How To Separate Challah
5lbs. of lbs. flour: While sifting the flour pray; Please Hashem help me to separate the good from the bad ,help me to get rid of my negative character traits and my Yetzer Hara, help me to focus on the positive and incorporate positive character traits just like I am doing with sifting the flour.
How to separate Challah
3 or 4 packages of dry yeast: Create a hole in the center of the flour in the bowl that you have all the above ingredients in. Then in a separate bowl, add the packages of yeast, 2 more tablespoons of sugar and 1 cup of warm water. When it begins to bubble, add the yeast mixture to the larger bowl with the hole in the center of the flour. Pray; help me to have simcha (happiness) in my home, in my life. Grant us your protection (as yeast in Hebrew is called shimarim which translates to protection) now and always. Please Hashem, allow me to feel joy for others as well. Bless me with tranquility, inner peace so I can continue doing mitzvot.
Making challah, or any bread for that matter allows us the women to make tikun on the sin of Chava. By completing the process of challah (bread) baking, we are in essence allowing our neshamot( souls) to feel complete and whole again.
It is tremendous mitzva for anyone to separate the challah. Many have the tendency to allow: a woman who is not married yet, to do this mitzvah, so she may find her spouse with ease. You can allow a woman who did not have children yet to separate the challah so she can have children in this merit. Some separate the challah in the merit of certain individual/individuals for refuah shelema (complete healing). Whatever the reason now is a great time to pray for any personal needs you may have as well as anyone else's needs.
"May it be Your Will, Eternal, our G-d, that the commandment of separating challah be considered as if I had performed it with all its details and ramifications. May my elevation of the challah be comparable to the sacrifice that was offered on the altar, which was acceptable and pleasing. Just as giving the challah to the Kohein in former times served to atone for sins, so may it atone for mine, and make me like a person reborn without sins. May it enable me to observe the holy Sabbath (or Festival of...) with my husband (and our children) and to become imbued with its holiness. May the spiritual influence of the mitzvah of challah enable our children to be constantly sustained by the hands of the Holy One, blessed is He, with His abundant mercy, loving-kindness, and love. Consider the mitzvah of challah as if I have given the tithe. And just as I am fulfilling this mitzvah with all my heart, so may Your compassion be aroused to keep me from sorrow and pain, always. Amen."
It is preferable to burn the piece of dough that has been separated, but not in the oven. If the challah is burned on the gas range, it should first be well wrapped in aluminum foil so that the dough does not touch the grate. Another option is to place the piece of dough inside a tin-can and burn it on a lit gas range.
When is Challah Separated? In order to determine whether our dough requires separating challah, and whether we should separate challah with a blessing or without a blessing, we must consider the type and the amount of flour used and the liquid contents of the dough. Type of Flour: The obligation to separate challah applies to dough made with flour produced from one of, or a combination of, the following five grains: wheat, barley, rye, oat and spelt.
Do not separate challah: When using less than 1,230 grams (2 lbs. 11.4 oz.) of flour. All flour used when preparing the dough, such as flour used when rolling the dough, should be included in the calculations.
Separating Challah after Baking: Challah is usually separated from dough before it has been divided or shaped. In some cases, however, challah needs to be separated from the finished product, after the baking is done.
The proper time to separate challah is before baking the dough while the batter is raw. If, however, one forgot to separate challah before baking the dough, she must do so after the dough has been baked(8).
The piece of challah that was separated is forbidden to be eaten. In effect, it is a non-kosher food. Care should be taken that it does not touch the rest of the baked goods, either in or out of the oven.
It is possible that a dough which was originally baked with less than the prescribed amount of flour would ultimately require separation of challah: If several small doughs are combined, they are halachically considered as one dough. In the following three cases the doughs may be considered as one dough(19):
If the doughs are [or were previously] pressed together tightly enough so that when they are separated they will stick to one another, they are considered as one dough and challah must be separated from one of them.
Even if the doughs are not [or were not] pressed together but are placed in one deep utensil(20) and are touching each other(21), they require hafroshas challah and challah must be separated from one of them. Note that even if the doughs have been baked into bread or cakes and then placed together in one utensil, they will require hafroshas challah at that point.
