Selected Halachos Related to Parshas Shelach
By Rabbi Doniel Neustadt
The following is a discussion of Halachic topics related to the Parsha of the week.
For final rulings, consult your Rav.
As the first of your kneading you shall set aside a loaf as a portion (15:20)
THE MITZVAH OF SEPARATING CHALLAH
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS ON HILCHOS CHALLAH
[Follow-up from Last Week]
QUESTION: Must challah be separated from all types of flour?
ANSWER: Flour derived from the five species of grain - wheat, barley, spelt,
rye and oats - requires the separation of challah. Rice, corn and soy flour
QUESTION: Does the type of liquid used when making the dough have any affect
on the obligation to separate challah?
ANSWER: When flour is mixed with any amount of water, one is obligated to
separate challah with a blessing according to all poskim(1). Flour mixed
with fruit juice or with eggs only, requires hafroshas challah without a
blessing(2). When flour is mixed with olive(3) oil, wine, milk or bee's
honey there is a difference of opinion. Most require separating challah with
a blessing(4) while others recommend separating challah without a
QUESTION: Must challah be separated only when baking bread, or when baking
other items as well?
ANSWER: Thick dough from which cake or cookies will be baked requires
challah separation if a minimum of 10 cups of flour are used. If a minimum
of 16 cups of flour are used, the blessing is recited when separating the
challah. [Other ingredients do not count towards the minimum amount of
Thick dough which will be fried or cooked requires hafroshas challah
without a blessing(6).
A liquid batter which will be fried or cooked is exempt from challah. If it
will be baked, it requires hafroshas challah with a blessing(7).
QUESTION: May the designated piece of challah be removed with a fork or a
ANSWER: It is permitted to remove the designated piece of challah with any
utensil but it is not recommended. As previously explained, the piece of
challah is forbidden to be eaten. Since dough tends to stick, some crumbs
may remain on the utensil and possibly render it [or other dishes washed
along with it] non-kosher when washed with hot water later on.
When the hot, burned piece of challah is removed from the oven, it should
definitely not be removed with a utensil(8).
QUESTION: While sitting at the Shabbos table, a woman realizes that she
forgot to separate challah from her challah loaves. What should she do?
ANSWER: It is prohibited to separate challah on Shabbos or Yom Tov(9) unless
the dough was made on Yom Tov(10). Accordingly, there is nothing that can be
done(11) and the challah loaves may not be eaten(12). [If she realizes her
oversight during bein hashmashos, and neither she nor the shul where her
husband is davening has recited kabbolas Shabbos, she may still separate
challah [even if she has already lit Shabbos candles], as long as the family
has no other challah loaves for Shabbos(13).]
If this oversight occurred outside of Eretz Yisrael, however, the challah
loaves could be eaten so long as the lady intends to separate challah after
Shabbos from whatever will remain of the challah loaves she had baked. She
must follow this procedure(14):
She must make sure that a small piece [e.g., one slice] remains from the
loaves the she had baked;
Separate a designated piece from that remaining slice after Shabbos or Yom
Tov is over(15). That piece is then burned like any other separated challah.
No blessing is recited over this type of challah separation(16).
QUESTION: What can be done if the designated piece of challah, after being
separated - regardless of whether a blessing was recited or not - gets mixed
in with the rest of the dough?
ANSWER: If the designated piece of challah is mixed in with dough which is
101 times greater in volume than the designated piece, then the entire dough
may be baked and eaten(17).
If the dough is not 101 times bigger than the designated piece, the dough
may still be eaten - but only after the challah piece, which is forbidden to
eat, is "removed" from the dough. This is done by halachically annulling the
piece of challah so that the dough no longer contains the forbidden challah
piece. The woman [or her husband(18)] recites the following in the presence
of a bais din of any three adult males(19): "I regret that I designated that
piece of dough as challah, and had I known that I would regret it, I would
not have designated it for challah." The bais din can then repeal her
designation as they do with any other vow(20). Another piece of dough is
then separated for challah.
The same procedure would apply if the woman realized after baking her
challah loves that she mistakenly baked the designated piece of challah with
them, or if somehow the designated piece got mixed up with any other food.
When the challah loves or other food are needed, this procedure may be
followed on Shabbos or Yom Tov as well(21).
