melaveh malka


melaveh malka (meh-LAH-veh MAHL-kah)


  • n. A celebratory meal on Saturday night after Shabbat has ended.

  • n. A party or gathering for Orthodox women only.

Example Sentences

  • "My husband is careful to have a melaveh malka that includes bread and meat." (source)

  • "You are cordially invited to a musical melaveh malka on Saturday, March 11 at 8 P.M." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • מלווה מלכּה, lit. 'escorting the queen'

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America


      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      melave malka, melaveh malkah, melave malkah, melaveh malke, melave malke, melave malkeh, melaveh malkeh


  • "Tradition says [this Saturday night celebration] began with King David, who had been warned that he would die on a Sabbath. At the end of each Sabbath, he celebrated his being alive with a feast." (JPS)

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