Take for example the following case. Someone only has one piece of bread. However his neighbor has 2 (and only 2) whole challas. May the person with the piece of bread take from his neighbor the 2 whole challas and make ha'motzei on everything together (the 2 challas and the piece of bread); 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

I believe you are asking two sub-questions

  1. Is there an advantage to saying hamotzi over two full loaves?
  2. If that is the case, can one borrow bread from a neighbor to say hamotzi even if not eating the bread?

On the first question SA OC 274:1 writes that when saying hamotzi, one must be holding two whole loaves or rolls. The challot should ideally be full, without significant cuts, scrapes or burns. According to some poskim, even if one will not eat bread 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) (taken from R Daniel Braude's Learn Shabbos, p. 76).

On the second question, Shmirat Shabat KeHilchata 55:13 writes that if one is lacking a second loaf for lechem mishneh, one may borrow a loaf from a neighbor, say the blessing over bread, cut one's own loaf and then return the borrowed loaf to its owner.

However, the problem with your proposal is that, when one is in front of a whole loaf and a slice of bread, one eats from the loaf (Brachot 39b, SA OC 168:1, SA HaRav 168:1), therefore I don't think it is possible to borrow two loaves, eat from one's slice and return the loaves to one's neighbor.

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

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