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Intercultural Challah Baking


Today we celebrated the Jewish Shabbat, making our own Challot andtrying many of the Eastern European traditional Jewish foods.According to Jewish tradition, the three Sabbath meals, Friday night, Saturday lunch, and Saturday late afternoon, each begin with two complete loaves of bread. This bread commemorates the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after the Exodus from Egypt. Each single loaf is woven with six strands, both loaves have twelve which represent each tribe of Israel.

We had much fun trying to plait a 6 braided challah, and deciding whether to include raisins into the dough to make a sweeter challah.

I believe the best way to enjoy freshly baked, warm challah, is with traditional Shabbat foods like Chopped Herring, Pickled Herring, Smoked Trout Mousse, Pickled Cucumbers, and Egg Salad.

What I love each week, when we all sit down and share a meal are the similarities we share in our traditions. How a Jewish woman prepares the shabbos dinner, is exactly how the Muslim woman prepares her Ramadan feast. We laugh how we all cook all day, wanting the home to be clean, the fridge full of food, the feast to be wonderful, and our family and friends to have enjoyed the celebration. The respect we all have for our traditions, and how important it means to each of us, to carrying on this tradition to our children and grand children.

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