QUESTION: Is flushing the designated piece of challah down the toilet the
same as burning it?
ANSWER: No(22). The proper method for disposing of the challah is to burn
it. [We have previously explained that under extenuating circumstances only,
some poskim permit wrapping it and throwing it in the garbage]. It is
prohibited to feed it to one's pet or to derive any benefit from it(23).
QUESTION: Is it a mitzvah for ladies to bake challos on erev Yom Tov as it
is on erev Shabbos?
ANSWER: Yes. It is considered a form of honoring the Yom Tov(24).
QUESTION: A woman prepares dough with the required amount of flour [16 cups]
in order to recite the blessing, then divides the dough in two - half she
bakes immediately while the other half is frozen to be baked at a later
time. Does she separate challah?
ANSWER: This issue is debated in the poskim(25). It is recommended,
therefore, to separate challah but not to recite the blessing(26).
1. Y.D. 329:8.
2. Taz Y.D. 329:9. In practice, however, a dough [of 10 cups of flour or
more] should not be prepared unless it contains either water, wine, olive
oil, milk or bee's honey.
3. Mishnah Berurah 158:15.
4. Pischei Teshuvah 329:2; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 35:7; Aruch ha-Shulchan
5. Oral ruling heard from Harav M. Feinstein (quoted in Oholei Yeshurun, pg.
58) based on Bais Hillel Y.D. 329:9.
6. Shach Y.D. 329:4.
7. Y.D. 329:2.
8. Harav S. Shapiro.
9. Mishnah Berurah 339:26. B'dieved, if she mistakenly separated challah on
Shabbos or Yom Tov, the food may be eaten. If, however, she was aware that
it is forbidden to do so and she did so anyway, the food is forbidden to be
eaten - Sha'ar ha-Tziyun 339:26.
10. If the dough was prepared on Yom Tov, challah is separated with a
blessing but the dough is not burned until after Yom Tov is over. Once the
piece is set aside, it may no longer be moved, since it is muktzeh - Mishnah
11. If this occurred on the first night of Pesach or Sukkos when it is a
Biblical obligation to eat a k'zayis of matzah or bread, a solution can be
found. A rav must be consulted.
12. A possible solution is to prepare on Yom Tov another batch of dough and
then separate challah from the new dough for both. See Rama O.C. 506:3 and
Mishnah Berurah for the details.
13. Mishnah Berurah 261:4 and 28. Outside of Eretz Yisrael, though, this
should not be done, since in the Diaspora it is permitted to separate
challah after Shabbos, as detailed in the next paragraph.
14. Rama O.C. 506:3.
15. Rama Y.D. 323:1. If she forgot to separate challah from more than one
dough, she must follow the same procedure with each dough.
16. Harav S.Z. Auerbach (Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 42, note 57).
17. Rama Y.D. 323:1.
18. Aruch ha-Shulchan 323:14.
19. While her husband may not be one of the three, her children, her father
and other relatives may - Y.D. 334:57.
20. Rama Y.D. 323:1. While some poksim do not agree with this procedure (see
Taz 323:2), most poksim concur with the Rama's ruling, see Chochmas Adam -
Sha'arei Tzedek 14:6; Pischei Teshuvah 3; Aruch ha-Shulchan 14.
21. Sha'arei Teshuvah O.C. 341:1. Since, however, a new piece cannot be
separated on Shabbos or Yom Tov, this leniency would apply only outside of
Eretz Yisrael, as explained earlier, see Shevus Ya'akov 3:27.
22. Chochmas Adam - Sha'arei Tzedek 14:34.
23. Rama Y.D. 322:5. A kohen, however, may derive benefit from it while
burning it - Rama Y.D. 331:19
24. Rama O.C. 242:1; 529:1.
25. See Y.D. 326:2, Beiur ha-Gra 7 and Pischei Teshuvah 2; Chazon Ish Y.D.
26. Leket ha-Omer 7:3; Harav S.Z. Auerbach (Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 42,
Weekly-Halacha, Copyright © 1999 by Rabbi Neustadt, Dr. Jeffrey Gross and
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Rabbi Neustadt is the principal of Yavne
Teachers' College in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also the Magid Shiur of a daily
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