Challah

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There is an obligation for both men and women to separate Challah from any dough-like batter which they make. The specifics are discussed below.

General Guidelines

  1. The Mitzvah of removing Challah is only Biblical in Israel and when majority of Bnei Yisrael reside in Israel. There is nonetheless a Rabbinic Mitzvah of Challah outside Israel and in Israel when there is a minority of Bnei Yisrael in residence there. [1]
  2. It must be stressed that the Mitzvah of Challah applies to all doughs, not just "Challah Bread"; even dough for baking pastries can be obligated in Challah [2].

Conditions for Being Obligated in Challah

  1. Any dough made from the 5 grains is obligated in the Mitzvah of Challah. [3]
  2. If the dough or a part of the dough is going to be baked one should separate Challah with a Bracha, however, if all of it is going to be cooked or fried one should separate Challah without a Bracha.[4]
  3. If the dough is kneaded with eggs or fruit juice, there is some doubt as to whether one needs to separate Challah; therefore, one should knead into the dough some liquid that is considered a "משקה" [e.g. water, milk, bee's honey, wine, oil], and then one can separate Challah with a Beracha [5].

Who is Obligated?

  1. The Mitzvah of Challah applies to the owner of the Challah who is baking the dough, whether that is a man or a woman. However, the woman has preference over a man in fulfilling this Mitzvah as it is particularly relevant for women.[6]
  2. The dough of a non-Jew is exempt from the mitzvah of hafrashas challah, even if the Jews bakes it into bread. [7]

Amount of Dough Necessary

  1. According to Ashkenazim, some say that the Minhag is to remove Challah with a Bracha when making a dough that is 5 pounds or more and remove Challah without a Bracha when making dough that is 3 pounds or more. [8] Others say that the Minhag of Yerushalyim is to take Challah off without a Bracha if the dough is 2.65 pounds (1200 grams) or more and to remove Challah with a Bracha if the dough is 3.67 pounds (1666 grams) or more. [9]
  2. According to Sephardim, one should take off Challah with a Bracha when making a dough with 3.44 pounds (1560 grams) or more of flour and it is a pious practice to remove Challah without a Bracha when making a dough with 2.65 pounds (1200 grams) or more of flour.[10] However, some say that one should only remove Challah with a Bracha for dough that is 5.29 pounds (2400 grams) and without a Bracha for dough that is 3.67 pounds (1666 grams).[11]
  3. It is forbidden to intentionally make less than the minimum amount of dough which would obligate one to separate Challah. However, if one only has a smaller dough, one needn't worry about making less than the minimum amount.[12]
  4. If one makes less than the amount required in Challah in separate loaves, but then puts them back into the same vessel--the vessel combines these pieces to make a Shi'ur of Challah [13].

Procedure of Removing Challah

  1. The text of the Bracha upon removing Challah is "ברוך אתה ה, ' אלוקינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצונו להפריש חלה". [14]
  2. After reciting the above Bracha one should remove a Kezayit of dough and burn it. The Minhag is to burn the piece of dough in the same oven that the bread is baking.[15]

Forgot to Remove Challah

  1. If one forgot to remove Challah Erev Shabbos: if you are outside of Israel, you leave over a slice, and separate Challah from it after Shabbos. This slice must be slightly bigger than the Shi'ur Challah. [16].
  2. This is a real problem if this happens Erev Shabbos Erev Pesach [17].

Nullification

  1. If Challah got cooked into other foods it makes them forbidden. If it is mixed with the same type of ingredient which is permitted everything is forbidden unless the permitted ingredient is a hundred times that amount of Challah. If it is mixed with a different type of ingredient which is permitted everything is forbidden unless the permitted ingredient is sixty times that amount of Challah.[18]

Sources

  1. Rambam (Bikkurim 5:5-6) writes that The Mitzvah of removing Challah is only Biblical in Israel and when majority of Bnei Yisrael reside in Israel. There is nonetheless a Rabbinic Mitzvah of Challah outside Israel and in Israel when there is a minority of Bnei Yisrael in residence there. The Mitzvah of Challah is counted as one of the 613 mitzvot by the Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvot Asin #133) and Sefer HaChinuch (385).
  2. R. Shechter, http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/802895/Rabbi_Hershel_Schachter/Inyonei_Challah
  3. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:1
  4. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:6
  5. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:7
  6. Mishna (Shabbat 2:6), Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:8, Yalkut Yosef YD 328:12
  7. Shulchan Aruch YD 330:1
  8. Shulchan Aruch YD 324:1 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:1 write that the amount necessary in order to be obligated in Challah is 43.2 KeBaytzim of flour.Rabbi Hershel Schachter on yutorah.org (Shiur on Parshat Shalach, min 50) quotes Rav Eliyahu Yosef Henkin (Edut LeYisrael page 138) who says to remove Challah with a Bracha if the dough is 5 pounds or more and without a Bracha if the dough is 3 pounds or more.
  9. Halichot Shlomo (Moadim vol 2 pg 338 note 54) writes that this was the Minhag in Rav Shlomo Zalman’s house and that of Yerushalyim.
  10. Yalkut Yosef YD 324:6
  11. Rav Modechai Eliyahu (comments on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:2
  12. Yalkut Yosef YD 324:7
  13. Mishna Challah 2:4, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:3; See Pesachim 46a-b
  14. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:1
  15. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:1
  16. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:9
  17. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:9
  18. Ran Nedarim 52a citing the Yerushalmi, Tosfot Chullin 99a s.v. ein, Rama YD 323:1 all hold that min b'sheino mino is batel one in sixty by Challah. However, the Rambam (Machalot Asurot 15:30) holds that it isn't batel unless there is one hundred even for a case of sheino mino. See Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Frankel Rambam) who asks on this Rambam.