When a person separates challah from flour, it is not challah.1 [The flour given] the priest is like stolen property in his possession2 and there is an obligation [to separate] challah from a dough [made from] the remainder [of the flour].3 If the flour set aside [mistakenly] as challah is an omer in measure4 and a dough was made from it, one must separate challah from it as [is necessary with regard to doughs made] from any ordinary flour.


הַמַּפְרִישׁ חַלָּתוֹ קֶמַח אֵינָהּ חַלָּה וְגֵזֶל בְּיַד כֹּהֵן. וּשְׁאָר הָעִסָּה חַיֶּבֶת בְּחַלָּה. וְאוֹתוֹ הַקֶּמַח שֶׁהִפְרִישׁ לְשֵׁם חַלָּה אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ עֹמֶר וְעוֹשֵׂהוּ עִסָּה הֲרֵי זֶה מַפְרִישׁ מִמֶּנּוּ חַלָּה כִּשְׁאָר כָּל קֶמַח חֻלִּין:


When should challah be set aside? When one adds water and mixes the flour with the water, he should set aside [a portion as] challah from the first portion that is kneaded, as [indicated by Numbers 15:20:] "From the first of your dough."5

[The above applies] provided a measure of flour equal to an omer6 that has not become mixed with water does not remain in the kneading trough.7 If he stipulates: "This is challah for the dough, for the yeast, and for the flour that remains. When it all becomes one dough, the portion set aside will become sanctified as challah," it is permitted.8


אֵימָתַי מַפְרִישִׁין חַלָּה. כְּשֶׁיִּתֵּן אֶת הַמַּיִם וְיִתְעָרֵב הַקֶּמַח בְּמַיִם מַפְרִישׁ הַחַלָּה מִתְּחִלַּת דָּבָר שֶׁנִּלּוֹשׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טו כ) "רֵאשִׁית עֲרִסֹתֵכֶם". וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִשָּׁאֵר שָׁם בָּעֲרֵבָה קֶמַח שֶׁלֹּא נִתְעָרֵב בַּמַּיִם שִׁעוּר עֹמֶר. וְאִם אָמַר הֲרֵי זֶה חַלָּה עַל הָעִסָּה וְעַל הַשְּׂאוֹר וְעַל הַקֶּמַח שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּיֵּר וְלִכְשֶׁתֵּעָשֶׂה כֻּלָּהּ עִסָּה אַחַת תִּתְקַדֵּשׁ זוֹ שֶׁבְּיָדוֹ לְשֵׁם חַלָּה הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר:


If the person left the dough [intact] until it was all kneaded and mixed together and separated [the challah] afterwards, [the delay] is of no consequence. If he does not separate challah while the mixture is a dough, but bakes the entire dough, he should separate [challah] from the loaf, as we explained.9


הִנִּיחַ הָעִסָּה עַד שֶׁלָּשׁ הַכּל וְעֵרְבָהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ הִפְרִישׁ אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם. וְאִם לֹא הִפְרִישׁ הַחַלָּה בָּצֵק אֶלָּא אָפָה הַכּל הֲרֵי זֶה מַפְרִישׁ מִן הַפַּת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


When does the obligation [to separate] challah from dough take effect? When the wheat [flour] was rolled into a ball and [all of] the flour becomes mixed with it or when the barley [flour] was made into a single mass and formed one block. One may snack from the dough until the wheat [flour] was rolled into a ball or the barley [flour] was made into a single mass.10 The laws pertaining to wheat [flour] pertain to spelt [flour] and those pertaining to barley [flour] pertain to oat and rye [flour].11


מֵאֵימָתַי תִּתְחַיֵּב הָעִסָּה בְּחַלָּה מִשֶּׁתִּגַּלְגֵּל בְּחִטִּים וְיִתְעָרֵב הַקֶּמַח בְּמַיִם. אוֹ שֶׁתִּטַּמְטֵם בִּשְׂעוֹרִים וְתֵעָשֶׂה כֻּלָּהּ גּוּף אֶחָד. וְאוֹכְלִין עַרְאַי מִן הָעִסָּה עַד שֶׁתִּתְגַּלְגֵּל בְּחִטִּים וְתִטַּמְטֵם בִּשְׂעוֹרִים. וְהַכֻּסְּמִין כְּחִטִּים וְשִׁבּלֶת שׁוּעָל וְהַשִּׁיפוֹן כִּשְׂעוֹרִים:


