- Question: [Monday, 11th Menachem Av, 5781]
We are making challah with my daughters’ class in school, and would like to know regarding the blessing of Hafrashas Challah, if it can be said or not and if yes, then can all the girls say it? We are not baking it in school but rather each girl will bring their braided dough to their home to bake, and the teacher seemed to think that if you don’t bake it in school then you cannot say a blessing.
The above statement is partially accurate. The law is as follows:
Each girl will receive Shiur Challah of dough: The blessing may only be said by each participant if they will each have an individual Shiur Challah, in which case each girl is obligated to separate Challah from their own batch of dough and say a blessing. In such a case, it makes no difference where they bake it, whether they bake it at home or in school.
Each girl will receive less than Shiur Challah: If, however, the girls will not each individually have Shiur Challah and rather each girl will receive a small piece of dough which is much less than Shiur Challah to take home to bake, then nobody can say the blessing, even prior to the distribution of the dough, even if in total the batch contains Shiur Challah, as the main batch of dough is not obligated to have Challah removed in such a case. The only way the main batch can remain obligated in Hafrashas Challah and have a blessing be said, is if the dough is baked in the school, and only then distributed to the girls after it is baked, each one taking a random baked Challah, in which case a single blessing is said by one person when they separate Challah from the main batch. However, if each girl is Makpid to take the baked Challah that she braided, then once again the blessing may not be said, even if it is baked in school.
One person will retain Shiur Challah: An alternative for allowing a blessing to be said, is for one person to retain a Shiur Challah by their personal dough, and that person can then separate Challah from their batch with a blessing. In such a case, there is no need for the other girls to separate Challah from their smaller doughs, as they are exempt from Challah.
The reason: The law is that the Shiur for Hafrashas Challah is retained even if one separated it into small rolls, if it all belongs to one individual. However, if it belongs to two or more individuals, or will be distributed to more than one individual, then if they plan to distribute the dough to each individual prior to baking, then it is only obligated in Hafrashas Challah if each person receives an individual Shiur Challah of dough, otherwise it is exempt from Challah and does not join the dough of his friend. This applies even if originally all the dough was mixed together in one batch prior to distribution. If, however they first baked the Challah and only afterwards distributed it to the individuals, then even if each person receives less than Shiur Challah of baked Challah, nonetheless it remains obligated in a single Hafrashas Challah prior to baking.
Sources: See Michaber Y.D. 326:2; Shach 326:1; Rambam Bikurim 6:19; Mishneh Challah 1:7; Beis Efraim Y.D. 69, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 326; Binas Adam Shaaareiy Tzedek Challah 14; Minchas Yitzchak 8:42; Minchas Shlomo 68; Chazon Ish Y.D. 198:3; Hakashrus 14:13