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Challah Stories and Essays

Learn the inner secrets of this beautiful mitzah and what it means to real people.

Before baking her toil, talent and thaler into bread for herself and her family, she pinches off a choice bit . . .
Challah In Three Parts
This mitzvah is so holy that women use the time of separating challah to pour their tender hearts out to G‑d.
Bread, Guilt and Grace
I know that all are not sustained and nourished here, where I furtively eat behind closed doors. So I expiate my guilt by prayer, and this leads to a new kind of haunting uneasiness
Risin' to the Occasion
My dear friend Edith treats my challah like an esteemed, albeit mercurial, family member. She often tells me that she can taste the energy and love I pour into my baking...
Power of Challah
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...
The Power of the Beginning
The portion of challah that is separated is not just a reminder of our past, but even more importantly, a lesson for the present and the future
The Secret of Challah
Separating challah is one of the three commandments that are particularly related to women. Kabbalistically, this commandment teaches us how this relates to a woman's innate understanding and might.
She Kneads Her Needs Away
I did not care if my finished loaves would come out heavy and crumbly. It didn't matter -- I still had some praying to do...
My Daughter's First Mitzvah as a Bat Mitzvah
Every mother has many dreams for each of her children, but right then, my deepest desire was that you would find your purpose in this world, and that when you found it, you’d never let it go. When you said the words of the blessing I was so proud of you. The first thing you did as an "adult" - Jewish woman was a mitzvah...
Knowing What Comes First
Lessons from Challah
My mother showed us how even the seemingly mundane parts of life are part and parcel of our spiritual service...
Got Dough?
The mystical dimension of challah
What could possibly be so important about separating a piece of dough that the Midrash states that it is the purpose of creation?
Challah & Mothers
Audio | 22:44
Challah & Mothers
Preparing, Shaping and Forming Lives
Everyone loves fresh baked challah. But the unique mitzvah for women of challah is much more than just creating delicious bread. Join Sara Esther Crispe as she discusses the meaning of challah preparation, why it is connected to women and the lessons it has for our lives.
Challah Role
I have found, in my experience of making challah, that there is a personal lesson and meaning not just in the final product of the bread we eat, but in the process of making this holy bread itself.