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HaMotzi - the Blessing Over Challot

HaMotzi Lechem -

Blessing over Challot

After hand-washing, the head of the household lifts the two challah loaves and says the blessing over bread. Before reciting the blessing, however, the head of the household lightly draws the knife across the challah making a slight indentation to indicate the place for cutting, and then raises the loaves to recite the blessing:

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Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz.

A double portion that fell for the ancient Israelites in the desert is a symbol that the one who is shomer shabbat (a Sabbath observer) will not lose out because of his observance. One of the loaves is cut and the bread is distributed to everyone. It is customary to dip the slices into some salt just as the Sacrifices in the Temple were salted before being consumed (see Leviticus 2:13).

Note that salt is used to commemorate the sacrifices in the Temple, which were always required to be offered with salt (Leviticus 2:13).

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