Seperating Challoh

by | Jan 6, 2021 | Halacha

The Need

The Navi Yechezkel (44:30) says that one who gives Challoh to a Kohen is blessed. Let’s do it!

But, first let’s learn the Halachos.

What is Challoh?

  • It says in the Torah (B`Midbar 15:20) ראשית ערסתכם חלה תרימו, from a dough we must take Challoh.
  • It is not merely a Mitzvah, we may not eat from a dough taking off Challoh.

What can I take Challoh from?

One can only take Challoh from a dough that has a requirement to take Challoh.

The following conditions create a requirement to take Challoh. It is important to note that each condition has a Halachic interpretation and may not be interpreted on one’s own. I will elaborate on them later.

  1. A dough
  2. That will be Baked
  3. That is made from one or more of the five grains
  4. That the dough has an Omer of flour inside.
  5. Some Rishonim hold that only a dough made with water is obligated in Challoh. Therefore while we take Challoh even if it was made with other liquids, we do not make a Brocha unless it was made with water.

What is considered a dough?

A solid dough is obligated in Challoh.

A batter is not considered a dough, therefore although one must take Challoh, this can only be done after is baked and has become a solid. One makes a Brocha.

How much is an Omer or what size dough is obligated in Challoh?

  1. Only the flour component should be calculated.
  2. The size of an Omer is the subject of much disagreement. Therefore practically it can be said that there are two sizes.
    1. Since a dough that is obligated in Challoh cannot be eaten, we must be stringent and take Challoh from any dough that may be suspected being an Omer.
      1. Therefore the Minhag of Ashkenazim is to take Challoh from a dough that has at least 1.2 Kilo of flour.
      2. Some Sefardim take Challoh from a dough with 1.25 Kilo of flour, while other Sefardim take off Challoh only if the dough has 1.6 Kilo of flour.
    2. Since one must not make a Bracha until it is clear that one is obligated to do so, we do not make a Bracha until we are certain that the dough has an Omer of flour.
      1. Therefore Ashekenazim don’t make a Brocha on Hafrashas Challoh until the dough contains 2.25 Kilo of flour.
      2. Some Sefardim don’t make a Bracha until the dough contains 1.666 Kilo of flour, while others don’t make a Bracha until the dough contains 2.5 Kilo of flour.
  3. Once a dough is obligated in Challoh, it remains obligated even if part of the dough is separated and is no longer an Omer.

When can I take Challoh?

    1. Challoh should be taken after the dough is formed but before it is shaped into loaves or other shapes.

  • It is not effective to take Challah from flour. If one did so, the dough is still obligated in Challah.

 

  1. If the dough was shaped but Challoh was not yet taken, then one takes Challoh from the formed dough.
  2. If the dough was baked and Challoh was still not taken, then one takes Challoh from the baked item.
  3. Cakes that have an Omer of flour in them, while one needs to take Challoh, if it is a batter cake [Baked as a liquid as opposed to made with a solid dough,] Challah can only be taken after baking.

How much Challoh should I take?

  1. Mi`D`Oraysoh there is no minimum amount, one can take a single crumb.
  2. However, the ReM”A states that the Minhag is to take a Kzayis [olives worth].
  3. There is no difference if it is a large dough or a small dough.
  4. One should not take more than necessary, for a few reasons, among them Baal Tashchis, since nowadays it cannot be eaten it is wasteful to take a large amount.
  5. There is no reason to be stringent on the size of this Kzayis, since Mi`D`Oraysoh a single crumb is enough, the Kzayis is only a Minhag.

Who should take Challoh?

  1. The Mitzva of taking Challoh was given to the the lady who is the homemaker of the house. This is so she can get a Kapparah on Chava’s part of the sin of the EItz Ha`Daas. If she is not available others can do it as well.
  2. A lady who takes Challoh every week, on thursday or friday is praiseworthy, however if one cannot do so, she should make sure to do this Mitzva every so often, to get a Kapparah and so that the Mitzva is not forgotten.
  3. In small families, since they do not eat a Omer every week, they make dough every other week so that they can take Challoh. They then freeze what they don’t need. It is important to note that if one plans on freezing part of the dough, then the dough is not obligated in Challoh. Rather they should bake all the dough and freeze the baked loaves.

How do I take Challoh?

  1. There are three steps to taking Challoh and 2 ways of doing it.
      1. Take off the Challoh
      2. Make the Brocha
      3. Declare “This dough is hereby Challoh” or הרי זו חלה
      1. Make the Brocha
      2. Take off Challoh
      3. Declare “This dough is hereby Challoh” or הרי זו חלה
  2. When one declares the Challoh [by saying הרי זו חלה] one should make sure to hold the Challoh next the dough or in the same container as the dough. If one neglected to do so, Challah need not be taken again. 

Can I eat from the dough before I take Challoh?

  1. No. A dough that has a Torah requirement to take Challoh may not be eaten from, until Challoh has been taken. The Torah requires Challoh be taken from a dough that was kneaded in Israel.
  2. Although the Torah does not require Challoh be taken from a dough that was kneaded outside of Israel, Chazal decreed that Challoh be taken. However, they allowed eating from it as long as one takes Challoh later. When taking Challoh later, make sure there is enough dough left, for taking Challoh  and for leftovers. This is needed because one must take Challoh from a dough, which requires there be leftovers.

What should I do with the Challoh?

  1. The best thing to do with the Challoh is to burn it as soon as possible in a location far away from any food that you will eat. Challoh has the same status as Terumah, only pure Kohanim are allowed to eat it. Practically, this makes it as non-kosher as pork, to anyone who is not a Kohen who is Tahor. Keep it away from your food! Keep it away from your oven and stove top, unless you don’t mind Kashering them.
  2. Since it can be difficult to burn Challoh in a way that it is kept away from your food, many Poskim promote putting it in the garbadge. Since it is holy, it must be wrapped prior to throwing it out.