Schlissel Challah

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  • #591509

    What is the source of making a Schlissel Challah this Shabbos?

    #1072732

    littleeema
    Participant

    From Wikipedia

    [9]

    The earliest written source for this custom is the sefer Oheiv Yisrael by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel, the Apter Rav. He calls schlissel challah “an ancient custom,” and also offers several kabbalistic interpretations. He also writes that after spending forty years in the desert, the Israelites continued to eat the manna until they brought the Omer offering on the second day of Passover. From that day on, they no longer ate manna, but food that had grown in the Land of Israel. Since they now had to start worrying about their sustenance rather than having it handed to them each morning, the key on the challah is a form of prayer to God to open up the gates of livelihood.[9]

    #1072733

    hello99
    Member

    b’kitzur it is a purely chassidishe minhag.

    #1072734

    my brother likes to be machmir on fun minhagim. So despite our not being CHassidish, last year he stuck a key into our store-brought challah. My father discovered it as soon as he tried to cut it…

    #1072735

    d a
    Member

    Don’t forget to wrap your key in foil!

    #1072736

    Pesach is over

    We don’t have to wrap things in foil anymore.

    #1072737

    d a
    Member

    80, very funny!

    #1072740

    Y.W. Editor
    Keymaster
    #1072741

    Joseph
    Participant

    Is the minhag to eat the Shlissel Challah this Friday night or by the Shabbos afternoon seuda?

    #1072742

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph

    what is your minhag?

    #1072743

    TheGoq
    Participant

    It is a minhag not to swallow the key that would mean your parnassah is going south.

    #1072744

    Avi K
    Participant

    “The baking of a key inside a bread is a non-Jewish custom which has its foundation in Christian, and possibly even earlier, pagan culture. At least one old Irish source tells how at times when a town was under attack, the men said, ‘let our women-folk be instructed in the art of baking cakes containing keys.

    The modern Jewish custom of baking the symbolic shlissel challah, annually takes place on the shabbat immediately following the holiday of Pessah, when tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of religiously observant Jewish women practice this observance.

    #1072745

    Rebbe Yid
    Participant

    Maybe they baked the key to the chometz storehouse into a challah before giving it to the goy whom they sold the chometz to. That way they could tell that the goy didn’t take any chometz out, so they would buy it back from him at the original price. (Da’as atzmi)

    #1072746

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    As you are fully aware but neglect to mention, R’ Yair Hoffman has debunked this.

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/228479/for-today-schlissel-challah-an-analysis.html

    #1072747

    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: And, as I’m sure you are aware, R’ Hoffman’s “debunking” is in no way successful. In the slightest.

    #1072748

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I disagree. And I don’t think the virulent anti schlissel challah rants come from a good place.

    #1072749

    Avi K
    Participant

    Daas, that is not a debunking. It is merely a statement that it is found in Chassidic works. In fact, he admits that there are no earlier Jewish sources. Perhaps they were trying to justify Jewish folk customs that came about from seeing gentile customs. One modern example is the Chanuka bush. Other examples are red strings (see Tosefta Shabbat 7:1) and the hamsa hand. The fact that poskim did not protest does not necessarily mean that they approved. Rather they did not think that people would listen and preferred that they be shoggagim and not meizidim.

    #1072750

    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    DY-In a different thread by chanuka gifts you told me that we pasken like the Gra by all religious customs, even if we have our own source for it (like Shavous). Now what do you say?

    #1072751

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    AK, JT: One of the things he debunked was the assertion that the source is a goyish one.

    #1072752

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Dy.

    Debunked? Really? not merely raised questions or provided a possible limud zechus, but debunked?

    #1072753

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    Oh!!!

    That seems the best plausible theory. Some Minhag, if one does not know it’s origins… sure.. seems we borrowed another one from our neighbors!!!

    How utterly sick and silly!!

    Pesach time, the time we had our most “interaction” with our “neighbors”, a time they tried most to “convince” us… blood libels.. at such a time we “borrow” their “minhagim”.

    If one needs to find a source for our Yiddishe Minhagim, let him be well-versed in Yiddishe testaments…, y’know like Torah, Mishna, Talmud, Rambam, Shulchan Aruch, Rishonim, Achronim, Sifrei Kabalah, AriZal, Talemdei Ba’al Shem Tov… and all of it. After all that’s probably where it’s going to be found.

    For someone to come out and cast skepticism at a Minhag Yisroel, to say it’s based / borrowed from the goyim is pure arrogance. And NarishKite.

    Don’t know? Go learn.

    Until then keep your paws off Minhagei Yisroel.

    #1072754

    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    I don’t know any religion that has the practice of putting a key in their bread so I guess you are right.

    #1072755

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Little Froggie. I dont follow.

