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Shalosh Seuda doesn’t have to suck

cholent kiddushThe shaloshudos (the third meal, aka seudat shlishit for the Hebrew inclined) of my youth was finely a pretty gross affair, ice cream scoops of mass produced, aged, tuna fish and egg salad. Dry egg challah rolls that were rarely fresh and some flat soda. Shaloshudos is not one of those things that people look forward to, in fact, I’ve noticed throughout the years that most people go home for shaloshudos and the only folks who hang around are older, nebish, and the occasional loudmouth. To say that the vast majority of third meals around the country are depressing is an understatement.

In large frum communities, there are enough shabbos afternoon minyanim in living rooms and garages to seriously inhibit the funds put forth to the third meal. Add to this, the fact that most of the shul goes home for it and that towards the end of shabbos people are already licking their lips due to motzoi shabbos pizza syndrome and you have a lackluster meal in most cases. Chazal may say that you’re supposed to leave room for the third meal, but I think it’s one of those things that people ignore. Where I come from, a bunch of old men drink flat seltzer, dip stale rolls into less than edible tuna and sing depressing songs and listen to a depressing speech by someone who probably had to be coerced in the back of some takeout food store to stay for shaloshudos in order to give the speech.

So imagine my surprise when I showed up to shaloshudos a few weeks ago and saw what should have been something served at a lavish gala kiddush. Not only was there a table full of interesting salads, dips, and cakes, but there was also cold cuts and a meat cholent. Tonight at shaloshudos there was a cholent with two types of meat and kishke. Shaloshudos in my town is not for the faint of heart, I have watched as shabbos has ended during the rabbis lengthy shalashudos drosh with surprise at the lack of attention people were paying to the clock. I have watched with shock as 30 men (there are always a few who sit and learn in shul) and a full table of women have sat down at what is supposed to be a drab and depressing meal.

It’s inexplicable, how this shaloshudos is possible. Never has there been stale challah, flat soda, or sad looking tuna fish and egg salad. Never has it been empty and never have I been surrounded by nebs (not too many bay area nebs due to the high cost of rent) I’m wondering if there are any other lavish, non-depressing, nice third meals out there. Of course, it doesn’t that the rabbi gets up every week and notes that people have taken their shaloshudos z’chus for the next 3 weeks, people probably fight over sponsoring it and it’s one of the few times that you can sit across from the rabbi and talk in learning or ask all of your inappropriate questions. It also doesn’t hurt that the closest kosher restaurant open on a Saturday night is 380 miles away.

Find out more about the third meal on 4torah.com

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Judiasm was copied from Egypt and Sumer May 20, 2013, 8:26 AM

    I have more OTD thoughts during this time than any other part of the Shabbos or our depressing and opressing yontifs.

  • anon May 20, 2013, 9:48 AM

    The food at shalashudos in my shul is actually pretty good. Too bad there’s only about 4 times a year where I actually feel hungry enough to eat it. 2 weeks in the fall and 2 weeks in the spring is about all I can stomach. During the winter it’s too close to lunch, and during the summer, when it’s not until 8:00pm, I’ve already eaten a 3rd meal at home.

    HOWEVER, If I could go sit and talk with my friends then I might just go. But, when we insist on singing depressing songs and listening to a depressing speech – then why bother? People hate the shalashudos dirges. Some traditions should die for the betterment of the community.

    • Prisoner of the rav May 20, 2013, 11:01 AM

      Agreed. Its like a smelly funeral home.

  • And Sarah Laughed May 20, 2013, 10:01 AM

    Exactly! It’s the worst when they barely serve anything for shaloshides, but it’s summertime and it’s 7 or 8pm and I’m actually hungry for dinner. (I also don’t like tuna fish, which makes it all the worse.)

  • A Simple Yid May 20, 2013, 10:33 AM

    Chazal promise that those who partake of shalashudos- third Shabbat meal- are guaranteed a place in Olam Habah. What is the basis for this promise? Perhaps because most people at this time of Shabbos are already feeling uncomfortable due to bloating from the two large and delicious prior Shabbos meals, and are not the least bit hungry, coupled with physical inactivity, those who “force” themselves to indulge in another meal, particularly when the food is rather stale and unappetizing must be eating only because it is a Mitzvah. i.e. they eat “LeShem Shomayim. Thus, perhaps, the promise of Heavenly reward.

    • Anonymous May 20, 2013, 10:59 AM

      Or perhaps its just as it seems, total BS.

    • For the Rabbi Tells Me So May 20, 2013, 11:03 AM

      Unless you are mentally handicapped or Sephardic I don’t know how you can believe fairy tale stuff like that…

    • Reb Noach May 20, 2013, 12:13 PM

      What’s up with saying chazal recognized that there was “bloating” on shabbos afternoon due to “large meals.” Did chazal really advocate such an unhealthy practice? Try eating a normal sized meal and then go for a walk. You’ll probably live a lot longer and also be able to eat the third meal.

      • Anonymous May 21, 2013, 9:51 AM

        3rd meal was a way of pretending you don’t want to pull your hair out during long summer Shabbats. Oh cool Shabbos isn’t over I can still eat, get fatter and fart more.

  • Yochanan May 20, 2013, 10:36 AM

    As a Dikduk obsessed BT, I’d like to remind you it’s Seuda not Seudat Shlishit.

    Seudat means meal of.

    • Anonymous May 20, 2013, 11:07 AM

      I thought it meant Hell

  • here is the chazal May 20, 2013, 3:48 PM

    ‘kooloytoyra’ Jul 16, 2012

  • Yossy H May 20, 2013, 7:54 PM

    I was cracking up reading this…

  • Ya'akov-Yisrael Jimmy May 21, 2013, 12:23 AM

    Kol hakavod!

  • Shulhopper May 21, 2013, 12:52 AM

    Bukharian shul has best food for 3rd meal of Shabbat. Bukharian ladies make a competition! Slice all kind vegetable, make nice fresh smooth egg salad, chop very fine, not vorry too much about it. Nice fish, carrot salad you vill love, many good things. Rebbi make joke in three language (no Eenglish). Everybody laugh. Is a yahrtzeit? Comes the vodka! Very good!

    • Alter Cocker May 23, 2013, 10:16 AM

      I assume you were intending to be funny.

  • Y May 21, 2013, 6:18 AM

    Oy And the farting….. Don’t forget the farting……

    • Anonymous May 21, 2013, 7:47 AM

      so true. Holy Nation

  • Shimon doesn't rhyme with cinnamon May 21, 2013, 11:16 AM

    soupy preservative tuna, yuk!

  • Yochanan May 22, 2013, 5:07 AM

    This is what I tend to do:

    My shul has a Kiddush. I bring to challa rolls to it and make that my lunch. Then I go to my hosts and make that my 3rd meal. So lunch is the mediocre meal for me.

    • mn May 22, 2013, 7:50 AM

      Good, bc if you don’t you will go to Hell and G-d won’t love you.

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