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Using two pieces of bread for Lechem Mishneh – an answer written for kids

Rabbanit Surale Rosen

June 2021
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She'ela

Can a poor person use 2 pieces of bread for lechem mishneh?

Teshuva

Lechem Mishneh on two pieces of bread  - A question sent to Shayla by a 10 year old girl

We learn the Mitzvah of Lechem Mishneh from Chumash Shemot (ch. 16) where we read about Bnei Israel getting two portions of Manna before Shabbat.

Rav Yechiel Michel HaLevi Epstein zt"l, who lived in Belarus 113 years ago and wrote a very important book of Halakha called Aruch HaShulchan writes:

"One should use two whole loaves. But if mice ate some of the loaf (things like that happened back then..) and you only have two half loaves, you can stick a toothpick inside the two halves to bind them together and use as a whole loaf + another loaf for the Beracha.

And if you don't even have that, you can take two pieces of bread for the Mitzvah of Lechem Mishneh, even though it shows less respect for the Mitzvah."

 

Of course Rav Yechiel Michel did not mean that people who are stuck and can't get hold of 2 whole loaves of bread are disrespectful. What he means is that if you can, you should use two loaves but if not – you can fulfill this important Mitzvah with two pieces only.  

 

Similarily, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l who lived in Yerushalayim till 1995 writes in his book Shemirat Shabbat KeHilkhata:

 "If somebody has one whole loaf and another loaf of sliced bread in a bag, they can use both for Lechem Mishneh.

If you only have loaves of sliced bread, you can use these two for Lechem Mishneh.

And if you don't even have that – take 2 pieces of bread for the Mitzvah."

 

To Conclude:

We now see that two important Poskim have ruled that using 2 pieces of bread is OK for Lechem Mishneh.

Yashar Koach for thinking about it and asking! We are looking forward to getting more amazing questions!

Rabbanit Surale Rosen

is a graduate of Hilkhata, Matan's Advanced Halakhic Institute and is a certified Meshivat Halakha. She is the Director of Shayla. In addition she is a certified To'enet Rabbanit and a graduate of Matan’s Advanced Talmud Institute. Surale has taught Midrash, Talmud and Halakha and Daf Yomi in a wide array of shuls and communities, including the Matan Beit Midrash. Surale is a graduate of Bar Ilan University and holds degrees in English Literature and Talmud. This past year she wrote the weekly Parashat HaShavua column for Chumash Shemot in the leading religious Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon and periodically writes Divrei Torah for weekly Torah publications.