On Shabbos Hamotzi is done with much funfare - start the cut before, cut a piece, dip in salt. What about during the week?

Is it a good thing to:

  1. dip in salt?
  2. rip off a piece and eat that piece before eating the rest? I've seen people occasionally do this even when it doesn't make sense otherwise - like pizza or a sandwich.
  • I've never heard of Shabbat being different. What makes you think it would be different?
    – Double AA
    Feb 25, 2014 at 15:08
  • @DoubleAA, well, it is different with respect to starting a cut before the b'racha and finishing it after. So it's reasonable to think lots of other rules are different, until one finds out why that one rule is different.
    – msh210
    Feb 25, 2014 at 15:22
  • @msh210 The OP didn't seem to hold of that distinction as he mentions starting the cut before the bracha on shabbat. So, he at least hasn't shown any reason why they would be different. You are welcome to edit the question to give it justification if you want.
    – Double AA
    Feb 25, 2014 at 15:24
  • @msh210 Why do we do the cut before only Shabbos? If it would be to avoid a hefsek shouldn't it always apply?
    – Eliyahu
    Feb 25, 2014 at 17:56
  • @Eliyahu msh210 didn't say that. Pre-cutting should only be done during the week.
    – Double AA
    Feb 25, 2014 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


The laws of breaking bread are in O Ch 167 and with the exception of starting the cut are no different as mentioned there between Shabbos and weekday. See the same question asked at Ohr Someach.

The use of salt is mentioned in Seif 5 where the expression מלח או לפתן ‏ is used לפתן being something eaten with bread. There are situations in which salt may not be needed although there are mystical considerations to use it (see Torah musings). Again there is no difference between Shabbos and weekday. However as Torah musings says:

some have the custom to refrain from adding salt on Friday night because no sacrifices were burned in the Temple at that time (see Divrei Ha-Rav, p. 169; Piskei Teshuvos, vol. 2. 167:5).

Torah musings tries to deal with the fact that

many people only salt their bread on Shabbos but not during the week?

He says,

The only answer I can think of is social. Nowadays, people tend to eat bread during the week as part of a sandwich. Often, a sandwich is already salty. Therefore, people are not used to eating plain bread during the week and, when they do, they do not think to salt it. However, this explanation is insufficient because according to the Rema, even a sandwich requires salt. Perhaps only our Shabbos tables are compared to an altar. Or maybe the Rema’s custom is just to have salt on the tables and not necessarily to put it on bread. But then why do we salt challah?

The inconsistency is difficult to explain.

Aish instructs how to cut the bread on Shabbos.

Step 4 is

“The leader picks up both challahs, with the bottom one slightly closer to him. Some leave the challah cover on during the blessing, while others remove it at this point. The bottom challah is grazed lightly with the knife."

On a weekday, an incision should be made in the loaf before the blessing at the place where it is well baked and after the blessing the loaf should be cut at that place. On Shabbos, when we need two whole loaves, it is better not to make a deep cut that might decrease the wholeness of one of the loaves - hence the reference to "grazing" in the Aish article. See O Ch 167 (1) MB 10 for the details.

See more detail from Aish here.


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