Some make the challah in the shape of a key. If you make more than one challah, even better! Challah in the shape of a bird for Yom Kippur, a symbol of the sins “flying away,” or for Sukkos based on Yeshayahu (Isaiah). Increasingly, tefillot (prayer) is being trumped by what is ‘cool,’ ‘the in thing,’ or being ‘with it.’ The truth of the matter is, often in the observant Jewish world, people care more about ‘fitting in’ with their peers, then with God. He teaches that God is the only One we may serve and praise; that we may not act in this way toward anything beneath God, whether it be an angel, a star, or one of the elements; there are no intermediaries between us and God; that all our prayers should be directed towards God; and that nothing else should even be considered. Then sprinkle with white sesame I learnt a valuable lesson. (Moed L’kol Chai -R’ Chaim Palagi, Beis Habichira). This custom is known as shlissel challah — shlissel from the German language shlüssel (key) and challah or hallah from the Hebrew for bread. An older, more common challah tradition than shlissel challah is praying for others right before performing the mitzvah of separating challah from the dough. In honor of that I wore my challah hu akbar shirt to the shuk today. There is a tradition in some Jewish communities to make shlissel challah the week after Pesach. It is alleged to be a segulah for parnassah(sustenance).

Turn the dough out onto a floured worktop and divide into 12 equally sized pieces. Rabbeinu Nissim asks if we are judged on Rosh Hashana then how are we judged on Pesach? Pray; help me to have simcha (happiness) in my home, in my life. means the Mishkan was made with zahav, the aspect of tzimtzum, but with the nekuda of kesef, meaning the (word “zahav”, instead of having the usual vowel, kometz, is written with the) nekuda of patach, which is chesed. New York: Ktav, 1986. Rosh Hashanah is known for challah — specifically, round-shaped challah. Further, the connection to the Omer is clearly out of context, as what the Gemara says is that “Fifty gates of understanding were created in the world, and all were given to Moshe except one.” This, of course, is completely unrelated to the topic of the Omer. [35] From Rabbi Jacob ben Sheshet of Spain, is where we find the the concept and idea that the fifty gates (examined by the original kabbalists in the milieu of where the Zohar was written), represent a way to understand the Torah, “Fifty gates consist of five sets of ten gates, each set explicating one of the five parts of the Pentateuch.” See: Idel, Moshe. We will discuss this later on. dough. Bloomington, Indiana University, 1965. London 1776. These first three customs can, perhaps, be seen from the wording of the Ohev Yisroel in one place where he says we put the image of a key on the challah. Vol. As mentioned above (reasons 8 and 9) there are those that make the challah round and flattish for this Shabbos, in the image of matza. (פ״ת is bread, representing the “hamets” and מ׳ is for matsa- these allude to Hilkhot Hamets uMatsa, and the ח׳ is the 8 mitsvot involved). rn from the Hebrew pessah, which means “to be born on, or to be associated with, Passover day.” Since the Hebrew holiday Passover coincides closely with the later Christian holiday of Easter, the Latin word came to be used for both occasions. This is a well observed custom you might want to try for yourself. groups.yahoo.com/group/FrumSingleMoms/message/663, [6] imamother.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=111317 Poll was in April 2010, [7] O'Brien, Flann. This is also practiced in the U.S. state of Louisiana beginning at Mardi Gras and practiced for 30 days after. It stands with a light beside it on the table all through the festival season.” See: Frazer, James George. In his view, the key challah focuses our prayers during that interlude. 86, No. Further, modern commentators have exploited the name of HaRambam (Maimonides), to indicate that he demonstrates an association between the idea of a key with challah. Don’t let it rise too much or it may lose some of its beautiful shape. pig’s bone or a key, or three dints are made in it with a buckle or a piece of charcoal. Either way it is done the key or image of the key is usually on top. This, according to the Apter Rav is the reason for Schlissel Challah – baking a key inside the Shabbos Challah.

