging a table for a complete meal without eating at all)).
Therefore, we find, that the bread of the Motzai Shabbat meal was from the Omer of Manna that was designated for Shabbat.
According to this, one can add an explanation in the wording of the Sages on the verse,
“And He blessed (the Shabbat). . and sanctified it” –
One could say that the difference between the two aspects of "blessing" and "sanctifying" are not only whether
(that two Omers descended on the Erev Shabbat)
(that the Manna did not descend on it).
Rather they are two different scopes (and times):
"Sanctified it with Manna" is an aspect of Manna in connection with the sanctity of Shabbat. For the sanctity of Shabbat obligates that the Manna did not descend during this holy time. This aspect is only during the hours of Shabbat itself, during the time of the sanctity of Shabbat
(also including the time of adding from mundane to sacred, for even then, there is the sanctity of Shabbat);
Whereas, regarding “blessed it with Manna” – the blessing of the Manna for the Shabbat day, is not limited to the time of the sanctity of Shabbat. Rather, to the duration (להמעת־לעת) Shabbat. And since the time of the duration regarding the descent of the Manna is in the manner of “night following the day" - even with regard to the aspect of the time of the blessing of the Manna - of Shabbat -it is such, that the blessing of the Manna of the Shabbat day lasts until Motzai Shabbat.
(On the contrary, the Shabbat evening meal was from the first Omer that descended for Erev Shabbat. Specifically, the Seudat Melave Malka was from the second Omer that descended especially for the Shabbat day, in which there occurred the miracle of, "It did not turn putrid and there were no worms in it").
5. One could say that this is also the source for that which the aspect of Shabbat lasts until the time of the Seudat Melave Malka (as aforementioned Par. 3):
Although the (actual) sanctity of Shabbat is only until after Havdalah, when one separates between holy and mundane (כשמבדילין בין קודש לחול)-
the blessing of Shabbat,
("And G-d blessed the seventh day", "Therefore the L-rd blessed the Shabbat")
is in a manner that it lasts until the Seudat Motzai Shabbat. This is just as regarding, “He blessed it with Manna" - the blessing and supply of food for the Seudat Melave Malka, was also included.
(It is understood and simple, that just as with the sanctity of the Shabbat, even though the Sages explain that, "He sanctified it" means that G-d "sanctified it with Manna", nevertheless, the sanctity of Shabbat is at all times, in all generations. So too, the aspect of the blessing of the Shabbat, was not just in the time when they were in the desert, when the Manna descended. Rather it is a perpetual aspect every Shabbat in all generations).
This is the reason why this meal is a "Seudat Melave Malka” (a meal escorting the Shabbat Queen). For at that time, one escorts the Shabbat on its departure. For in this meal is the completion of the "blessing" of the Shabbat.
According to all of the above, it may be further said, that the basis of this meal is – a remembrance of the Manna. For since the Omer of Manna, of the Shabbat, also included the Motzai Shabbat meal - therefore, just as one is obligated to eat the three Shabbat meals, as a remembrance of the Manna, this remembrance itself also obligates the eating of this meal.
(just as Bnei Yisroel in the desert, ate this meal from the Manna that descended for the Shabbat day).
According to this, one can explain the aforementioned wording of the Alter Rebbe that,
“This meal is not that much (כ״כ) of an obligation. It is merely the optimum manner of fulfilling the Mitzvah.)
For one could say that his intent with this, is that through partaking of the Malave Malka meal, the Mitzvah of the three Shabbat meals becomes the “the optimum manner of fulfilling the Mitzvah”.
In other words, the obligation of the Melave Malka meal is not just an independent aspect (in order to escort the Shabbat. For this aspect, is not an aspect of the other Shabbat meals, whose time is on Shabbat itself).
Rather, it is (also) a part of the obligation of the three Shabbat meals. For the fulfillment of the Mitzvah of the three meals - in a manner of “the optimum manner of fulfilling the Mitzvah” - is when one also partakes of the Melave Malka meal. For then the remembrance of “He blessed it with Manna” is complete.
6. An explanation of the Melave Malka meal according to homily (Derush), can be understood by prefacing what the Beit Yosef writes that:
“There is a limb in a person . . that does not derive enjoyment from eating except on Motzai Shabbat".
