Ekev: Chapter 3
Ten things one must do for the meal
Synopsis

The Faithful Shepherd begins to speak about the feast of the King - the display bread, the table, the utensils and vessels. He brings into the discussion the relevance of the Names of God and their numerical values, the four Holy Beasts and the 24 books in the Torah. Moses talks about the rituals that are performed before a King's table, and how beneficial and beautiful these are. We read about the distribution of the loaves of challah bread on Shabbat and about the blessings given by the guest.

Next Rabbi Shimon appears and tells the Faithful Shepherd about a child of five years old who prepared the table all on his own as though he were twenty years old. The child knew the order of the blessings and lectured to the rabbis on the reading of the Sh'ma. We hear of the child's inner explanation of the wheat and the properly baked bread, and how he goes over the ten requirements that must be fulfilled for the Shabbat meal. The child talks about the Good Inclination and the Evil Inclination. We hear from the Faithful Shepherd the detailed explanation of the ten requirements mentioned by the child. In this explanation we hear about such things as the inner meaning of the ritual washing of the hands.

Next Rabbi Shimon praises Moses, saying that he returns by reincarnation in every generation but that he did not reveal himself except in the generation when the Torah was received. At this point we learn that the souls of a generation who have just departed are reincarnated in the next generation immediately afterward.

The Faithful Shepherd returns to his explication of the Shabbat meal, going over the injunction to break and hand out two loaves of bread, to eat three meals on the Shabbat, to have a lamp lit at the table, to have the cup of wine ready, to talk about matters of the Torah, to linger at the table for the sake of the poor and destitute, to do the final washing with water, to raise the cup of blessing with the proper ritual, and finally to perform the blessing after the meal.