Take for example the following case. Someone only has one piece of bread. However his neighbor has 2 whole challas (and only 2.) May the first with the piece of bread take from his neighbor the 2 whole challas and make on everything together (the 2 challas and the piece of bread) ha'motzei. However not eat from the challas and give them back to the neighbor. I'm essentially asking if there is any "advantage" of making the bracha of ha'motzei with lechem mishneh even though someone will not eat from the lechem mishneh at all?

We find in Hilchos Pesach (Shulchan Aruch Siman 482 Sif 1 in the Rema) that one who only has 3 whole matzas to use for both nights of Pesach he should break one of them and make all the brachos however only eat from the broken piece of matzah, leaving the whole ones for the 2nd night. Could this apply the whole year? Or perhaps Pesach is different since according to some Rishonim (at least one, the Rif?) a person makes ha'motzei on the broken piece of matzah.

  • This doesn't answer your question, but if you know before shabbos that you don't have a whole loaf, then you can briefly heat up the piece you have and it counts as newly baked and whole. – Ariel Apr 28 '13 at 3:14
  • Why not just break your one piece in half and eat both as lechem mishneh? – Double AA Apr 28 '13 at 3:38
  • @DoubleAA what if it's not big enough for the two pieces to meet the minimum size? – Monica Cellio Apr 28 '13 at 4:11
  • @MonicaCellio True, but it isn't so clear that there is a minimum size judaism.stackexchange.com/q/18040/759 – Double AA Apr 28 '13 at 4:23
  • @DoubleAA who says that would work and is acceptable (I know the sources, but I don't see that as a solution in this case -- or even if it's in general a "acceptable" solution. – Yehoshua Apr 28 '13 at 5:47

R Daniel Braude brings a number of laws relevant to your question (Learn Shabbos, p. 76)

  • When saying hamotzi, one must be holding two whole loaves or rolls (SA OC 274:1)
  • The challos should ideally be full, without significant cuts, scrapes or burns
  • According to some poskim, even if one will not eat break after Kiddush, but rather mezonos, he should hold two full pastries or baked foods together to fulfill the obligation of lechem mishne (Kitzur SA 77:17)
  • If necessary, one is permitted to use a frozen challah as part of lechem mishneh (Minchas Yitzhak 9:42:1, Chut Shani 4:85:19)
  • If one does not have two whole loaves or rolls, he should still say hamotzi holding one whole loaf and one slice. If he has no whole loaves then he should use two pieces or slices of bread (Chut Shani 4:85:20)

Since frozen challot are unedible, I take from the above that the best approach is indeed to borrow two challot since it more distinguished than to use one piece of bread, even if one does not eat from these challot.

Of course, consult your rabbi before implementing anything you learn here.

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