When Challah is Separated from Afar

Separating Challah “Shelo Min Hamukaf” (Not Nearby)

When one separates challah in Eretz Yisroel, all the individual parts of the dough from which challah is to be taken have to be min hamukaf (nearby); according to one opinion, this means that all the pieces of dough must touch each other, and according to another—they must all be in the same bowl. In Chutz La’aretz (outside Eretz Yisroel), it is midas chassidus (pious behavior) to separate challah min hamukaf, but bedieved (after the fact), if there are no other options, it’s acceptable to do so shelo min hamukaf (even if the different parts of dough are not in proximity to each other and even if they are in different locations), as long as they were all originally part of the same batch of dough. In a case where challah had not been separated beforehand, e.g., if a kindergarten teacher discovers that baked challah was sent home with the children without challah having been taken from the dough, one may separate challah shelo min hamukaf, even in Eretz Yisroel. (If raw dough is sent to individual homes, it’s questionable whether challah ought to be separated at all.) The above halachah applies if there is a similar concern regarding matzos baked by a chaburah (group); one may separate shelo min hamukaf, using the challah or matzah at their location for the mitzvah of hafrashas challah, and thereby fulfill the halachic requirement for all the challos or matzos in other locations. It is advisable for a rav giving a hechsher on matzos to separate challah a few minutes before Pesach from the matzos in his own home (shelo min hamukaf) in order to assure that the halachic requirement is met on behalf of all those who purchased matzos from that entire batch of dough and may not have separated challah. #318?1


Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.