Hallah (Talmud)

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Hallah (Hebrew: חלה, literally "Loaf"), although in the biblical sense that which refers to the "dough-offering," is the ninth tractate of Seder Zeraim ("Order of Seeds") of the Mishnah and of the Talmud, treating on one of the twenty-four sacerdotal gifts mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.[1] During the period of the Jewish Temple, this "Hallah" was separated from bread made from either one of the five species of grain (wheat, barley, spelt, oats [var. goatgrass] and wild barley [var. rye]) and given unto a priest of Aaron's lineage (Kohen). Today, since the priests are no longer ritually clean, the "dough-portion" is separated and burnt in the oven, or fed to birds in a few Jewish communities. Before the Hallah is separated a blessing is said: "asher ḳiddeshanū bamitzvotau we'tzivanū le'hafrish challah."[2] The amount separated is only from bread products made from at least 1.2 kilos of flour or more (without a blessing) or 1.666 kilos or more (with a blessing according to some authorities)[3] or 2.25 kilos or more (with a blessing) and is the size of a large olive. If less than the requisite amount is used, some separate without a blessing while others do not separate at all. If no separation is done while cooking, it can be done afterwards without a blessing.


  1. ^ Numbers 15:18–21, "When you eat of the bread of the land, you shall offer up an offering unto G-d. Of the first of your dough you shall offer up a loaf..."
  2. ^ Shulhan Arukh (Yoreh Deah, Hil. Challah, § 328:1)
  3. ^ Avraham Chaim Naeh, Sefer Kuntres ha-Shi'urim, Jerusalem 1943, p. 4 (Hebrew)