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November 30, 2006

About Challah

A select number of Torah commandments are categorized as t’luyos ba’aretz, directly connected with the physical Land of Israel. Challah, the separation of a portion of dough, is among these commandments. The Torah states: “You shall offer up a loaf (challah) from the first of your dough as a gift” (Numbers 15:20). This loaf is among the twenty-four gifts that G-d awarded to the kohanim, the priests.

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The Details

How Much to Separate?

The Torah does not specify an amount that must be separated for challah, bikkurim, or terumah. By contrast, it does specify that one-tenth of the crop is given to a Levi as ma’aser. The Sages determined that a professional baker separates one out of forty-eight parts, while a lay baker separates one out of twenty-four parts.

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