By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld
In Shemos, Perek Tes Zayin, posuk chof bais the Torah tells us that we received a double portion of mon on Fridays in the Midbar. The Gemara in Meseches Brachos, daf lamed tes, amud bais brings a machlokes between Rav Abba and Rav Kahana whether a person is required to cut both challos on Shabbos. Rav Abba states based on the Ritva and the Reah that one is required to cut both challos. Rav Kahana, on the other hand, held that you hold two challahs when you make the brocha and thereafter cut one of them. This he felt is sufficient because the posuk uses the word “V’laktu” (they collected). Therefore, when one holds the challah, he is required to hold two challahs; however, when it comes to cutting, it is enough to cut one challah.
The Daas Zekeinim mibaalei Tosfos on the above posuk says that during the first five days of the week the mon came down as an “Omer” (a measurement) and from that measurement they baked two breads, one for the morning and one for the evening. On Erev Shabbos they received two “omers,” which they made into four breads. The Daas Zekeinim adds that two miracles occurred on Erev Shabbos. One miracle was that the mon came down as a double portion on Erev Shabbos. The second miracle was that from the second portion that came down on Erev Shabbos they were able to bake the challos to twice the size as the weekday challos. This was to accommodate the neshama yeseira. They ate half an omer as a regular meal on Friday morning. They were left with one and a half omer of which they baked six challahs to accommodate the meals for Shabbos.
This explains shitas Rav Abba who says it is not enough that one holds the lechem mishna in hand. He needs to cut them as well to account for both miracles; the fact that they received a double portion is accounted for by holding two challahs in your hand while making the bracha. The second miracle that the baking resulted in more bread than during the week does not get reflected unless you cut both challahs. Conversely, Rav Kahana held that only the first miracle occurred, therefore one needs to only hold the two challahs, but does not need to cut them both.
May we be zocheh soon to bring korbanos and the challahs of the Korban Todah in the Bais Hamikdosh.