The Sabbath evening meal is a literal time to break bread together. During the liturgy, the challah or (Sabbath bread) is lifted and God is blessed and thanked for supplying “bread from the earth.”
Then the bread is broken and not sliced with a knife. This is very important, because it was with a knife, rabbis say, that Isaac could have been sacrificed. Therefore no knife should touch the Sabbath bread. It is broken and passed from person to person. Above Jonathan Bernis is breaking Sabbath bread in Ethiopia. This photo evokes the warmest memories for me of breaking bread with our precious Ethiopian friends.
Here we are in Jerusalem around our table at home.
Fellowship, laughter, enjoying a great meal, good conversation, remembering the Lord… all of these elements go into breaking bread around the Sabbath table.
Luke 24:30-31: Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
Whenever, wherever the presence of Jesus is honored and lifted up, he will be revealed–the divine will be revealed–in the breaking of our common bread.