Challah Cover with 12 Breads, Arizal, "Mazala" Meditation Embroidery w/Swarovski Stones 60cm x 52cm
This Challah Cover is designed after an old Challah Cover (Iraq, 19th Century, Israel Museum Collection) that shows the meditation of the Arizal for the 12 Challah Breads of Shabbat.
The Shabbat table should emulate the Temple so it can invite the Shekhinah - Holy Spirit to one's home.
Leḥem HaPanim - was the 12 loafs of bread on the table in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
According to Rabbi Isaac Lurie (The Arizal) the 12 loafs should be organized according to the diagram on the Challah Cover as follows: Every circle represents two Challah Breads, one on top of the other. Each Challah represents one letter of the Holy Name of G-d, the Tetragrammaton.
The 4 loafs on the right represent the Tetragrammaton of the right column - Ḥesed
The 4 loafs on the left represent the Tetragrammaton of the left column - Gevura
The 4 loafs on the center represent the Tetragrammaton of the central column - Tiferet.
When all of them become one under the cover, through the Kavanah (meditation) of the blessing they become 13, as the 13 Attributes of Mercy that draw bliss in a way that can bring good fortune from the upper level called Mazala.
The Gematria (Numeric value) of Mazalah is 78 = לחם (Bread) that is also the Gematria of the three times of the Tetragrammaton (26x3=78).
The table was standing to the north side of the Temle שולחן בצפון and therefore, the head table should be, if possible, at the north.
The Menorah was standing to the south מנורה בדרום and, therefore, the Shabbat Candles should be, if possible, at the south.
'"ובלילה הזה, השבת פורשת כנפיה ושמירה נמצאת על העולם" (זוהר ויקהל)
"On that night (Shabbat), the Shabbat is spreading its wings and protection is available on the world" (Zohar, VaYak'hel)
The prayers, the Kiddush and the Se'uda (meal) of Shabbat bring that intense energy of bliss and protection available on Shabbat to us for the whole week.