Q. I received this week from my parents some very good tasting specialty dish that they know I much enjoy and therefore saved it to savor it during Shabbos and be mekayem (comply with) the mitzva of Oneg Shabbos (deriving pleasure on Shabbos). But since this is a short Shabbos and I must eat what my wife prepares because of shalom bais (maintaining peace at home), can I save this food for Melave Malkah (meal eaten after the end of Shabbos)? Is there a mitzva of Oneg Shabbos also when eating that seuda?
A. Shulchan Aruch (O. H. 300: 1) rules that one should set the table and prepare a meal after the end of Shabbos, in order to accompany and honor Shabbos as it departs, even if one is not hungry
However, Mishna Berura (ibid. 2) mentions that the seuda of Melave Malka is not as obligatory as the three meals of Shabbos, which are attached to Biblical psukim, while this one is only a mitzva ‘bealma’ or not as consequential.
In Shaarei Tzion (9) he adds, that when one has small amounts of meat or fish, he should enjoy them during the three seudos of Shabbos.
Ribavos Efraim (7: 384) quoting the Brisker Rov, and Even Chai (on Ben Ish Chai – Vayetze n.29), explain that the seudos of Shabbos reflect the mitzva of Oneg Shabbos, (and therefore they may have a Biblical root), while Melave Malka is a part of honoring Shabbos. Likras Shabbos (Mekor Habrocho p. 417) and Mishmeres Shabbos (p. 56) present a similar opinion.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is similar, and the special food when possible should be consumed during Shabbos.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a.