    You mentioned “Torah, Mishna, Talmud, Rambam, Shulchan Aruch, Rishonim, …, “

    In which of those is shlissel chalah found?

    (I left off Achronim since that is where it is in fact first found)

    #1072756

    Joseph
    Participant

    Nobody questioned the minhag of schlissel challah as being connected to anything non-Jewish until very recently when some self-styled “historian” named Mr. Alfassa (who isn’t wearing a yarmulka in his publicity photo) suddenly introduced that nebulous claim. It was Mr. Alfassa’s tenuous and unsupported points that Hoffman easily debunked. Prior to Alfassa there was no such claim even. The internet bloggies known to attack anything too Jewish for their tastes’ hooked onto Alfassa to add to their collection of things to attack.

    #1072757

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    ubiquitin:

    Very good question. And the answer is that everything has its origins in the Torah. Go. Seek. Inquire. Learn. But don’t (don’t mean you ?? ?????) just shrug something off as c”v “borrowed” from our “neighbors”. If anything it just proves one has done a bit too much delving into other “testaments” and their “minhagim” – ???? ????? ????? ???? ?? ??????… Not something Yiddishe Yidden do generally.

    #1072758

    MDG
    Participant

    That is very dangerous thinking. You can justify near anything that way.

    As mentioned above, according to the GRA a custom needs a clear mesorah to not be chukat hagoyim. Therefore shlissel hallah would be a issur dioryta.

    #1072759

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Lf

    Everything has its origins in the Torah? Chanukah time there was a discussion regarding the min hag of giving Chanukah gifts, clearly a minhag borrowed from goyim (the discussion was wether this neccesarily made it assur) do you believe this too Automaticly has a source in the torah, after all it is included in everything. Others pointed out the minhag of trees in shul on shavuos, something the gra felt was assur as it is borrowed from goyim. Too bad he didn’t know where to look chas

    There is such a thing as adopting goyish minhagim. If you can’t find an early source for it, (and I sincerly hope you do since unlike most people doing it today it actually is a family minhag of mine). It is reasonable to conclude that it is a recent innovation and given the similar earlier custom among goyim. It is reasonable to conclude that we adopted it from them.

    #1072760

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Ubiquitin, the Gr”a’s chiddush was that a Yiddish minhag could become assur if adopted by goyim for avodah zarah (e.g. trees in their houses of worship).

    The point here (I don’t know if this is what LF means) is that when a minhag has roots even merely hundreds of years ago, and is not only practiced, but advocated for and explained by great gedolim, to to assign the entire origin to a similar goyish minhag (especially in this case based on the flimsiest of evidence brought by someone with no track record) is arrogant, unwise, and an affront to the great people who did explain the reasoning and/or practice it without any reluctance.

    Even if the Vilna Gaon himself were to have denounced it, at this point in history, even someone of litvish background should have the decency to respect an accepted Chassidish minhag even if he doesn’t practice it. Even if you disagree with that last sentence, the fact, though, is that we don’t have any such statement from the Gr”a.

    #1072761

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    I (in all my haughtiness) did not find so, I did not find such a Gra, I (again, in all my haughtiness) rely on Mesorah; as my fathers and Rabbis did, so do I. They believed and taught me to believe in HaShem, His Torah, His Mitzvohs and His Torah greats. No one is going to tell me following Minhag Yisroel Torah is chukas hagoy. Maybe that’s why a certain people who would are taught to question their mesorah, the Gedolim, end up…

    Dangerous is when one goes off the trodden, beaten path, questioning and doubting mesorah and Minhagim.

    #1072762

    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: Really? I think I’m strongly anti-Schlissel Challah because it’s an Issur D’Oraisa of Chukas Akum.

    Joseph: I was saying this a few years before I saw anything from Alfassa. He just sums it up nicely. It’s relatively obvious if you study history and remove the assumption that it’s impossible we ended up borrowing something from our neighbors.

    #1072763

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    ubiquitin:

    Difference is that giving presents Chanuka time is an innovation, not mentioned in seforim (gelt and dreidel are), whereas schlissel-challah is.

    #1072764

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I honestly think that if you had more respect for Chassidim, especially some very great ones, you would second guess your conclusion that it’s chukas hagoy.

    #1072765

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    DY

    I didnt understand LF that way though you may be right. The bottom line is that just because an action exists, doenst inherently make it muttar Since “everything has its origins in the Torah” There is a concept of copying Goyim, minhagim are borrowed. As the saying goes “Vi es kristelt zich azoy yidelt zich” This is only natural in golus. It is admirable of Great Gedolim to give reasons to existing practices, they arent historians, they see an action among Yidden so they give it reasons.

