Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Not throwing out bread

    In religious areas of Jerusalem you can often see double plastic-wrapped bags of leftover bread or challah next to garbage dumpsters. Rather than throwing the bread in the bin, people prefer to place it where someone poor might come and take it. 

    There is a strong aversion to throwing out bread, and particularly challah, in Judaism. People will make it into French toast, use the crumbs for stuffing, put it out for the birds, leave for the poor or wait for it to go stale and mouldy before throwing it away. The traditional sources for this are quite thin. There’s a hint in Job 15:23 (“The wicked man... wanders abroad for bread, saying ‘Where is it?’”) and a story in Talmud Chullin 105a which suggests poverty can result from throwing bread on the ground.  

    Above all, the practice of not throwing away bread expresses a strong sense that bread, and particularly the bread we eat on Shabbat, represents God’s blessing to us. We want to treasure and show our gratitude for all of it and not waste or disrespect the slightest bit.

Jewish ways

Not sleeping on Rosh Hashanah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Not sleeping on Rosh Hashanah
Jewish ways

Censoring Aleinu

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Censoring Aleinu
Jewish ways

Veggie cheeseburgers

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Veggie cheeseburgers
Jewish ways

Reading the ketubah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Friday, September 4, 2015

Reading the ketubah
Jewish ways

Reciting psalm 27 in Ellul

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Reciting psalm 27 in Ellul
Jewish ways

Havdalah before Tishah B'av

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Havdalah before Tishah B'av
Jewish ways

Thirteen Attributes

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thirteen Attributes
Jewish ways

Dedicating a new home

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dedicating a new home
Jewish ways

Spilling wine at Havdalah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Spilling wine at Havdalah