I always go on about how Challah mirrors creation.
Or more precisely – how Challah is a microcosm of all creation.
Which makes sense, seeing as how when we make Challah we are creating something that is alive and growing.
Today we began reading the Torah anew as we culminated the holiday marathon month of Tishrei.
I though I was all ‘inspired’ out – and really, truly, had to drag myself to shul this morning. But hey, I’m the rebbetzin – If I can’t get my act together to get to shul – how can I ask anyone else to??
So, on goes the fancy clothes . . .again. My wig . . . again. (by now it isn’t looking that perky. . . so up it goes into a ponytail.) High heels . . . again (if you know me, you’ll know that high heels are not negotiable, even after a solid month of Chag)
Got the kids fed, and made them some snacks and lunch to keep them fed and watered in shul, and off we went . . . this being the last day of a month-long holiday marathon- it kind of felt like a really lonnnnng (endless??) continuous day of Chag . . .
I got to shul – just kind of hoping to get through the prayers with some semblance of intention.
But of course, as I always say . . . Inspiration strikes when we least expect it!
We began reading the Torah – and I actually felt excited – to see the Torah start all over again, felt like such a clear reminder of the continuous cycle of life.
I’m warming up – starting to be really glad I made it to shul. Can’t believe I would consider missing such a moment!
We start reading the story of creation – and . . while everyone is thinking of lofty stuff, I’m thinking about Challah, of course.
hey! I totally see the story of Challah here . . .
So here’s my little Challah revelation for today. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!
The world begins with light. . . .
Day One: ‘Vayomer Elokim yehi ohr, vayehi ohr’ And Elokim said ‘let there be light. And there was light.
We begin our Challah with pure warming light . . . the light that brings heat and delicious warmth.
Day Two: The Waters separate . . . creating oceans, rivers, streams and the very same water that goes into our Challah bowl today.
All life begins with water – and so too does our Challah.
And the water must be warmed . . . good thing the first creation is ‘light’,
Warmth is added to the water to create a base for rising and growth.
Day Three: All vegetation is created, resulting in the incredibly versatile and life giving grains that offer us our next ingredient – flour.
The flour is added to the warmed water – and then . . .
Day Four: Sun and Moon, Moadim and Itim, The world’s clock starts ticking.
After the flour and water are mixed, the next ingredient is . . . Time.
Time is what allows the two ingredients to merge and become something more, spawning yeast spores that begin the fermentation process and the rising dough that we see in our Challah bowl.
Day Five: The birds and the fowl, and of course, their delightful eggs.
Our next ingredient in our Challah recipe! (umm. The eggs. Please, don’t put a chicken in there.)
And then comes . . . (drumroll please. This stuff excites me :))
Day Six: Creation of the Human being – and this is where we get to put ourselves into the process – kneading together all of the ingredients to develop and deepen the structure.
And of course, if you’re still with me here . . .
Day Seven: Shabbat.
The finished product. This is the day in which we enjoy the fruits of our labor and the gifts of creation. This is when we eat the Challah.
And there you have it. Challah and the World. Creation in 7 days.
Thankfully – it doesn’t actually take 7 days to complete a challah dough . . . but incredibly – it does include within it all of creation.
Happy Challah Baking!