Even if the doughs are not [or were not] pressed together and are not [or were not] placed in one utensil, but are lying on a counter or on a table and are touching each other and are completely wrapped up in a cloth, they are considered as one dough and challah must be separated from one of them(22). Note that even if the doughs have been baked into bread or cakes and then wrapped together, they will require hafroshas challah at that point.
In Temple times, the separated portion, the challah, was given to the Kohain . The Kohanim were deeply involved in their service in the Temple, and were therefore unable to fully provide for their families. Hashem commanded us to give His portion, challah, among other gifts, to the Kohanim. This ensured their sustenance as they performed their holy work on our behalf.
Today, the Temple remains central to our identity as a people. Observing the mitzvah of hafrashat challah, then and now, establishes a bond between the people and the Kohanim. We immortalize this interdependence when we remove this piece of challah dough, burn it and dispose it in an honorable way.
G-d extracted a "handful" of earth from the dust and water He combined and created Man. Similarly, we separate and elevate a handful of dough from the simple ingredients we combine. Prior to taking from this mixture, there is nothing to distinguish the portion destined for separation and sanctification from the whole.
Judaism teaches us that time is much like a spiral. Every erev Shabbat lines up with every other erev Shabbat since that very first one. Therefore, I find this is an opportune time to tap into this eternal circuitry and make a tikkun, rectification. A Jewish woman taking challah, especially on erev Shabbat, restores the honor we helped diminish, and invites our Heavenly King to reveal His presence in our home.
Like the braids of the Shabbat challah, may this mitzvah be intertwined with your purpose on this world: to elevate the work in our lives by making it holy, thereby infusing all our actions with potency, meaning and vitality.
* The Sages wrote that a woman "should try, at least once a year, to bake her own challah and fulfill the mitzvah of separating the challah from the dough with a blessing (important info here). The appropriate time (Ben Ish Chai) to do this is during the Ten Days of Repentance, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These are the days of rectifying the mistakes we have made in the year and we can also atone for the generations before us.
Other insights on the symbolism of Challah appear in Midrashic and Kabbalistic literature. The Mitzvah of separating challah is traditionally regarded as one of the three Mitzvot performed especially by women (Mishnah, Shabbos 2:6).
The mitzvah of challah is one mitzvah with two parts: (1) separating the required dough (Hafrashat challah), (2) giving the dough to a Kohen (Netinat Challah). Nachmanides as well as the Tosafist Isaiah di Trani explain that it is the actual giving of the Challah portion to the Kohen that is the primary component of the Mitzvah.
According to the Talmud, the requirement to separate Challah from the dough was imposed on the owner of the dough, not on the person who kneaded it; hence if the owner was not Jewish, even if the kneader was, Hafrashat Challah was not mandatory. The requirement does not apply to quantities of less than one omer, neither to bread prepared as animal feed. Although the Biblical expression when you eat of the bread of the land might be understood as applying only to bread eaten in the Land of Israel, Rabbinic sources interpret that Hafrashat Challah should be observed in the Diaspora as well.
With this in mind, the Tosefta, followed by the Rishonim, encouraged the act of separating "Challah" in order that the Mitzvah not be forgotten entirely, along with the full recitation of a blessing before the dough is separated. The blessing recited is "asher kiddeshanu bemitzvotav ve'tzivanu le'hafrish challah."
The common practice of Diaspora Jewry is to burn the Challah; home bakers fulfill this by tossing the Challah to the back of the oven. However, it is Halachically permitted in the Diaspora to give the separated Challah to a Kohen for consumption, and even encouraged by some Rabbinic authorities, with the provision that the Kohen has immersed in a Mikvah. The Kohen is also required to recite the required Beracha thanking God for sanctifying the Kohanim with the sanctity of Aharon. In Yemen, whenever baking a quantity of dough which required the separation of the dough-offering, one small loaf of flatbread was removed from the batch and designated as Challah and burnt, while another small loaf of flatbread from the same batch, being non-consecrated bread, was given to a small child of the priestly stock and eaten by him, so that the practice of giving the Challah would not be forgotten amongst Israel. 041b061a72