- Question: [Tuesday, 4th Menachem Av, 5781]
I was preparing Challah and after I separated a piece of Challah from the dough and said the blessing for Hafrashas Challah, I put it down on the counter and somehow absentmindedly mixed it back into the batch of dough. What am I supposed to do now? Separate again? With or without a blessing?
In such a case, you are to perform Hataras Nedarim to the piece that was separated as Hafrashas Challah, and then separate again from the batch, but without a blessing.
The law if one already ate from it: This suggestion to do Hataras Nedarim only applies if you have yet to eat the dough, such as that you have yet to bake it and eat it. If even some of it has already been eaten, then in Eretz Yisrael the Hataras Nedarim is not to be performed, and one is to simply rely on its nullification in majority. Although in the Diaspora, you may still perform Hataras Nedarim, and re-separate Challah from the remaining dough or baked goods, if you have yet to eat the entire batch. If you already ate the entire batch, then do not perform Hataras Nedarim even in the Diaspora and simply rely on its nullification in majority.
If one has a 101:1 ratio: Hataras Nedarim is only required if you do not have a 101:1 ratio of dough to the piece of Hafrashas Challah dough that got mixed into the batch, if however you do have this amount of ratio, such as if the batch of dough weighs 3,100 grams, while the piece of dough of Hafrashas Challah weighs 30 grams, then it is considered nullified and you do not have to do Hataras Nedarim and may bake and eat the bread as usual. [Nonetheless, it is proper to remove a small amount of dough without a blessing as a new Hafrashas Challah, even in such a case.]
How to do the Hataras Nedarim: The Hataras Nedarim can be performed with any three Shabbos observant Jewish men who are above the age of 18, even if they are relatives, such as three brothers [however not including one’s husband, although he may and is even recommended, to do the Hataras Nedarim on behalf of his wife, such as in Shul and the like]. She [or her husband] is to say in front of the three men, that she/he regrets having done the separation of Challah being that it became mixed back in with the rest of the dough, and the three men of the tell her “Mutar Lach” three times. After this is done, she may then re-separate the Challah without a blessing.
Explanation: The dough of Hafrashas Challah is forbidden to be eaten, and is hence considered similar to any other non-kosher food, of which we rule that if it becomes mixed up with other Kosher food, then it requires nullification. However, there are various distinctions applicable regarding the amount of nullification necessary, depending on if the mixture occurred in the land of Israel or the Diaspora, and depending on whether it became mixed back with other dough, or a different food altogether. Likewise, some hold that there is a distinction regarding if it became mixed with its original dough versus the dough of a different batch. Practically, in the above case that it became mixed back with dough, there is a dispute regarding the amount of nullification necessary, with some saying that [in the Diaspora] a simple majority, or even half, of Kosher dough is enough, and [in Eretz Yisrael it requires a 60:1 ratio of Kosher dough to the dough of the Hafrashas Challah], and others saying that it requires a 101:1 ratio Kosher dough to the dough of the Hafrashas Challah [both in Israel and Diaspora]. Practically, the Rama rules like the latter opinion that it requires a 101:1 ratio, and therefore concludes that in the event that one does not have this ratio, then one is to do Hataras Nedarim to the piece of separated dough. [Some Poskim however rule that this only applies if it mixed with a different dough, while if it mixed with its own dough, then it is never nullified and simply returns to become Tevel and requires a second separation even without doing Hataras Nedarim, and therefore we ruled above that it is proper to remove a little bit of dough from the batch as Hafrashas Challah even if it has a 101:1 ratio, to suspect for this opinion.] Now, although there are Poskim [i.e. Taz] who invalidate this ability to do Hataras Nedarim to the dough, practically the Achronim conclude that it is to be done. Nonetheless, when one re-separates the Challah after doing Hataras Nedarim, one should do so without a blessing to suspect for those opinions who invalidate it.
Explanation if one ate from the dough: The Rama explains that one is only to resort to doing Hataras Nedarim if one has yet to eat the dough, although if he already ate the dough [i.e. after baking] then he should not do so being that it will end up causing that retroactively he ate Tevel, and it is better that he rely in such a case on the opinion who says it is nullified in majority. Now, in the Diaspora this would only apply if one already ate the entire batch of dough being that so long as some dough still remains, one can separate Challah from it, and it helps retroactively for the bread that one already ate, [as in the Diaspora one may separate Challah even after one started eating from the bread, and therefore Hataras Nedarim would still save the person from having eaten Tevel, or bread that contained Hafrashas Challah]. However, in Israel where Hafrashas Challah does not work retroactively, then it is better not to do Hataras Nedarim even if only a small amount of the dough was eaten, as it is better that he [and all future eaters] rely on nullification in majority then to cause himself to have retroactively eaten Tevel.
Sources: See regarding doing Hataras Nedarim to the dough: Rama Y.D. 323:1 and Darkei Moshe 323; Michaber Y.D. 331:48 regarding Terumos and Maasros; Shach 323:6-8 and Nekudos Hakesef [negates Taz]; Taz 323:2 [argues on validation of doing Hataras Nedarim]; Birkeiy Yosef 323:1 [rules like Rama and that so is custom and so ruled the Beis Yosef in Bedek Habayis, although concludes to separate without a blessing to suspect for Taz]; Sheilas Yaavetz 1:135 [says returns to Tevel if returns to own dough]; Chasam Sofer 319 [permits Hataras Nedarim if falls in its own dough]; Beis Yaakov 110 [argues on Taz ibid]; Pischeiy Teshvah 323:2-3; Aruch Hashulchan 323:13 and 16; Kinyan Torah 4:110; Yabia Omer Y.D. 1:21; Sefer Hakashrus (of Gadasi) p. 41; Sefer Hakashrus of Fuchs page 379; See regarding the laws of nullification: See Michaber Y.D. 323:1 based on Rambam Bikurim 5 [nullified 50:50]; Rama 323:1 and Tur 323:1 in name of Sefer Hateruma and many other Rishonim [that by Min Bemino requires 101:1 ratio and by Eino Minor requires 60x]; Shach 323:1 that in Israel 60x is required even according to Michaber; Shach 323:3 for opinion of Madnei Melech p. 125 who argues on Rama and permits with majority; Mishkanos Yaakov 69; Sheilas Yaavetz 1:135 [that it is never nullified in own dough, and rather returns to become Tevel]; Pischeiy Teshvah 323:2; Aruch Hashulchan 323; See regarding the detailed laws of Hataras Nedarim: Michaber Yoreh Deah 228:3; 234:56-57; Yaskil Avid 1 Y.D. 107; Beir Moshe 4:92; Hakashrus ibid footnote 77; Age 18: Pischeiy Teshuvah Yoreh Deah 228:2; Reb Akiva Eiger 73 and in 228:3; Sheivet Haleivi 4:94