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The Bloodless Challah

The Bloodless Challah

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Rabbi Yitzchak of Kalish, the subsequent Rebbe of Vorki in Poland and the brother of Rabbi Meir of Premishlan, kept an open house. All travelers were welcome. One Friday, a gentile man came in and asked for a piece of bread. The Rebbe's wife had only whole challahs in the house at that moment – challah that she had just baked in honor of the Shabbat. She did not want to cut into one of these challah's, but the Rebbe urged, "Cut the challah, blood won't come from it."

She did as her husband asked, and gave the gentile as much bread as he needed to satisfy his hunger.

Some time later, Rabbi Yitzchak had to travel to Hungary. His route went through the Carpathian Mountains. There, he was seized by a gang of robbers who took away everything he had. Then they marched him to their leader, who would decide whether or not to kill him.

But the leader of that gang turned out to be the very same man to whom the Rebbe's wife had fed her challah! He recognized Rabbi Yitzchak at once, and told his men, "This Jew kept me alive. Do not kill him – and return everything that you have taken from him!"

The robbers did as they were ordered, and Rabbi Yitzchak was allowed to leave in peace.

Upon his return home, he addressed his wife and said, "As I told you: 'Cut the challah, blood won't come from it.'"

A master storyteller with hundreds of published stories to his credit, Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder of Ascent of Safed, and managing editor of the Ascent and Kabbalah Online websites.
Image: Detail from a work by chassidic artist Shoshannah Brombacher. To view or purchase Ms Brombacher's art, click here
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Zalmy Australia October 28, 2012

Re: Reply to 'Anonymous' from 'Severn, MD'. Not only challah shared, gives life. Anything shared, promotes longevity, in one way or another. Reply

Anonymous Severn, MD December 6, 2009

challah Challah shared, gives life. Reply

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