Lechem Mishna - Double Loaves

Should one take two loaves (lechem mishna) before beginning a yom tov (festival) meal as is done on Shabbat?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Yes, the rule is the same for Yom Tov as it is for Shabbat. On Shabbat we take two loaves to commemorate that a double portion of manna fell on Fridays in the desert to provide sustenance for two days. On Yom Tov the manna likewise did not fall; thus a double portion was provided the day before (Shulchan Aruch O.C. 529:1, Mishna Berurah 10).

In fact, every meal we eat on Shabbat and Yom Tov, even extra ones, should preferably begin with two loaves (Rema O.C. 291:4).

The only difference is that on Shabbat many have the custom to cut the bottom challah on Friday night and the top one for the other meals. This Kabbalistic practice does not apply on Yom Tov, so we always cut the upper (closer) Challah (Rema O.C. 274:1).

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