Baking Challahs for Shabbos

Baking Challahs for Shabbos:[1]

It is customary for every household to bake Challahs for Shabbos which are used for Lechem Mishneh and not to buy them at the bakery as is done during the week. This matter of baking one’s own Challah is included in the honoring of Shabbos and Yom Tov. One is not to divert from this custom.[2]

How much is one to bake? One is to bake at least the amount that requires one to remove Challah from the dough.[3]

Pas Akum[4]:[5] (For those which are accustomed to eat Pas Akum throughout the week it is proper for them to refrain from eating it on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Rather they are to eat from the Kosher breads which have been kneaded in their homes, as this is included in the Mitzvah of honoring Shabbos and Yom Tov.[6])


One is to bake Challahs for Shabbos as opposed to buying them from a store.



Why today are not all women particular to bake Challahs for Shabbos and rather they buy Challahs from the store?

Some Poskim[7] rule that today being that fresh and tasty Challahs are available in all bakeries it is not necessary for every woman to bake Challahs in their home. This especially applies if there is much work needed to be done for Shabbos in the home and it is a short Friday. Other Poskim[8] however argue that even today one may not divert from the custom of baking Challahs in the home.


May one bake only a few Challahs and buy the remainder from a bakery even according to the above custom?[9]

Yes. One may use some home baked Challahs and some bakery Challahs even according to the above-mentioned custom.


Is one to bake the Challahs specifically on Erev Shabbos?

Yes.[10] It is proper to bake the Challahs specifically on Erev Shabbos.[11] If, however, one is unable to do so, he may also bake them on Thursday or Thursday night.


[1] Admur 242:12; Rama 242:1; 529:2 regarding Erev Yom Tov

[2] The reason: The reason behind this custom of baking Challahs on Erev Shabbos is due to the Mitzvah to honor Shabbos. [Admur ibid] The effort exerted in the kneading and baking for the sake of Shabbos, rather than buying it from a store, honors Shabbos. [M”B 242:6] Likewise having fresh and hot homebaked bread likewise honors Shabbos. [Siddur Yaaveyz; Likutei Mahrich] Likewise it resembles the showbread which was baked on Erev Shabbos. [Siddur Yaavetz; Likutei Mahrich] Likewise separating Challah rectifies the sin of Adam, that occurred on Erev Shabbos, which was the Challah of the world. [M”A 243:4; M”B 242:6]

[3] See also Shach Yoreh Deah 324:25 that the women are scrupulous to specifically bake enough to separate Shiur Challah on Erev Shabbos.

[4] Gentile baked bread

[5] 242:13

[6] As for why this law was placed in parentheses by Admur, see Chikreiy Halachos 3:30

[7] Oar Letziyon 2:47; Mishnes Yosef 5:63

[8] Mishneh Halachos 15:95

[9] Chelkas Yaakov 1:59

[10] Seder Hayom; Siddur Yaavetz; Machatzis Hashekel 242:10; Likutei Mahrich

[11] As amongst the reasons for baking Challahs for Shabbos is because it resembles the showbread which were baked on Erev Shabbos as well as that it rectifies the sin of Adam which was the Challah of the world. [See Siddur Yaavetz; M”B 242:6]

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