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Thank you for registering for Yesh Tikva’s Pre High Holiday Challah Bake from home.
Your support of those in our community facing fertility struggles is deeply appreciated.
You will receive an email with a prayer list and challah recipe on September 5, 2023.
For questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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What is Hafrashat Challah? – By: Yoetzet Atara Segal (Advisor in Jewish Law)
God bestowed on us the blessings of this world to be lived, savored, and elevated. We consecrate even the most mundane of them by reciting blessings and performing Mitzvot. We sanctify Shabbat and marriages with wine and we see God’s hand in the wonders of nature. We do the same using the most basic of foods – bread.
In Sefer Bamidbar (Book of Numbers), God commanded Moshe that when The Children of Israel entered the land of Israel and harvested their grain, they were to consider the Kohanim (priests) first:
“רֵאשִׁית, עֲרִסֹתֵכֶם–חַלָּה, תָּרִימוּ תְרוּמָה: כִּתְרוּמַת גֹּרֶן, כֵּן תָּרִימוּ אֹתָה”
Of the first of your dough you shall set apart a cake for a gift; just like that which is set apart of the threshing-floor, so too you should set it apart.
“מֵרֵאשִׁית, עֲרִסֹתֵיכֶם, תִּתְּנוּ לַה, תְּרוּמָה–לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם”
Of the first of your dough you shall give unto God, a portion for a gift throughout your generations.
Thus, we would recognize the divine nature of our bountiful harvest every time we baked bread. Today we have no priestly service, yet we still honor the message of this mitzvah by still separating a small portion of dough (ideally before baking) and disposing of it respectfully (by burning or double wrapping before placing in the trash). There are some quantity requirements: if we use more than 4.95 pounds (according to a common Ashkenaz opinion) of wheat, barley, spelt, oat or rye flour, we first make the blessing. If we use less than 2.64 pounds of flour, there is no need to separate at all.
May the merit of recognizing God as the source of all blessing elevate us to benefit from His continued shefa bracha (abundance of blessings). And may all our prayers on behalf of those facing infertility be answered speedily for the good!