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    Three meals on Shabbat – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. What is se’udah sh’lishit?

    A. The name means “third meal”. The sages made it an obligation to have three meals on Shabbat – Friday night, Shabbat morning and Shabbat afternoon.

    The three meals symbolise the three main themes of Shabbat – creation, revelation and redemption.

    Friday night celebrates the creation of the world, Shabbat morning the giving of the Torah, and Shabbat afternoon the serenity and spirituality of the World to Come.

    Hence the zemirot sung on each occasion are different and this is even reflected in their melodies; the Shabbat afternoon tunes have more pathos and poignancy.

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