Why do the Jewish People dip the challah bread in salt during Sabbath meal

If you have ever attended a Sabbath ceremony, you must have noticed that before serving the challah bread, Jews first dip it in the salt. You may have thought that as salt is a natural taste enhancer, that’s why they dip the bread in the salt. But your guess is not correct and there is even a deeper significance behind this practice which we will tell you in this post. 

Why it is important to keep a silver salt cellar full of salt on the Sabbath table?

In addition to the dipping ritual, it is also important to keep a silver salt cellar full of salt on the Sabbath table. At first, before having our meal, we wash our hands, sit on the Sabbath table quietly and wait for others to do the same. As per the direction mentioned in Midrash, while we wait between washing and blessing over the bread, a person should not speak. During this time, the satan or the prosecuting angel attempts to draw our attention, and the presence of salt on the Sabbath table keeps us protected. 

This presence of salt is also named as ‘Covenant of salt’. But why it is called by such name? It is because salt is a natural preservative that does not spoil or decay. Due to this uniqueness of salt, it acts as an ideal metaphor for G-d’s everlasting covenant with the believers of the Jewish religion.

A mythological explanation behind this practice:

As per the Kabbalah, bread, which represents life, is the symbol of divine kindness. On the other side, salt, which is bitter, is the symbol of sacred harshness. In the Hebrew language, salt is called as ‘melach’, and the name of bread is ‘lechem’. So, both the names consist of similar letters. In addition, we must overrule the harshness of salt with the divine kindness of bread. That is why, the general Jewish custom states not to sprinkle the salt over the bread, but to dip the bread in the salt, which means kindness in the top of harshness.

In addition, often religious Jews follow a custom where they dunk the bread three times in the salt kept in a silver salt cellar. One possible explanation is that the numerical value of salt is 78. When you divide it by 3, it becomes equals to 26, which is the numerical value of the name of G-d ( Tetragrammaton).

The process of dipping bread into the salt:

The ’breaking of bread’ ritual contains several steps. First, you need to cover the challah bread with a cloth and when everyone is ready, you should uncover it. Then the person who would read the blessings chooses a challah which he would cut first. Then he makes a gentle knife scratch over the challah with the help of a knife. After that, he chants the blessings over the challah raising challot. Then before distributing the challah to everyone, he dips the marked challah into the salt. 

How to Teach Children to Respect Religious Beliefs Outside Their Own


Many parents who hold religious beliefs wish to pass them along to their children. They want their children to know the special connection with a higher power that has enhanced their own lives. But no matter which religion you subscribe to, you may also want to ensure that your kids grow up tolerant of the spiritual tenets that others follow. Unfortunately, this can be rather difficult to accomplish. Children that have been raised with one set of religious beliefs may have trouble reconciling what they’ve been taught with the existence of other religions. They might not understanding why others don’t believe the same things they do. But as a parent and the main source of spiritual guidance for your kids, there are things you can do to make the process easier. Here are just a few tactics you can try when it comes to helping your kids learn to respect the religious beliefs of others.

The first thing you’ll want to do is talk to your kids about other religions. They’re bound to have a lot of questions and you can be the one to address them. If you don’t know the answers, you can always ask your own religious leaders for information, or do a little research on your own. When you have a better understanding of world religions, it can only help you when it comes to having this complicated conversation with your children. Plus, it can’t hurt to practice what you preach. When we don’t understand something, it’s easy to discount. So it’s important that you take the time to learn at least a little about other religions and why people feel so strongly about them. Of course, your own faith can also inform you here; since you know what it means to hold strong beliefs you can see where others are coming from where their particular religions are concerned.
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