As we open our weekly sabbath gathering, Lev Y’shua Messianic Congregation often does so by breaking bread together. We do this to convey the idea of deep spiritual fellowship among the brethren.
The “breaking of bread” is a Jewish expression which refers specifically to the action of breaking bread at the commencement of a meal, and then, by extension, to the meal itself. As we gather and enter in to worship, pray, praise, study, and learn together, we are about to have a spiritual feast, enjoying all that Yahweh has for us, including His word, the bread of life. The breaking of bread together therefore is a fitting prelude to what is to follow. It is a concrete representation of the fact that we are about to partake of a spiritual meal.
We break and do not cut because a knife may be used as an instrument of war and the sabbath is a time for peace. Often, the blessing we use is one which comes to us from brother Judah: “Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.” The breaking of bread is therefore associated with a prayer of thanksgiving, and has a holy significance of joint fellowship in sharing and enjoying the blessings of God. Bread is considered the mainstay of life, without which one cannot live. Yet a greater bread have we, for the Master Y’shua said that He is the bread of life. Thus, bread represents divine kindness without which, we would cease to exist.
Salt, on the other hand represents divine severity. Our Elohim is a loving, yet just God. Salt reminds us of His justice which He measures out. In Hebrew, the word for salt (melech) and the word for bread (lechem) contain the same letters (mem, lamed, chet) and points us to greater understanding of the extensiveness of the perfect self-existent one. He is kind and deals graciously with those who love and obey Him, but to those who disregard Him and His right rulings, He brings judgement and calamity.
We dip the bread into the salt as a reminder that judgement begins at the house of God. We dip, and do not pour, and therefore overpower the severity of the salt with kindness of the bread. This is how our Great God deals with His people. Kindness (bread) dipped into severity (salt).
Further, in the sacrificial system, sacrifices were prepared with salt. We are called to be living sacrifices, holy unto the Lord.
Since salt is a preservative which does not spoil or decay, it is the perfect representation of Yahweh’s eternal covenant with His people, Israel.
Thus, our breaking and dipping of bread in salt is a beautiful way for us as a community of kindred spirits in a thriving fellowship to open our weekly Sabbath gathering.