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Kiddush & Challah Questions and Answers

A selection of FAQ's about two of Shabbat's most hallowed traditions: the recitation of the kiddush and the partaking of lechem mishneh (two loaves of challah).

What Is Kiddush?
The word “kiddush” has at least three meanings, each one built on the one before it. Let’s start at the beginning.
Why Do We Dip the Challah Bread in Salt?
At first I thought it was just a flavor thing, but then I saw it done in multiple homes. What’s the reason for this?
Scratch Your Challah
I noticed on Friday night at the meal that before you blessed the Challah, you made a small cut in one of the loaves. What is the meaning of this custom?
Why Is Kiddush Said Over Wine?
A series of fascinating reasons culled from more than 2 millennia of Jewish scholarship.
Why Sing Eishet Chayil on Friday Night?
Although I have not seen it documented, it seems that this originated with the mystics of Safed.
Why Is Challah Braided?
The long-standing Jewish custom is for Shabbat breads to be braided. Here's why.
Why Do Some Tear Challah and Others Cut It?
While most slice their bread, there are indeed some who rip on Shabbat, and some do so just on Fridays. Here's why
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