web analytics
September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776
Blogs
Sponsored Post
The Migdal Ohr Mishpachton MISHPACHTONIM – Israel’s Children are Your Children.

Support Migdal Ohr by purchasing letters in the Torah Scroll that will be written in honor of Rabbi Grossman’s 70th Birthday.



Shlissel (Key) Challah: The Loaf of Idolatry?

This is an unusual post with which to kick off my new blog,  on the JewishPress.com.

I was sent a research paper that discussed the origins of the Minhag of the “Shlissel Challah”, the custom of baking a key into a Shabbat loaf of bread. It turns out that Shelomo Alfassa’s research uncovered some surprising origins for this “Jewish” custom. You can read the entire paper here, but here are key points from the research paper:

– Every year Jewish women, young and old, partake in the Ashkenazi custom to place a key (such as a door key to a home), inside the dough of a loaf of bread that they bake. This custom is known as shlissel challah—shlissel from the German language shlüssel (key) and challah or hallah from the Hebrew for bread.

– 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.

– Keys were traditionally manufactured in the form of a cross, the traditional symbol of Christianity, a physical item all Christian commoners would possess in their home. On Easter, the Christian holiday which celebrates the idea of Jesus “rising” from the dead, they would bake the symbol of Jesus—the key shaped like a cross—into or onto a rising loaf.

– 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.

– In Christianity, baked goods associated with keys are commonly called “Easter breads,” and in Europe they are also known as “Paschals” as the holiday of Easter in the East is known as “Pascha” or “Pascua.” This is most likely the reason Christians often call Easter breads baked with keys Paschals.

– While the custom is said to be mentioned in the writings of Avraham Yehoshua Heshel (the Apter Rav 1748-1825) and in the Ta’amei ha-Minhagim (1891), there is no one clear source for shlissel challah. And while people will say there is a passuq attributed to it, there is not. And, even if there were, a passuq that can be linked to the practice is not the same as a source. Micha Berger, founder of the AishDas Society, [orthodox] calls this type of logic “reverse engineering,” it‘s like drawing a circle around an arrow in a tree, and subsequently declaring the arrow is a bullseye. The idea of baking shlissel challah is not from the Torah; it‘s not in the Tannaitic, Amoraitic, Savoraitic, Gaonic or Rishonic literature.

– Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim19 of Mesora.Org [orthodox] teaches that:

The Torah teaches that Hashem punishes the wicked, and rewards the righteous. It does not say that challah baking or any other activity will help address our needs…When the matriarchs were barren, they did not resort to segulas, but introspected and prayed…Nothing in Torah supports this concept of segula; Torah sources reject the idea of a segula…baking challas with brachos cannot help…segulas are useless, and violate the Torah prohibition of Nichush [good luck charms]. It does not matter if the charm is a rabbit‘s foot, a horseshoe, a challah, key or a red bendel. The practice assumes that forces exist, which do not, and it is idolatrous.

– On the far end of the scale, it can be said that shlissel challah observance is a nothing less than “the way of the Amorites.” It is precisely this type of behavior and observance which Jews are supposed to separate themselves from, so it doesn’t go on to influence our thoughts and deeds. Am Yisrael was not created to lose itself in such folklore, and Judaism without disciplined study is nothing but folklore. Judaism allows and encourages the use of our minds. It‘s never too late to realign our path with Torah sources, not blind faith practices which are trendy, in, or cool.

– Educated Jews should help to promote Torah sources to our friends and neighbors, not false practices which are of non-Jewish origin and have nothing to do with Judaism.

100 Amens to that!


Jameel@Muqata

About the Author: Jameel blogs at the Muqata: http://www.muqata.com, but these days extensively posts on Facebook. Follow Jameel at https://www.facebook.com/Muqata Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.



Imported and Older Comments:

to “Shlissel (Key) Challah: The Loaf of Idolatry?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Shimon Peres
Peres Family Members Summoned to President’s Bedside for Final Goodbye
Latest Blogs Stories
Pinterest  In this poster, they mean well, but they got the Chanukah Menorah wrong giving it seven rather than nine candles.

How to deal with a changing America? Move to Israel, where not only are the Jewish Holidays the official ones,

ron-reagan

Conservative principals– limited government, individual responsibility, and traditional morals–are all deeply rooted in Jewish tradition and served as inspiration for the US ‘Founding Fathers’

Map of the Middle East; Israel surrounded by the neighborhood 'bullies'

The never-ending Arab-Muslim war against Jews has nothing to do with Jewish mistreatment of Arabs but everything to do with the Qur’anic religious imperative to keep “unbelievers” under submission

Doug Goldstein

If you receive a sudden financial windfall–such as an inheritance, legal settlement, or bonus–what’s the first thing you should do?

Hamas prioritizes weapons replenishment over getting Gazans electricity and much needed goods. Does the average Gazan share those priorities? Why isn’t Hamas smuggling in things that Gazans need?

If reports are true, one of America’s preeminent Rabbis, Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, head of the RCA Beis Din, has been dishonored by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate which rejected conversions he approved

Maybe there is reason for optimism: Today Israel has diplomatic relations with over 160 countries, nearly double the number Israel had when Netanyahu served as Israel’s ambassador some 30 years ago.

Al Quds University, the Palestinian University in “East” Jerusalem, opened a branch moments from the Temple Mount, site of the two destroyed Jewish Temples and holiest site to Jews around the world

If you are Israeli or a supporter of Israel, you know that the UN has ONE very important function. They are there to ruin the international reputation of Israel.

Bibi, who in some ways can be considered even “more American” than Obama, has never found a common language and comfortable demeanor with the present POTUS.

The Dems and Left, has taken something worthy and noble, the Civil Rights Movement, and turned it into a bludgeon with which to silence alternative viewpoints or bully people into political submission

Clinton said we first need to examine the facts of the attack. Well… of course. But I did not hear any determination in her voice. Not this time and not really ever.

“it’s Elul and we need the shofar, especially this morning. Two police, did you hear?” “Yes” I answered sadly. “They should have a complete recovery.” “Amen,” I said and watched as he blew the shofar.

A major reason for Israel’s indecisiveness is the increasing influence and control over Israeli decision-making by the US – whose government, at the same time, has become less and less supportive.

More Articles from Jameel@Muqata

Leaked files show how George Soros is going after Israel through Israeli-Arabs.

The Olympic organizers asked the Israeli team to not make a scene.

Shuki Gilboa lost his eye in the terror attack.

Until Hamas returns out brothers, we must refuse normalization with Hamas’s close ally, Turkey.

Now that’s a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/shlissel-key-challah-the-loaf-of-idolatry/2011/12/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: