Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Covering the bread during Kiddush


We have been learning about making Kiddush.

We cover the bread, and we also place a cloth below the bread (a tablecloth suffices), during Kiddush.

There are three reasons to cover the bread:
1) Ordinarily, one who has both bread and wine before him is supposed to recite the blessing on the bread first. Thus we cover the bread, so that it is not "before us."

2) We cover the bread lest it see that we are blessing the wine first, and become embarrassed. Bread does not see, of course, but this is a lesson in sensitivity.

Both of those reasons only warrant a cover above the bread; the third reason warrants a cover below, too:
3) The bread represents the Manna which fell for the Jews in the desert, before they entered Israel. The Torah describes an upper and lower coating for the Manna, preventing it from being dirtied before the Jews could collect it. We remind ourselves of this coating by covering the bread on both sides.

(Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 271:9; Mishneh Berurah 271:41)

Have a great day,

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