Just like the congregants who bow before going up to the ark, we cover the challah because generations past have done it. Why are we supposed the cover the challah to begin with? The main reason a challah cover is used is as a remembrance of the miracle of manna. However, it is quite common just to use one loaf--or even not eat bread during this meal. The Talmud further rules that if one acted incorrectly and brought this table out before Kiddush, one need not go through the effort of removing it and subsequently bringing it back after Kiddush. Thus, the Vilna Gaon’s opinion is not merely a chumra; it’s also a leniency with regards to the requirement of setting the table – a kula that goes against the opinion of virtually all poskim (who quote Tosafot) and a thousand years of Jewish custom.[ii]. We bless the wine, when in fact we're blessing the entire Shabbat while … Challah is already looking dark brown on the outside, but is only part way through the baking process: In this case, cover the top of the challah with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent the challah from further browning, while allowing the inside to finish cooking. The clear implication of the Chayei Adam is that when Kiddush does, in fact, immediately precede the seudah, the manna is alluded to when the bread is covered during Kiddush, and there is no need to keep the covering on for hamotzi. He resides in Chicago, Ill., with his family. Please see Why Is Challah Braided? (Presumably, the same would be true at seudah shlishit.) Why is challah considered Jewish bread? He is a member of the Kollel L’Horaah of RIETS and has had a lifelong interest in the history of halacha. Reply, Thank you for this article. Presumably, this is because it’s difficult to cover all foods on the table, and since the bread is the mainstay of the meal, covering and then later uncovering just the bread is sufficient to make clear that the entire meal is in honor of Shabbat (cf. As to why we only cover the challah, and not any other food on the table, when making Kiddush: R. Papa states (Berachot 41b) that foods which form an … Each question opens our heart to new answers and new questions to more fully appreciate the beauties of Torah. [iii]The simple understanding of this explanation is that the tablecloth serves as the cloth below the bread. While its appearance lends a decorative and ceremonial aspect to the set table, its presence serves both a halakhic and symbolic function. Thank you for your article, but if you say that grain has priority over wine, why don't we just say the blessing ha motsi before kiddush, instead of the other way around? for a fascinating explanation. Why do we cover the challah during the recitation of kiddush, and for how long should the challah remain covered? Why am I writing about challah? Get it as soon as Tue, Dec 15. If the covered bread is supposed to recall the manna, one should perhaps keep the bread covered while making the berachah of hamotzi, suggest some later poskim. Challah in Jewish Ritual . Explore your ancient heritage and discover stunning Kiddush Cups, Shabbat Candlesticks, Challah Boards and more from Israel to make every Shabbat a … Indeed, such is the common custom. The Aruch HaShulchan also concludes that one should not follow the Vilna Gaon’s practice, but his presentation of the sugya is difficult to understand (Orach Chayim 271:22). Put one aside covered with a damp tea towel and cut the other ball into 4 even pieces. This is another reason why many women favor big batch recipes. You are very welcome; I am happy that you enjoyed the article!Shabbat shalom, This custom is not universal, however. Covering the challah. Perhaps the most famous one of these is that we cover the bread during Kiddush so it shouldn’t be embarrassed, as it were, by “seeing” the beracha of borei pri ha’gafen being recited first – an honor that usually belongs to the blessing of hamotzi. Why don’t they just wait until after Kiddush to bring it out? Recently, I was contacted by the leadership of the town of Soncino, Italy, requesting information about the use of bread among Jews for a special “bread festival” in their region. As discussed above, keeping our large tables out of the dining room and then moving them in after Kiddush is not practical; nevertheless, in accordance with the passage in Tractate Shabbat, the table must be set before anyone attending shul on Friday night returns home. It is therefore puzzling that the Mishnah Berurah quotes the Chayei Adam as implying that the bread should always remain covered during hamotzi (271:41). ... Just refrigerate the dough, wrapped loosely in plastic wrap and covered with a plastic bag or large bowl, overnight. Each day more joys. Two loaves are used in commemoration of the double portion of manna that was provided on Friday to the Israelites in the desert following the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 16:4-30). The breads are covered on the table by a decorative challah cover or a white napkin, which represents the dew that collected on the manna in the morning. Instead, we set the table with the challah, but cover it until the time when it would have been carried in. cit.). The She’iltot explains that waiting until after Kiddush to bring out the food indicates that the meal is in honor of Shabbat (she’ilta 54). There is a reason why Sarah was the one to experience this miracle, and not Abraham. It all depends on the celebration and your preferences. There is nothing in the literatue. It appears not to be a mitzvah biblical or rabbinic. What is the Real Purpose of Kohanic Blessings? It is not simply enough to put an unadorned cloth over the challah, but to have or make a beautiful cover that is just for this purpose. 3 4 5. The Shulchan Aruch (O.C. As the She’iltot states, the rationale of this halacha is emphasizing that the meal is in honor of Shabbat. The reason for this is to symbolize the dew that fell on the manna in the desert. One reason why we cover the Challah on Shabbat, is to commemorate the manna which God sent the Jews when sojourning in the desert for forty years. Rabbi Menachem Posner serves as staff editor at Chabad.org, the world’s largest Jewish informational website. So we shouldn’t notice the pieces of potato kugel or whatever that also got accidentally mushed in. [iv] Yet, aside from the fact that older sources mention covering the bread during Kiddush only, it is also halachically questionable to cover a food during the recitation of a beracha upon it (Hilchot Shabbat beShabbat ch. 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