Feb 1, 2013

Why I am Opposed to Whole Wheat Challa

Let me say from the outset, if someone needs to eat whole wheat or spelt challa for medical reasons, I am not addressing that.  I am talking about those who feel virtuous serving a healthier challa made out of whole wheat rather than white flour. 

In the Beis Ha'Mikdash, solles was fine flour that had the coarser, darker flour sifted away.  The gentiles in Europe knew that although they always ate black bread, and so did the Jews, on the Sabbath, Jews ate bread made out of white flour.  Black bread was for the lower classes and white bread was for the wealthy. 

Challa made out of white flour was a way of honoring the Shabbos and it wasn't only in Eastern Europe.  There was no challa in Syria, says Victoria Dwek, food columnist.  "Whole wheat pita was eaten during the week, and white pita on Shabbat."

The Shabbos zemiros refers to meat and fish v'chol matamim - all delicacies.  There is no mitzva to make ourselves ill, but there is a mitzva to honor the Shabbos with culinary delights.  The food doesn't have to be dripping with oil and full of sugar, but it needs to be special.  There should be foods that we don't eat during the week, but save for Shabbos.  Shabbos is a time for holy indulgence, l'kavod Shabbos kodesh.


  1. I actually like whole wheat better.

  2. I eat whole wheat bread every day. When I've eaten whole wheat challa, it tasted like what I eat every day, it wasn't special.

  3. In my case, someone gives me a year's supply of whole wheat matza every year. I eat a piece of that matza every week day but don't eat bread because all of that matza would go to waste. I save money because I don't have to buy bread but on Shabbos we eat challah. My husband likes white challah and I like whole wheat. Between Purim and Pesach, however, I get some rye bread so any kind of challah is different than what I eat during the week.