Is challah that is seperated from bread treif in chutz laaretz, or in Israel? Meaning, if one were to burn it in the oven and flip it with a fork, is the fork now treif? If it is treif, how should one burn it without treifing up anything else?

Answer:

Challah is considered ‘treif’ both in Israel and outside of Israel, although its status outside of Israel is more lenient than in Israel. Therefore, the fork used to flip over the challah should be kashered by means of hag’alah. The best way to burn the challah is by burning it over a fire on a special gauze, or covering it with aluminium foil and placing it inside the oven until burnt. Note that if the challah was burned in the oven without being covered, the bottom surface of the oven (where the challah touched) will also be treif, and would require kashering. See also the comment, below.

Sources: See Shach, Yoreh De’ah 323:4.

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2 Responses to “Burning Challah”

  1. What lesser form of koshering the fork is the Rav refering to?

    • I have slightly amended the answer, and will explain briefly. If a utensil is used (comes into contact with) a non-kosher food that is directly on the fire, it requires libun, and hag’alah alone is not sufficient. In the case of the question, where the fork touched the challah in the oven, the challah might be considered “on the fire” (because no liquid is present–see P’ri Megadim, Orach Chaim, MZ 451:16, and Chazon Ish, Orach Chaim 119:19), in which case the fork would require libun. However, for challah one may rely on hag’ala, because challah has the same status as terumah, for which hag’ala is sufficient (this is extracted by comparison with the kashering of a keli cheres; see Divrei Malkiel, vol. 3, no. 56), and, furthermore, in light of the fact that challah today is only a rabbinic prohibition. In addition, Rambam (Terumah chap. 15) maintains that washing is enough, and although we rule like Raabad who argues with this ruling, the opinion remains a cause for leniency (see Chalas Lechem, vol. 2, no. 1).
      Nonetheless, it remains preferable to perform libun, if this does not involve difficulty. Concerning challah outside of Israel there is room for greater leniency, because challah outside Israel is entirely rabbinic (without an ikar de’oraisa), and it therefore receives special leniencies–see Shach (quoted above), Divrei Malkiel (loc. cit.), and Kaf Hachaim (Yoreh De’ah 108:6).

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