Once the wheat [flour] was rolled into a ball or the barley [flour] was made into a single mass, one who partakes of it before challah was separated is liable for death [at the hand of heaven], because it is tevel.12 Therefore, if there is a Scriptural obligation [to separate] challah from the dough, a person who partakes of it is liable for lashes, as is anyone who partakes of tevel.13 If the obligation is Rabbinic in origin, [a person who partakes of the dough] is liable for stripes for rebellious conduct.


נִתְגַּלְגְּלָה בְּחִטִּים וְנִטַּמְטְמָה בִּשְׂעוֹרִים הָאוֹכֵל מִמֶּנָּה קֹדֶם הַפְרָשַׁת חַלָּה חַיָּב מִיתָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא טֶבֶל. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיְתָה הָעִסָּה חַיֶּבֶת בְּחַלָּה מִן הַתּוֹרָה הָאוֹכֵל מִמֶּנָּה לוֹקֶה כְּכָל אוֹכֵל טֶבֶל. וְאִם הָיְתָה חַיֶּבֶת מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


When a dough from ordinary flour becomes mixed with flour that is terumah14 before [all the flour] was rolled into a ball, it is exempt [from the obligation of challah].15 When it becomes mixed with it after it was rolled into a ball, there is an obligation [to separate challah].16

Similarly, if a person consecrates a dough or declares it ownerless17 before it was rolled into a ball and then redeemed it or took possession of it and rolled it into a ball - alternatively, he consecrated it or declared it ownerless after it was rolled into a ball18 - there is an obligation [to separate] challah.


עִסָּה שֶׁנִּדְמְעָה עַד שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְגַּלְגֵּל פְּטוּרָה. מִשֶּׁתִּגַּלְגֵּל חַיֶּבֶת. וְכֵן הַמַּקְדִּישׁ עִסָּתוֹ אוֹ הַמַּפְקִיר אוֹתָהּ קֹדֶם שֶׁנִּתְגַּלְגְּלָה וּפְדָאָהּ אוֹ זָכָה בָּהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ גִּלְגְּלָהּ אוֹ הִקְדִּישָׁהּ אוֹ הִפְקִיר אוֹתָהּ אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְגַּלְגְּלָה וּפְדָאָהּ אוֹ זָכָה בָּהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ חַיֶּבֶת בְּחַלָּה:


If he consecrated it before he rolled it and it was rolled in the possession of the Temple treasury and afterwards, he redeemed it, it is exempt. For at the time the obligation would have taken effect, [the dough] was exempt.19


הִקְדִּישָׁהּ קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּתְגַּלְגֵּל וְנִתְגַּלְגְּלָה בְּיַד הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ וְאַחַר כָּךְ פְּדָאָהּ פְּטוּרָה שֶׁבִּשְׁעַת חוֹבָתָהּ הָיְתָה פְּטוּרָה:


Similarly, if a gentile gave [flour] to a Jew to make a dough for him and then gave him [the dough] as a present. If he gave it to him [as a present] before it was rolled into a ball, he is liable.20 [If he gave it to him] after it was rolled into a ball, it is exempt.21


וְכֵן עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁנָּתַן לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ עִסָּה וּנְתָנָהּ לוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה עַד שֶׁלֹּא גִּלְגְּלָהּ חַיֶּבֶת וּמְשֶּׁגִּלְגְּלָהּ פְּטוּרָה:


[The following laws apply when] a convert joins the Jewish faith. If he had a dough that was rolled into a ball before he converted, it is exempt.22 If it was rolled afterwards, there is an obligation [to separate challah]. If there is a doubt [concerning the matter], there is an obligation, [because eating bread from which challah was not separated] is a transgression punishable by death [at the hand of heaven].23 If a non-priest [unknowingly] partook of this challah that was separated due to such a doubt or the like, he is not liable to add a fifth [when making restitution].24


