Lechem Mishnah (IV)
- A frozen loaf can be used for lechem mishnah because
it can be defrosted and eaten within a short time. If it is not damp it can be
placed alongside a large pot standing on the fire. If it is damp from melting
ice, it must be wiped to avoid cooking.
- A loaf that is so hard and dry that it cannot be eaten as
it is can also be used for lechem mishnah because it, too, can be made
edible within a short time by soaking it. But a loaf that is moldy cannot be
used for lechem mishnah.
- If the loaf that is being used for lechem mishnah is in
a plastic bag (or any sort of wrapper), it is correct to remove it before
making the blessing over bread so that the two breads touch each other. On
Pesach, some poskim hold that the three matzohs should be separated because
each matzah is a mitzvah in its own right and has its own special
significance. But everyone agrees that the two loaves of lechem mishnah
are a single mitzvah and that they relate to a single idea. According to the
Magen Avraham, a person should remove gloves before making a blessing over
bread even during the week because he should be in physical contact with the
bread. That is another reason why it is correct to remove the lechem
mishnah from its wrapper before reciting the blessing.
- A person who cannot eat a kezais of the lechem
mishnah should at least taste it.
- If there is a tag on the lechem mishnah, it should be
removed with some of the bread in order to avoid tearing it and breaking
letters. Since this removes some of the bread, and the lechem mishnah
should be a whole loaf, the tag should be removed after reciting the blessing.
- If chalah has not been taken from a loaf it cannot be used
for lechem mishnah in Eretz Yisrael. It is forbidden to remove chalah
on Shabbos, and in Eretz Yisrael it is forbidden to eat from a loaf before
chalah has been removed. Since the loaf cannot be eaten, it cannot be used for
lechem mishnah. But in the diaspora, the halachah is different. A loaf
can be eaten before chalah is removed. Therefore, even though it is forbidden
to remove chalah on Shabbos, a loaf from which chalah has not been removed can
be used for lechem mishnah in the diaspora. The chalah is removed on