resembles a crown, symbolizing the sovereignty of God. Shlissel or Key Challah, makes the first challah after Pesach even more special. The Best of Myles. [18] See. It is up to each of us to halt legitimizing any extrahalakhic or even extraminhagic activities. [4] A photograph of a shlissel challah exists in the Encyclopedia Judaica, 1972 edition, volume 6 page 1419. Too long and it will lose its shape. Normal, IL; Dalkey Archive Press, 1968. I believe in a direct connection to G-d, Who is always available to listen. [citation needed] It is uncertain, however, how cross buns are similar to shlissel challah, other than the fact that people have always made signs or symbols on their bread. Several clever ideas have been devised which attempt to connect the non-Jewish idea of ‘key bread’ to the Torah, however these all fail to bring a Jewish wrapper to a wholly non-Jewish tradition. From a mishna we already see that there is a connection between Pesach and parnasa. In Spain, there is a tradition of placing a small Jesus doll inside a cake and whoever finds it must take it to the nearest church on February 2, Candlemas Day (Día de la Candelaria), which celebrates the presentation of Jesus in Jerusalem. At weddings, there are many different types of segulot , such as a single woman wearing the bride's jewelry while she stands underneath the chuppah in order to merit a husband. A popular one attempts to inexplicably connect the idea of a spiritual “gate” to a physical “key,” during the period when Jews count the 49 days during the Omer up to the 50th day which is the holiday of Shavuot. Made either in the shape of a key or with a key baked inside, the special bread is known as shlissel challah , with shlissel being the Yiddish word for "key." Another segulah for livelihood is to bake a shlissel challah (bread for Shabbat in the shape of a key). (See: Tabory, Joseph. Fun times, fun times... 10:50 AM, May 02, 2008 Here to the key is on top and the challah on the bottom. Shelomo Alfassa is a Judaic studies educator and author who focuses on history, rabbinics and talmud. London: Macmillan and Co., 1920. 3/4 (Jan.-Apr., 1996), pp. Educated Jews should help to promote Torah sources to our friends and neighbors, not false practices which are of non-Jewish origin and have nothing to do with Judaism. [10] Another account mentions a key in a loaf: “In other parts of Esthonia [sic], again, the Christmas Boar [cake], as it is called, is baked of the first rye cut at harvest; it has a conical shape and a cross is impressed on it with a pig’s bone or a key, or three dints are made in it with a buckle or a piece of charcoal. What I do believe in is prayer. When it begins to bubble, add the yeast mixture to the larger bowl with the hole in the center of the flour. [15] Paschal derives from the Latin paschalis or pashalis, which means “relating to Easter,” from Latin pascha (‘Passover,’ i.e. The Ohev Yisroel says about shlisel challah that “the minhagim of our fathers are most definitely Torah”. It's a very interesting custom with many sources and traditions. One commenter in a thread of one of the posts above wrote that a prominent rav “called this shlissel challah minhag "ridiculous The Hallah Book. Therefore, we put a key in the challah after Pesach to hint at us opening a small “hole”, through the mitzvah of Shabbos (and, if I might add, the mitzvah of challah) and now Hashem should open up all His good from his storehouses and the heavens like He gave the mon to our fathers in the month of Iyar, and this Shabbos we bless the month of Iyar. Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro of Kovitz (b. Brush the challah with a beaten egg. He answers that on Pesach it is determined how much grain there will be in the coming year for the world, but on Rosh Hashana it is decided how much of that grain each individual receives. 395-406. First of all, the second mishna in Rosh Hashanah says on Pesach we are judged on the grains, parnasa. 302 (Thanks go to Rabbi Yossie Azose who led me to this mention. The key placed on top of the loaf symbolizes the ‘gate of release’ which traditionally remains open for a month after the festival.”. [13] Chandler, Richard. It’s never too late to realign our path with Torah sources, not blind faith practices which are “trendy,” “in,” or “cool.”. The baking of shlissel challah is an artisan endeavor and part of the new custom of the large group challah-baking events, which I see as a related phenomenon. There is a custom to bake key-shaped or Shlissel challah in honor of the Shabbat after Pesach. It stands with a light beside it on the table all through the festival season.” See: Frazer, James George. May we all be blessed with parnasa berevach together with all of Klal Yisroel. Far fewer people bake or cook consistently compared to a half a In Aram Soba (Syria) and Turkey they put wheat kernels in all four corners of the house on Motzei Pesach as a sign of prosperity for the coming year. Am Yisrael was not created to lose itself in such folklore, and Judaism without disciplined study is nothing but folklore. [5] [Shlissel Challah for Refuah Shlaima] (Are you or anyone you know baking challah this week? 212 / Also, this very subjective concept has its origin in the Talmud (Gemara RH 21b), and even there, there is more than one interpretation. Grant us your protection (as yeast in Hebrew is called shimarim which translates to protection) now and always. Shlissel Challah is believed to be a segula (ritual or good omen) for parnassa (livelihood). They were able to understand reasons for every little action we do as a way of serving Hashem. chochma. 158 (It’s been supposed the British custom of ‘cross-buns,’ small rolls with a cross on them eaten on the Christian holiday of Good Friday {the Day of the Cross}, probably arose from this.). There, a ‘baby Jesus’ toys baked into a whole cake, and whoever finds the baby in their piece has to buy the next day's cake. One person wrote, “the origins of shlissel challah is completely avodah zarah [idol worship].” Ouch. [26] thefivetowns.com/images/schlisseltefillah.pdf, [27] thekosherchannel.com/kosher-recipes-blog.html, [28] backoftheshul.