If my understanding is correct we use two Challot on Shabbat to represent the two portions of mana the Jews received in the desert of Friday to prevent them from having to collect on Shabbat. We use the salt to represent the 'preservative' Hashem put on the extra portion of mana to keep it until Shabbat (every other day the extra the Jews had would spoil). (I know there are other reasons for the salt, but I have never heard of another reason for the Challot).

If this is so:

  1. Why do we use two challot on Shabbat day?
  2. Why do we use salt on Shabbat day?

Neither of these represent what happened in the desert.

  • Regarding salt, look up R' Hirsch's comments on the phrase "berit melach." Hopefully, I'll do that myself later.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 15:47
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    Two challot for Shamor V Zachor :)
    – avi
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 17:33
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    the ari would tell you to use 12 challot. Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 23:15
  • there are some who take 12 challos, because it says in the zohar somewhere yud bes challos however the gro read it as yud bes ches-with-apostrophe Chatzoin that a person should halve all 6 challos that he eats over the course of shabbos Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 18:34

2 Answers 2


I've never heard of the salt representing a preservative. It is, primarily, to represent the salt used for Korbanoth, as the table is representative of the Mizbeaḥ. In fact, I once had a Rav who would specifically not use salt Friday night, as there are no Korbanoth that are meant to be brought on Friday night. Furthermore, according to this Minhag, the practice should be kept all week, and not just on Shabbath. I personally don't have this Minhag at all (long story).

As for the question about the number, I believe the point is to remind us of the double-portion, and that's it. It's not to re-create the double-portion, half of which only lasted one meal; it's to serve as a reminder, which can be carried throughout Shabbath.

  • Do you have a source that specifically says that it is a reminder Shabbat day and therefore, even though it is not historically accurate we should do it anyway? Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 16:17
  • I've seen it, but I cannot recall where. Not in a traditional source, though; more like an article or online Shi'ur type of thing, but they may have gotten it from a primary source.
    – Seth J
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 17:26

The mana fell each morning. This means that each morning's portion lasted for lunch and dinner in that order. So based on your logic, either we should use 2 loaves on Friday day and Friday night, or only on Saturday day and Saturday night. Both of these ideas are not mentioned anywhere I know of as the rule of 2 loaves is found only regarding Shabbat.

Thus, it seems that the rule is a general decree to remember the story and we do so by using 2 loaves throughout the entire Shabbat because the existence of Shabbat is what prompted the whole story to begin with.


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