From this it is understood, that there is an aspect in the Melave Malka meal that is not in the meals of Shabbat. For this limb - which is the “Luz bone” (Note: the top bone of the spine where the knot of the tefillin is placed -Arizal) – has no enjoyment from any food (even from the Shabbat meals) except solely from the Motzai Shabbat meal.
One can explain the matters according to what is written in the Eliyahu Rabbah that the “Luz bone” did not derive benefit from the Tree of Knowledge.
(For since “it has no enjoyment from any food . . except when one eats on Motzai Shabbat”, therefore, it did not derive benefit from the eating of the Tree of Knowledge, on Erev Shabbat).
Therefore, “it does not decay” (לכך אינו נפסד). For the whole aspect of death comes because of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. For because of this sin, death was levied on the world. However, the "Luz bone" that did not benefit from the Tree of Knowledge is above the aspect of death - and from this the bone, the body will be built at the Resurrection of the Dead.
This seemingly requires examination:
Since, this Luz bone is above the aspect of death and does not need food to sustain it. If so, why does it benefit from the Melave Malka meal?
On the other hand, if there is a food and drink that is relevant to this bone, why is it not from the food of Shabbat itself, which has the unique advantage that, partaking of it itself – is a Mitzvah.
As it states, “it does not state, ‘the dung of your Sabbaths’”.
(Note: The verse states (Malachi 2:3): “I will scatter dung upon your face, the dung of your festive sacrifices (פרש חגיכם). The Zohar, says this verse applies to those who enjoy the festival meals without providing for poor people. However, “it does not state, ‘the dung of your Sabbaths’” (פרש שבתכם לא קאמר). Shabbat is unique in that there is no refinement of the food necessary, since the nourishment comes directly from Above. Thus, the food of Shabbat should be advantageous for the Luz bone).
Why then, does it only have enjoyment from the Motzai Shabbat meal?
One could say that the explanation of this is – according to Derush:
The entire purpose of the creation of the Tree of Knowledge, was not just to test Adam HaRishon, that he should not eat from it. Rather, it was in order that man transform (יהפוך) the Tree of Knowledge and elevate it above the aspect of death. As is explained in Sefarim – if Adam HaRishon would have waited three hours until the commencement of Shabbat, he would have been able to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, and there would not have been any aspect of death, at all.
This is because Shabbat is a semblance of the World to Come, above the boundary of death. Therefore, if he would have refrained from eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge until Shabbat, he would have been above the aspect of death.
After the sin, when there is already an aspect of death in the world, indeed, even though there is Shabbat - which is a semblance of the World to Come etc., nevertheless, since the day of Shabbat is separate and sanctified (מובדל וקדוש) from the other days, then the "vitality" (חיים) of Shabbat does not draw down into the place of death itself. In other words, into the way a person lives in a mundane world (בעולם של חול) (where death was levied).
One could say, that this is the inner context of the Seudat Melave Malka – the rectification of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. For this meal contains the connection of Shabbat and mundane (החיבור דשבת וחול).
For on one hand, it is after the completion of the sanctity of Shabbat.
However, on the other hand, it possesses the blessing (and the effluence) of the Shabbat day. That through it, the power of Shabbat is drawn down also into the meal of the weekdays, as has been explained, at length.
This is also why the "Luz bone" benefits specifically from the Motzai Shabbat meal. For the actual correction of the sin, is the aspect of the Resurrection of the Dead. For then, "He has concealed death forever. He will cover it and hide it forever from Yisroel".
This comes from the Luz bone that is above the aspect of death, as aforementioned. In other words, the aspect of this bone is not just that it remains in existence, but rather that, from it, must be the building of the entire body. That even the body, which had the scope of death, will be purified and repaired until it will arise with the Resurrection of the Dead, and live in eternal life (as the tiding, "He has concealed death forever").
The power for this is through one having benefit from the Seudat Motzai Shabbat. That even in the meal of the time of the weekday, one draws down the blessing of the Shabbat, a semblance of the World to Come.
M’Sichas Motzai Shabbat Kodesh Beshalach, Yud Shvat 5717, Motzai Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Tzav, Yud-Gimmel Nisan 5726
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