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Power of Challah

Power of Challah

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My hands find the dough, and I find G‑d's love again. Even in days of drenching anguish, comfort comes to me in the sweet labor of sanctifying the grains of G‑d's creation. There are times in life that can only be endured, yet when my hands press love of Torah into the deep parchment of wheat and water and sugar and yeast and salt, a covenant is renewed with history and hope, with faith and belief.

There are times I begin to knead nearly blind with tears, but as I set the dough to rise, my heart is steady again, and I am tranquil with faith. Sometimes our hearts must follow our hands, and our souls do the same, for we forget the strength in our being.

Only G‑d knows the fullness of creation; who are we to evade our destinies? The bowl, the mixing spoon, the wooden board, the perfume that emerges from the baking bread: these are our inheritance, greater than gold. In these times when too much is bought, too little fashioned with love from our hands, our challah's are prayers of humble yet steadfast devotion.

My son prefers challah warm in his hands to any cake, because he tastes the passion of my prayers, the sweetness of my caring. Never mind that my hair is gray, my face lined, my errors many. He knows, when I bake, that I am helping braid the threads of our faith so that his life will be blessed.

He tells me I am beautiful, and that I am kind, even though how many times in the past week I have been curt or impatient. It is forgotten in the Shabbat light. What is unimportant fades, as faith returns.

Jampa Williams is a single mother, poet and writer in Connecticut, and has journeyed through (and beyond) domestic violence and cancer.
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Cheri Eretz Yisrael November 18, 2012

beautiful and heartfelt As a women who cried while she kneads her challah, I hear you what you say, I feel what you feel. May Hashem continue to heal our sick, protect our borders and give us the strength to continue to walk in His righteous path. Reply

Rochel Ester Silberman Tampa, FL March 4, 2008

The power of Challah I love this articule...I will keep it frame in my kitchen to remind me of the power of Challah making...very inspiring!! Reply

Tammarishka (Tammy) Kerman Caledon, Canada March 23, 2007

The Power of Challah Ths has been a very trying week with one of my children. She is ill and does not take care of herself and rebells when other want to. Situations happened regarding her this week, and I have felt week at the knees with frustration and feeling my hands are tied. Reading this article after making my challah and trying to set my mind and soul into Shabbat mode. I realizes that my actions as a Jewish mother and keeping a Jewish home speak much louder than words can ever speak. Reply

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