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3581, [29] asimplejew.blogspot.com/2007/04/guest-posting-by-talmid-shlissel.html, [30] imamother.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=149108, [31] imamother.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2033, [32] jewishupdates.com/2011/05/09/key-to-lakewood%E2%80%99s-town-hall-used-for-shlissel-challah/, [34] You shall count for yourselves - from the day following the holiday, the day when you bring the omer as a wave-offering - for seven complete weeks. [36] Purportedly we learn from the “Tzvi LaTzadik” that he lists at the beginning of his Hilkhot Hamets uMatsa, that there are 8 mitsvot (3 positive and 5 negative) involved with connecting the idea of a key with challah. 1419-20 for a photo of a shlissel challah (and other “special” challot). Nonetheless, it’s well known that HaRambam himself would have been utterly against the practice of baking a key into a bread which allegedly could influence the Almighty. Remove a small piece from the dough, lift it, and say: Separate Challah Prayer-Say-This is Challah The piece of dough can be of any size. (Some of the items written below can also be found in Taamei Minhagim, Nitei Gavriel, Sefer Hatoda’a and Minhag Yisroel Torah). 1726), a student of the Baal Shem Tov, taught that the gates of heaven are open during Pesach and for a short period following. [25] Survey conducted by this author November 12, 2011-December 1, 2011 (This includes the Shulamith School for Girls in Brooklyn, NY, the first Orthodox Jewish elementary school for girls in North America). This shlissel challah thing has been spreading like wildfire this weekend. posuk תּוֹרֵי זהָָב נעֲַשֶׂה לָךְ עִּם נקְֺדּוֹת הַכָסֶׂף, connecting the written and oral Torah to challah. Either way one performs this minhag they are all correct and all have holy sources. [11] Similar, there are modern non-Jewish customs, such as in Mexico, where a ‘baby Jesus’ figurine is baked into cupcakes; often, the child who finds it wins a prize. [1] Jews with family roots in countries of Europe and Asia such as Poland, Belarus, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, etc. Part 5. “Segulas II: Be-emunah Shlaimah: With Perfect Faith.” mesora.org/segulasII.htm. It is one of HaRambam’s clear principles that any belief in an intermediary between man and God (including a physical object), is considered heretical to the Torah. Binghamton: Vail-Ballou Press, 2002. “From The Crucifixion of the Paschal Lamb.” The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. I also believe in mitzvot, following the commandments in the Torah. Travels in Asia Minor. לָּה‎ Halla [χa'la] or [ħa'lɑ]; plural: challot, Challoth or challos) is a special bread in Jewish cuisine, usually braided and typically eaten on ceremonial occasions such as Shabbat and major Jewish holidays (other than Passover). The Golden Bough. If I may humbly add, when we are making the challah to have in mind the parnasa of others also, and also those who don’t have children and most importantly daven for techias hamaeisim. [17] Herzog, Marvin. Then sprinkle them with Part 5. [4] . Sefer Hatoda’ah mentions making the image of a key with sesame seeds on top of the challah. See: Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. On the ˜irst Shabbos after Pesach, many people have the custom to bake “shlissel (key) challah.” The earliest mention of the is in minhagImrei Pinchas (#298), a sefer written by Rav Pinchas Shapiro of Koritz, a of the Baal Shem Absorbing Perfections: Kabbalah And Interpretation. Tizku L'mitzvos!) 6, pp. Putting it all together, this that we say in Shir Hashirim תּוֹרֵי זהָָב נעֲַשֶׂה לָךְ עִּם נקְֺדּוֹת הַכָסֶׂף. what is god, purpose of life, Jewish Philosophy, Torah Philosophy, Bible Philosophy, Philosophy of Judaism, torah study, study torah, torah, learn torah, the torah, bible study god, God, Bible, New Testament, jesus, mary, bible, abrham, isaac, jacob, 12 tribes, temple, church, moses, judaism, jewish, judaic, judaism, jew, holocaust, testament, new testament, religion, afterlife, after life, heaven, hell, jesus, moshe, hashem, abraham, jacob, isaac, gold calf, golden calf, sin, satan, devil, sin, punishment, reward, life, meaning of life, orthodox judaism, olam haba, saint, astrology, mysticism, mystical, chabad, astrology,  judaism astrology, rational judaism, rationality, rational torah. Let it rise for 15-20 minutes and not longer. There are many reasons given for this minhag of baking shlissel challah; we will go through some of them. The loaf, with a long metal key impressed and left to bake on top, is captioned: “Hallah from Volhynia [Western Ukraine near Poland and Belarus] for the first Sabbath after Passover. There is a minhag to bake shlissel challah (shlissel means key in Yiddish) for the Shabbos after Pesach. Also, Klal Yisroel is called a bride and they are called the bechina (aspect) of bread. It is a segulah for parnassah, and fun, too![33]. Said to be superstitious, both the North African bsisa and the Ashkenazi shlissel challah traditions are practiced around Passover. Some attach a piece of dough in the shape of a key. [9] This was no different than the poor Jews of the ‘old world,’ who often would not have holy books but would certainly have a mezuzah on their door which they considered a holy script in their own home. You can do this by slipping a key directly in the challah, by baking it in the dough Both represent prayers for abundance and good fortune. Shlissel or Key Challah, makes the first challah after Pesach even more special. “…as hovering birds, so will the Lord of hosts shield Jerusalem. Note: In the once popular The Hallah Book, the author mentions that key bread originated in eighteenth century Ukraine, but did not provide a source or citation. Further, the connection to the Omer is clearly out of context, as what the Gemara says is that “Fifty gates of understanding were created in the world, and all were given to Moshe except one.” This, of course, is completely unrelated to the topic of the Omer.

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