Passover- How Much Flour Is Required For Hallah or Matza
Matza factories must separate a piece of dough when baking Matzot, as required by the obligation of Challa, before the Matza may be eaten. How much dough must one bake to become obligated to separate Challa with a Beracha?
The Ben Ish Chai (Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, 1835-1909), both in his discussion of the laws of Pesach and in addressing the laws of Challa, writes that the minimum amount is 777 darham. A darham (the measurement used at that time) equals a little more than 3 grams (see below), and so according to the Ben Ish Chai, one would be required to separate Challa with a Beracha only if he bakes a very large amount of dough, a quantity well exceeding 2300 grams. On this basis, it is written in some places that a woman separates Challa only if she bakes approximately 5 lbs. of dough.
However, most other Acharonim (later authorities), including the Kaf Ha'chayim Sofer and Chacham Ovadya Yosef, disagree. Based on the Rambam's ruling, they maintain – and this was indeed the practice among the Jewish communities in Syria – that Challa is required when baking 520 darham, a much lower amount than that required according to the Ben Ish Chai. Now it was initially assumed, as mentioned earlier, that a darham equals a little more than 3 grams. Chacham Ovadya Yosef therefore ruled that one separates Challa when he bakes an amount of 1,666 grams (or 1.666 kilograms). Recently, however, the darham coin was discovered and it was determined to equal just about 3 grams, and thus Chacham Ovadya Yosef wrote that one separates Challa with a Beracha if he bakes 1.560 kilo grams of dough, which is equivalent to 3-3.5 lbs.
Different views exist regarding the correct text of the Beracha recited when separating Challa. According to the Ben Ish Chai, one recites, "Baruch…Asher Kideshanu Be'mitzvotav Ve'tzivanu Le'hafrish Challa Teruma." Others maintain that the Beracha should conclude, "Le'hafrish Challa" or "Le'hafrish Teruma." All these texts are acceptable.
Summary: One is required to separate Challa with a Beracha if he bakes 3-3.5 lbs. of dough. Various views exist as to the text of the Beracha; one can recite either "Le'hafrish Challa Teruma," "Le'hafrish Challa" or "Le'hafrish Teruma."