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Chapter 35: 1-3
The Laws of Separating Challah

1. A loaf of bread made from (any of) the five species of grain [wheat, barley, oats, rye, and spelt] must have challah separated from it. Before we separate challah, the following blessing is recited: Boruch Attoh A-d-o-n-o-i Eloh-einu Melech ho'olom asher kid'shonu b'mitzvosov v'tzivonu l'hafrish challah. Blessed are You, G-d, our Lord, King of the Universe who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to separate challah.

A portion of dough, the measure of an olive, is taken* from the dough and burnt in fire. It is customary to burn this portion in the same oven in which the dough is baked.**

* {The Misgeres Hashulchon 1 writes that it is also proper to designate the separated dough verbally as challah.}

** {This practice should not be followed in Eretz Yisroel, where different rules apply to the dough separated as challah.}

2. How large must dough be before one is obligated to separate challah? Any dough made from five revi'im of flour. This is a measure equal to 43 and one fifth eggs.*

* {In modern measure, this figure is approximately 73 fluid ounces, 9.125 cups, or 131.8 cubic inches. In Hilchos Bikkurim 6:15, the Rambam elaborates further on this subject and gives a measure according to weight as well. In modern measure, the figure he gives equals approximately 1.7 kilograms (close to 4 lbs.).}

3. When matzos are baked for Pesach, each dough does not contain a measure requiring the separation of challah in its own right. Nevertheless, since afterwards the matzos are all places together in a single container, the container causes them to be considered as a single entity.* Hence, challah must be separated from them.

* {The Shulchon Oruch HoRav (457:2) and the Mishnoh Beruroh (457:7) also require that the matzos touch each other.}

Care should be taken that all the matzos are places within the container. If part of the matzoh is placed within the container and part extends beyond the container, it is included among the other matzos. However, if an entire matzoh is places [on top of the others,] above the walls of the container and not inside it, it is not included as part of the others. Even covering them with a cloth does not change the ruling.*

* {The Mishnoh Beruroh (457:1) quotes certain opinions which allow leniency when the matzos are placed above the walls of the container.}

However, should one place the matzos in a sheet and cover them with a sheet, the sheet is considered and causes them to be considered as a single entity, even though the middle is uncovered. However, one should take care that an entire matzoh should not be outside the covering.

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 
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