    Lets take a (hopefully) non-contrevertial example, given the upcoming Yom Tov. Eating milchings has many reasons given Do you think that once upon a time Chazal sat around thinking that “Shavuos doesnt have any food atached to it, lets come up with something” Someone else replied “Well Moshe Rabbeinu was on Har Sinai fr 40 days, cna anybody think of a food equaling 40?” “Yes! chalav equals 40, lets eat milchigs on Shavuos”

    Isnt it obvious that this minhag (not mentioned in Gemara, or Early Rishonim) developed over time with reasons added by Gedolei Olam later? Otherwise how would you account for the variety of reasons given?

    Is this controversial?

    There is no reason to think that while reasons are given to Shlissel Chalah these reasons were added later to an existing Custom. In fact I’m willing to bet the original sources are clear on this. They give a reason to an ALREADY EXISTING minhag, The Oheiv Yisroel (or whomever first mentions it) doesnt say LEts start a new minhag, he gives a reason for an existing minhag. He wasnt a historian, he had much more important things to do, then research the development of the minhag.

    LF

    “I (in all my haughtiness) did not find so, I did not find such a Gra, I (again, in all my haughtiness) rely on Mesorah; as my fathers and Rabbis did, so do I. They believed and taught me to believe in Hashem, His Torah, His Mitzvohs and His Torah greats. No one is going to tell me following Minhag Yisroel Torah is chukas hagoy. “

    I whole heartedly agree!!!. I plan to make Shlisel chalah As I Have every year, and my parents and Grandparents made. This in no way changes anything I wrote above.

    I do have a related question but I think it deserves a new thread. Stay tuned

    #1072766

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    LF

    with time Chanuka presents will be mentioned in Seforim.

    It is already in (Emes L’Yaakov).

    you say presents is an innovation. How old do you think Shlissel Chalah is?

    Dor Hamidbar? Bayis Rishon? Taanaim? Amoraim? Gaonim? Rishonim? If yes to any of these, how do you account for the fact that it isnt mentioned in any of the thousands upon thousands of pages we b”H have recording literally everything we need to know about yahadus including how to run our lives from the dawn to dusk all year round throughout our lives?

    #1072768

    147
    Participant

    Can we in Israel still observe this “Key Challo” Minhog this coming Shabbos since we could only access Matzo this 1st Shabbos after Pesach? or are we Israelis out of the loop this year {actually 4 out of 5 years now} for this “Challat Mafte’ach”?

    #1072769

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    147, is this minhag common among Jews of German ancestry?

    #1072770

    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: I have respect for Chassidim, thank you very much. I have respect for Talmidei Chachamim and even more respect for major Talmidei Chachamim. It is not due to a lack of respect that I think they were trying to find a source for a Minhag (because of the assumption that “Im Lav Neviim”) but just didn’t know the origin of this practice.

    #1072771

    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    Sam2- Even if it came from non-jewish sources it may not be chukas hagoy. It is a logical custom. And the Marsham (See Igros Moshe YD 4:11:5) permits trees on Shavous even though the Non-Jews adopted it for religious purposes. I can see a nafka mina bec. there they copied us and not the other way around but still now that this custom has a reason, it may not be chukas hagoy.

    #1072772

    mw13
    Participant

    Sam2:

    DY: And, as I’m sure you are aware, R’ Hoffman’s “debunking” is in no way successful. In the slightest.

    Actually, I thought R’ Hoffman’s debunking was both thorough and brilliant. He proved that many of Alfassa’s sources were misleading, if not downright untrue. Some highlights:

    In other words, Alfassa’s proof of a Christian custom is from a work a fiction.

    [sic], again, the Christmas Boar [cake]
    The fact is, however, this source does not mention a key in a loaf at all. It mentions a cake with a cross on top of it. How was the shape of the cross made? Either with a bone of a pig or with a cross shaped key. There is no parallel to the Schlissel Challah here whatsoever.

    Alfassa’s second proof is talking about a cross, not a key.

    The connection that the author makes between this and Schlissel Challah is perplexing. There is no geographic connection. There is no timeline connection. The only similarity is the placing of an item in something else. Both the items are different and the product that they are put in are different. At best, one can say that this is scholarship that lacks rigor.

    How would an ancient Irish custom have made it to eighteenth century Eastern Europe, anyways?

    Interestingly, there is another quote from Alfassa’s article seems to directly disprove his thesis, which you seem to espouse, that shlissel challah should be assur:

    Its hard to give Alfassa much credence after all that.

    #1072773

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    As JT pointed out earlier, it is not currently practiced as far as we know by any religion.

    More importantly, why make assumptions that it was copied from the goyim? Just because goyim may have done something similar doesn’t mean it was copied, abd that the reasons are all horoas heter.

    This is unlike Chanukah presents, which people from our generation have observed was copied from goyim (albeit with a good reason, so that Jewish kids shouldn’t feel underprivileged when their goyish friends got presents on their chogo).