גֵּר שֶׁנִּתְגַּיֵּר וְהָיְתָה לוֹ עִסָּה. נִתְגַּלְגְּלָה עַד שֶׁלֹּא נִתְגַּיֵּר פְּטוּרָה. וְאִם מִשֶּׁנִּתְגַּיֵּר חַיֶּבֶת. וְאִם סָפֵק חַיֶּבֶת בְּחַלָּה לְפִי שֶׁהוּא עֲוֹן מִיתָה. וְזָר שֶׁאָכַל חַלַּת סָפֵק זוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ אֵין חַיָּב עָלֶיהָ חֹמֶשׁ:


When a question arises concerning the ritual purity of a dough before it was rolled together as a ball,25 he should prepare [the dough] in a state of ritual impurity.26 For it is permitted to make ordinary produce impure in Eretz Yisrael. The challah should then be burnt.27

If, after a dough was rolled into a ball, a doubtful situation arose concerning its ritual purity which, were it to be ascertained that it was definitely impure, would convey ritual impurity of Scriptural origin, its [preparation] should be completed in a state of ritual purity. [The rationale is that with regard to] any circumstance where impurity would be imparted to ordinary produce were one certain that it transpired, our Sages decreed that if there is a doubt that it transpired, a dough upon which the obligation to separate challah already fell should not intentionally be made impure, for that obligation has already taken effect.28 Instead, the challah [separated] is a tentative state; it is not eaten,29 nor is it burnt.30


עִסָּה שֶׁנּוֹלַד בָּהּ סְפֵק טֻמְאָה קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּתְגַּלְגֵּל יַעֲשֶׂנָּה בְּטֻמְאָה לְפִי שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְטַמֵּא חֻלִּין שֶׁבְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְתִשָּׂרֵף חַלָּתָהּ. נוֹלַד לָהּ אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְגַּלְגְּלָה סְפֵק טֻמְאָה שֶׁוַּדָּאָהּ מְטַמֵּא אֶת הַחֻלִּין מִן הַתּוֹרָה יִגְמְרֶנָּה בְּטָהֳרָה. שֶׁכָּל שֶׁוַּדָּאָהּ מְטַמֵּא אֶת הַחֻלִּין גָּזְרוּ עַל סְפֵקוֹ בְּחֻלִּין הַטְּבוּלִים לְחַלָּה שֶׁלֹּא יְטַמְּאוּ אוֹתָן הוֹאִיל וְנִטְבְּלוּ לְחַלָּה. וְתִהְיֶה הַחַלָּה תְּלוּיָה לֹא נֶאֱכֶלֶת וְלֹא נִשְׂרֶפֶת:


As an initial preference, a person should not prepare his dough in a state of ritual impurity.31 Instead, he should be careful and endeavor to purify himself and his utensils so that he can separate challah in a state of ritual purity. If he is more than four mil32 from water [fit for an immersion],33 he should prepare [the dough] in a state of ritual impurity and separate impure challah.


לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם עִסָּתוֹ בְּטֻמְאָה לְכַתְּחִלָּה אֶלָּא יִזָּהֵר וְיִשְׁתַּדֵּל וְיִטְהַר הוּא וְכֵלָיו כְּדֵי לְהַפְרִישׁ חַלָּה טְהוֹרָה. הָיָה בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין הַמַּיִם יֶתֶר עַל אַרְבָּעָה מִילִין יַעֲשֶׂנָּה בְּטֻמְאָה וְיַפְרִישׁ חַלָּה טְמֵאָה:


A loaf to serve as challah34 should not be prepared in a state of ritual purity for a common person.35 A loaf of ordinary produce may, however, be made in ritual purity [for him].36

What is implied? A chaver37 may mix the dough and separate an appropriate measure of challah from it. He then places [the challah] in a utensil made from dung, stone, or clay, which do not contract ritual impurity.38 When the common person comes, he should take both of them, the dough and the challah. We tell him: "Be careful not to touch the challah, lest it become tevel again."39 Why is this allowed?40 So that the person making the dough could earn his livelihood.


