Friday, April 14, 2023

כי בשם קדשו בטחנו

Key Veshaim Kodshoi Votochnu

The Real Source Of The Shlissel Challah Phenomenon
The original source for the Shlissel Challah Segulah  is  from the Sefer Ohev Yisroel who claimed Shlissel  Challah to be an old Minhag  B’Yisroel .

The Sefer Ohev Yisroel is a collection of Divrei Torah from Reb Avrohom Yehoshua Heshil   zt”l, known as the Apte  Rov (Rebbe).

The Rebbe's son R. Yitzchok Mier zt”l writes in the Hakdama:

"Many people were quoting inaccurately Toirehs from  the Rebbe  and thereby  saying over in his name things he  never said, Therefore they appointed a Talmid Chacham to write down all the authentic and reliable Divrei Torah of the Rebbe.

The Kesovim were handed in to the Rebbe  who at times corrected them  and chose the Toirehs he agreed with."

In the year 1863 long after the Petira of the Rebbe and his son Reb Yitzchok Mier, the grandson R. Meshulem Zusia zt”l finally printed the Sefer Ohev Yisroel.

He also added to the back of the Sefer, “Likutim”, Divrei Torah that  wasn’t recorded in the Sefer Ohev Yisroel.  

There are two possibilities, why it didn’t make it in the Sefer.

a) The son R. Yitzchok Mier and the Talmid Chacham were not aware of that particular Dvar Torah.

b) The Rebbe never said it. It was made up by one of the many  people who claimed

the Rebbe to have said it.  It's also possible the Rebbe himself to have discarded it as mentioned in the Hakdama the Rebbe chose the Toirehs  to be entered.

R.  Meshulem Zusia zt”l  claimed to believe all the Toirehs to be of his grandfather being he heard them from reliable people (not as reliable as the original Sefer which was

edited by the Rebbe himself) and therefore added them to the back of the Sefer.

The source for the Minhag of Schlissel Challah is not in the Sefer proper, but in the Likutim printed in the back of the Sefer Ohev Yisroel. 

Others* claim that Shlissel Challah is rooted in Christian 
and/or pagan practices.

Keys used to be manufactured in the form of a cross, and at  Easter time, Christians would bake them into a rising loaf of bread  to symbolize Yoshke rising from the dead.
(This is the source of the "hot cross buns.")

The Chida (Moreh B'etzba 7:190) writes " This is a Klall Gadol.
You should not** follow any Minhag unless you know the root (source)
of it from Chazal , or Authentic Kisvei Arizal or you know the true
reason behind the Minhag".

* Their opinion may be considered  only on the assumiption the Rebbe never mentioned this Minhag
** He is probably referring when introducing new Minhagim into
the family or Kehila.. Family or Kehila. Minhagim from the past needs no source or reason (אמבצי).
(Ashkenaz families and even many Chasidishe families never practiced this Minhag 50 years ago.)


  1. That is not accurate. There are a 5 different reasons brought down in Ohev Yisroel. AT least two of them are in the main part of the sefer in the section "Shabbos Acher Pesach," while the others are in the Likutim Parshas Shmini. The minhag is also mentioned in Imrei Pinchas from Rav Pinchos Koritzer, who lived much earlier and was a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov.

    1. Thanks for this information (mentioned also in the main part of the Sefer.) I relied on R. Yair Hoffmans article claiming it is
      mentioned in the Likutim and checked and found it there.

      a)The Imrei Pinchas was published by R. Elozor Elimelech Frankel
      from Bnei Brak. He was Melaket from many sources Mamorim from
      R Pinchas Koritzer zt"l (not considered a Mokor if someone says that someone said)

      b) R. Pinchas Koritzer was twenty years older than the Apter
      Rov and lived in the same generation.(not much earlier)

  2. תמים תהיה עם ה' אלקיךMay 4, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    Thanks for this important post.

    The Chasam Sofer, Litvishe Yidden, Yekkes, Oberlanders, etc. didn't practice this custom. It was/is not minhag of Ashkenaz. And not of Sephardim either. As the heilige Chasam Sofer said, chodosh ossur min haTorah!

    In recent times, some people have started to do it, as 1) it is promoted as a segulah for parnassah, so that is attractive to people, 2) it is not hard to do - אין בו חסרון כיס, ein bo chisaron kis, 3) the ones who bake challah (bertches) in homes are usually women, שדעתן קלות, ונוחות להתפתות.

    Those whose mesorah is not to do it, should stay away from it.

    תמים תהיה עם ה' אלקיך

    חדש אסור מן התורה

  3. Schlissel challah is not even universal minhag among ChasidimMay 4, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    It should be known that it is not even universal among Chasidim. Lemoshol, the last Lubavitcher Rebbe (Ramash) wrote that it is not minhag Habad. See Otzar Minhogei Chabad (Nissan p. 243), that it is not their minhag. Probably other Chassidusen don't have it either.

    So whoever is trying to push it as something that all Yidden should do is wrong and is misleading you. Not even all Chasidim do it!

  4. At the beginning of the likuttim he writes that these were all heard from reliable sources. Here is the page in Ohev Yisroel where you can see this at


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