    OTOH, schlissel challah being copied is mostly conjecture. When we are told Jewish reasons by big Jews, why be cynical?

    #1072774

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    ubiquitin:

    Read what DaasYochid so eloquently wrote. Nothing more to add. (if he’s a Daas Yochid, obviously I have none)

    Oh, yes I do have. Someone looking for a mekor for Yiddishe Minhagim, naturally ought to be more familiar, acquainted with Yiddish history, customs, practices, laws than our neighbors. Looking at that “shtikel torah”, makes it seem like he’s reading off something from their local “beis medrash”. ??? ????? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ???.

    #1072775

    Avi K
    Participant

    MW13, Rav Aviner also said that segulot for parnassa work for those who sell them. Of course, if the baker is struggling this might be a surreptitious way to give him tzedaka. However, if they use them for Shabbat there is also a question of whether or not they are considered lechem mishna as they are not complete being that the keys pierced them. In any case, I just hope that those who partake don’t break their teeth on the keys, and certainly do not get metal poisoning c”v.

    #1072776

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    “However, if they use them for Shabbat there is also a question of whether or not they are considered lechem mishna as they are not complete being that the keys pierced them. “

    Did you come up with this on your own?

    There is no question that the challos are considered ?????. None at all.

    #1072777

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Do you use the English word G-d? Do you know where that comes from? I can definitely think of some non complimentary reference in Tanach.

    We go through this every year. If people are following a Jewish custom, we are not Mechuyav to become historians and make sure it originated purely at home. We aren’t copying and following Chukas Hagoyim.

    The way these references are tied in are do typical if these biased “research” articles. It’s actually quite easy. Find anything you want to attach, comb through the details, find a match, and bingo the connection is ‘crystal clear.’

    #1072778

    dak
    Participant

    no links allowed

    #1072779

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    LF

    which post do you mean, my posts to you are after his?

    You keep saying he should be more familiar with our sources, which source do you mean?

    Earlier you said chanukha presents are an innovation. I am wondering you how old do you think Shlissel Chalah is?

    Dor Hamidbar? Bayis Rishon? Taanaim? Amoraim? Gaonim? Rishonim?

    mw13

    Why wouldnt a work of fiction be a legitimate source? A novel written in say Victorian england is a great source regarding how they spoke, lived dressed, and baked bread (if mentioned in the novel). Read Moby Dick (dont really it is long and incredibly boring), it is a great source of information on 19th century whaling and whaling towns.

    regarding your second paragraph:

    “How was the shape of the cross made? Either with a bone of a pig or with a cross shaped key. There is no parallel to the Schlissel Challah here whatsoever.”

    Really No parallel? “OR WITH A CROSS SHAPED KEY” No parallel at all?

    #1072780

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Don’t you realize how silly, or even desperate, it sounds? He went combing through every and any cultural custom and found something that rhymes. This now becomes ‘proof’? Yes, making an specific shape using among other items, a key, is a far cry from making a key out of the whole bread.

    If indeed the only reference found is from Ireland then the joke and bias is obvious.

    Regardless, as I said earlier, it really doesn’t make any difference how it originated historically. It was never meant to follow their customs and surely today it is being done with Yiddish intentions.

    Many of those complaining or ridiculing this Minhag probably subscribe to the reason given in Moreh Nevuchim for Korbanos. That would be way worse. In that case the custom was in itself an act of worship, and still it becomes sanctified through reinterpretation.

    #1072781

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    Which source? Again, I don’t know. Maybe Ta’amei Minhagim. If it’s a chassidishe minhag maybe chassidishe seform. Just (again, not you ?”?) don’t automatically run to the “seforim” of our neighbors’ local “beis medrash”.

    How old do I think it is? Again, don’t know. Maybe at the same era the women refrained from sewing something directly on them, if not chewing a thread. Maybe at the same era people avoided stepping over another. Again, don’t know.

    I just know there’s a minhag, and we follow it.

    As the one who came before Hillel asked “how do you know this is an alef”… if we were to question every aspect of our elders, previous generations before drawing our own (arrogant) conclusion, we’d have no YiddishKite… Our neighbors have plenty of “proofs”.. chapters and verses..

    #1072782

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    If one had a Minhag to use an Outhouse should you keep that?

    If one had a Minhag to have a baby sleep in a Draw (instead of a basinet or Crib) should you keep that Minhag

    Some have Minhag not to use Buttons and use draw strings for shirts, Should one abandon that minhag?

    #1072783

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    if we were to question every aspect of our elders, previous generations before drawing our own (arrogant) conclusion, we’d have no YiddishKite.

    You are not destroying yiddishket because you decide to wear a shirt with a button instead of a draw string shirt

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