אֵין עוֹשִׂים חַלַּת עַם הָאָרֶץ בְּטָהֳרָה. אֲבָל עוֹשִׂים עִסַּת חֻלִּין בְּטָהֳרָה. כֵּיצַד. מְגַבֵּל הָעִסָּה זֶה הֶחָבֵר וּמַפְרֵשׁ מִמֶּנָּה כְּדֵי חַלָּתָהּ וּמַנִּיחָהּ בִּכְלֵי גְּלָלִים אוֹ כְּלֵי אֲבָנִים אוֹ בִּכְלֵי אֲדָמָה שֶׁאֵין מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה וּכְשֶׁיָּבוֹא עַם הָאָרֶץ נוֹטֵל אֶת שְׁתֵּיהֶן אֶת הָעִסָּה וְאֶת הַחַלָּה וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ הִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא תִּגַּע בַּחַלָּה שֶׁמָּא תַּחְזֹר לְטִבְלָהּ. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה הִתִּירוּ לוֹ זֶה מִשּׁוּם כְּדֵי חַיָּיו שֶׁל גַּבָּל:


The wife of a chaver may sift and strain [flour] together with the wife of a common person.41 Once water has been mixed with the dough, however, she should not help her, because [the wife of the common person] makes her dough while ritually impure.42 Similarly, one should not knead or array dough with a baker who bakes his dough in a state of ritual impurity. [The rationale is that] one should not reinforce the hands of transgressors.43 One may, however, transport bread with him to a bakery.44


אֵשֶׁת חָבֵר מְרַקֶּדֶת וּבוֹרֶרֶת עִם אֵשֶׁת עַם הָאָרֶץ. אֲבָל מִשֶּׁתַּטִּיל מַיִם בָּעִסָּה לֹא תְּסַיֵּעַ אוֹתָהּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא עוֹשָׂה עִסָּתָהּ בְּטֻמְאָה. וְכֵן הַנַּחְתּוֹם שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה בְּטֻמְאָה לֹא לָשִׁין וְלֹא עוֹרְכִין עִמּוֹ שֶׁאֵין מַחֲזִיקִין יְדֵי עוֹבְרֵי עֲבֵרָה אֶלָּא מוֹלִיכִין עִמּוֹ פַּת לְפַלְטֵר:


When a person purchases bread from a baker who is a common person in Syria45 and [the baker] tells him: "I separated challah," [the purchaser] does not need to separate challah because of the doubt.46 Just as the entire Jewish people47 in Eretz Yisrael were not suspect [to ignore the separation of] the great terumah, so too, in Syria, they were not suspect [to ignore the separation of] challah.


הַלּוֹקֵחַ מִנַּחְתּוֹם עַם הָאָרֶץ בְּסוּרְיָא וְאָמַר לוֹ הִפְרַשְׁתִּי חַלָּה אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַפְרִישׁ חַלָּה מִסָּפֵק. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁלֹּא נֶחְשְׁדוּ כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּאָרֶץ עַל תְּרוּמָה גְּדוֹלָה כָּךְ לֹא נֶחְשְׁדוּ בְּסוּרְיָא עַל הַחַלָּה:


When a person purchases [bread] from a baker in the Diaspora, he must separate challah because of the doubt involved.48 If, however, he purchases from a private person49 - and needless to say, if he enjoys his hospitality - he is not required to separate challah because of the doubt.50


הַלּוֹקֵחַ בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ מִן הַנַּחְתּוֹם צָרִיךְ לְהַפְרִישׁ חַלָּה מִסָּפֵק. אֲבָל הַלּוֹקֵחַ מִבַּעַל הַבַּיִת וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר הַמִּתְאָרֵחַ אֶצְלוֹ אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַפְרִישׁ חַלָּה מִסָּפֵק: