Many Jewish people will be baking challah for Shabbat this week either in the shape of a key or with a key added inside the challah. This is supposed to bring parnassah to the household.
It’s an interesting custom – not something I ever did, but what’s the harm, eh? My beloved relative sent me this link to an Academic Paper on the Origin of Shlissel Challah. In this paper, which is well written and researched, the myth of the shlissel challah is disected. Is it based on ancient pagan practices? Does that make it bad juju (can I use that word?) to bake challah shaped like a key? Or is it just something that has no real effect but what harm can it do?
Please read the paper and discuss below.
(I am not baking it this week. I will bake my regular challah in the braided loaves and that will be it).