Thursday, November 27, 2014

Timing for the three meals of Shabbat

Hi,

We are taught to eat three meals on Shabbat.

One who is not able to eat a meal Friday night should make it up by eating three meals during the day of Shabbat; this is an acceptable way to catch up. However, the reverse does not work; one who knows that he will not be able to eat two meals during the day of Shabbat may not make it up by eating two meals on Friday night.

The logic may be that the meals of Shabbat are associated with particular times - Friday night, Shabbat morning and Shabbat afternoon. One who has already missed Friday night may make it up by eating an additional meal on Shabbat day, but one may not move the second meal to Friday night when he could do it on Shabbat day.

Alternatively, the reason may lie in our general rule that the honour of the day of Shabbat is greater than the night. [For this reason, one who has the option of making the nighttime meal or the daytime meal greater is supposed to make the daytime meal greater.] Therefore, one should not switch so that he has two meals at night.

Despite the above, one whose only option for three meals is to eat two meals at night should do so.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:207)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mini-challot for lechem mishneh

Hi,

Ideally, for lechem mishneh on Shabbat one should use two loaves which are each more than an olive-sized amount, because there are authorities who rule that a smaller loaf is not qualified. However, others disagree, and so one who only has mini-loaves may use them.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:204:3)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bagels for lechem mishneh

Hi,

We use two whole loaves of bread at our Shabbat meals, as "lechem mishneh", commemorating the double portion of manna given to the Jews in the wilderness before they entered Canaan. Bagels may be used for these loaves; although they have holes, they are formed that way and they are considered complete.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:204:2)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Monday, November 24, 2014

Don't share the challah

Hi,

Where there are only two challah loaves available at a Shabbat family, and multiple families are eating, they should have one person recite the blessing on the challah for all of them. The strategy of having multiple people recite the blessing on the challah in sequence before cutting it is not acceptable, for multiple reasons, one of which is the interruption that would generate between reciting the blessing and eating.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:203)

Have a good day,
Mordechai

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dairy Challah at a Meat Meal

Hi,

[Note: Generally, Jewish law prohibits dairy bread, because people often eat meat with bread. However, it is permitted to make dairy bread of a particular shape/size; the specifics are beyond the scope of this post.]

One may use dairy challah as one of the two loaves for a meat meal on Shabbat. Even should one contend that the challah must be bread which could be eaten at that meal, there is no problem in using it. Theoretically, one could eat dairy, and then clean his mouth and eat meat. We don't do this at one meal because it invites error, but it is technically an acceptable practice.

Having said this, it is advisable not to use the dairy bread, if at all possible, at a meat meal.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:202)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Challah in a bag?

Hi,

There are those who require that one's fingers be in contact with both challah loaves when reciting the HaMotzi blessing upon the bread on Shabbat. However, the imperative behind this is not clear, and halachic sources seem to indicate that full contact is not required.

Therefore, ideally one should not use challah that is in a bag. However, one who has a particular reason to leave a loaf in a bag - such as one who intends to leave one of the loaves for a later meal, and is concerned that exposure to air will affect the challah negatively - may do so.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:201)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Covering challah for kiddush on individual tables at a large meal

Hi,

Traditionally, we cover challah while kiddush is recited, for at least these three reasons:
1. Technically, the berachah on bread should precede the berachah on wine/grape juice, and we are leapfrogging the bread inappropriately. Therefore, we cover the bread so that it is not in front of us for kiddush. [This is tied to the idea of not "shaming" the bread by having it see the recitation of kiddush.]

2. The two loaves of bread at our Shabbat meals commemorate the manna which fell for our ancestors in the wilderness, and that manna was covered, above and below, by layers of dew. [The layer above is mentioned in Shemot 16:13; the layer below is mentioned in Bamidbar 11:9.] Therefore, we place the challah on a plate or napkin, and cover it.

3. It is considered respectful of Shabbat to wait for kiddush before bringing out the food.

Even if kiddush is recited in another part of the room, with everyone else listening and responding Amen, the bread should still be covered. Reasons 2 and 3 clearly apply. One may contend that Reason 1 applies as well, since they could have recived kiddush on their challah and they chose not to do so.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:200)

Hoping for better news from Israel,
Mordechai