In Parshas Beshalach, we read about one of the daily miracles that Hashem performed for the Jews during their sojourn in the desert. Each morning, manna descended from heaven to provide that day’s sustenance. On Shabbos morning, however, no manna fell. Instead, twice the usual daily ration fell on Friday, half of which was set aside for Shabbos. GemaraShabbos (117b) teaches that we are to begin our Shabbos meals with two loaves of bread, in remembrance of this double portion. This is known as ‘lechem mishneh.’
The following is a quick review of some of the laws of lechem mishneh:
- Both men and women are obligated in this halacha.
- When one person makes the beracha over the challos for everyone else, his or her lechem mishneh suffices for all of them.
- One should use two complete loaves for lechem mishneh.
- A loaf is considered whole even if it has a split or crack provided that when one lifts the challa by the weaker section it does not break in two.
- Loaves that became attached during baking may be separated and are still considered whole for lechem mishneh purposes.
- One who lacks two complete loaves should use one whole loaf and one cut loaf together.
- If whole loaves are not available, one should use two cut or broken pieces.
- A fully baked frozen challa may be used as lechem mishneh and need not be thawed out first.
- One law regarding meals in general: one should be sure to eat a k’zais of bread (half a piece of a regular size challa) within 4 minutes, sometime during the meal to ensure an obligation in Birchas HaMazon.
[The above is based on the book, Kavod v’Oneg Shabbos/The Radiance of Shabbosby Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen]
Have a great Shabbos.
P.S. During this week, many of our regular minyan attendees will be out of town. PLEASE come help us out with our minyanim this week!!