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Lechem Mishneh: The Written & Oral Laws

The Zohar distinguishes between two forms of bread: “bread from Heaven” and “bread from the earth”. The distinction that normally exists between these two types of bread is obscured

on Shabbat and a link is drawn between the bread of Heaven and the bread of earth.

The terms Heavenly Bread and Bread of the Earth can be an allusion to the two sources from which we derive God’s Torah: the Written Law emanating from Heaven and the Oral Law deduced here on earth.
The contribution of the Jewish people through their interpretation of the Oral Law is fused with the Written Law every Shabbat. By partaking of the Lechem Mishneh, we are alluding to the association between both forms of spiritual sustenance that we enjoy every Shabbat- the Written and Oral Laws. (Sefat Emet, Vayechi 5652)

When we bring the two loaves of bread together, we are not simply symbolizing the merging and integration of the Written and Oral Laws; we are celebrating the intimate relationship created between God and us when our active involvement in the study and application of Torah allows us to be united with Him as He bestows upon us His special gift of Torah on Shabbat.

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