GATEWAYS TO TORAT HAYIM

 
CONNECTING TO JEWISH LIVING WISDOM RESOURCES

 

Ha-motzi Blessing for Bread

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by Palatnik, Mrs. Lori

“At each Shabbat meal, we place two whole loaves of bread on the table… called lechem mishneh (two breads). What is their significance?

 

When God brought the Jewish people out of Egypt, they spent 40 years in the desert on their way to the Land of Israel. Their survival during this time was totally from the Almighty. He provided a constant source of water (from Miriam’s well) and protection (Clouds of Glory and a wall of fire). And for food there was manna, a crystal-like substance that fell from the heavens each day.

 

The Jews simply had to scoop it up and eat it, and it is said that it had the taste of whatever the person desired. On Friday a double portion of manna fell, so we wouldn’t have to work to collect it on Shabbat. We commemorate this miracle by blessing two loaves of challah at the Shabbat meals.

 

…just as we had to trust that God would provide for us in the desert at Sinai, today we have to learn to trust again. We have to know that God provides for us every day — and our futures are also in His hands.”