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Challah history

Challah history

In a fascinating historical article in Family First (reprinted on Kosher.com), I was astonished to read that challah is relatively new on the block, and Jews ate very different types of bread on Shabbos a few centuries back.The Hebrew word “challah” is mentioned in several places in the Torah, generally referring to the mitzvah to set aside a portion of your dough for Kohanim. For instance, in Bamidbar 15:20, reads, "Of the first of your dough you shall set aside a cake (challah) as an offering; as the offering of the threshing-floor, so you shall set it aside."In the Gemara,...

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What was the blessing in Sarah Imeinu's challah dough?

What was the blessing in Sarah Imeinu's challah dough?

There's a well-known Midrash on Genesis 24:67, that discusses the legacy of Sarah which was carried on by Rivka, namely a sheltering cloud over her tent (i.e. hospitality or transparency), a flame burned from one Shabbat to the next and there was blessing in her dough. What was the blessing in her dough? Rav Pinchas of Koretz offers a novel interpretation. Sarah's husband, Avraham, was a man of means, he explains. Eking out more dough was not a real concern in their household. They could afford all the flour they needed. Therefore the blessing was not about quantity. Rav Pinchas argues that the blessing must...

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Keeping Shabbat in the US Army

Keeping Shabbat in the US Army

A fascinating website called the Jewish-American History Foundation has a remarkable letter a father wrote to President Abraham Lincoln, enjoining him to allow his son, then a Jewish soldier in the US Army, to observe Shabbat. To His Excellency Abraham Lincoln, the President of the United States. By your order of the 16th day of November, 1862, you recommend that the officers and men of the army shall observe the Sabbath and do no work on Sunday, because we are a Christian people. But according to the Declaration of Independence and according to the constitution of the United States, the...

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Cheesy challah

Cheesy challah

Can you smear butter on your challah? Can you make a dairy challah with cheese inside? Both are doable, but with certain caveats. There are various halachos regarding the baking of bread and challah, and one of those is that bread should always be pareve. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule. Cheese may be put on top of the challah, if clearly visible. When making dairy challah one should only bake enough for one meal. If you want to add dairy ingredients (milk, butter, cheese) in the actual dough it must be shaped differently from typical bread or challah. So recipes like this Spinach...

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How many calories in challah bread?

challah

How many calories in challah bread?

At least three people in our household (namely me, my wife and our eldest daughter) wouldn't mind shedding a few pounds (actually kg on our scale, since we're in Israel). Obviously the first step is basic info: getting a benchmark figure for the calorie content of a typical portion of challah. When I looked up user-submitted calorie info posted on websites that seem to have automatically generated figures, I get ridiculous data ranging from 80 calories per serving to 320 calories per serving; not very helpful, especially since there's no indication what the "serving size" is.Websites maintained by bread bakeries...

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