September 15, 2012

Holiday Challah

Holiday Challah
First time I’ve ever succeeded at making the traditional round challah for Rosh Hashana. Weekend Edition Saturday had a feature on holiday baking this morning and included these thoughts:

These days, people don’t bring the lump of dough to the temple; they just burn it in the oven after they’ve baked their bread. But the idea of taking a moment — holding the small bit of dough in your hands and reflecting — is still a part of the ritual. Willhelm says that it’s especially important in our busy modern lives. “Three little children, running a preschool, I’m working all the time. … There’s not too many times in my day that I do that.”

Simi Mishulovin, who helps run the challah class, is also a busy young mother. Like Wilhelm, Mishulovin uses her moment of reflection to think about blessings for her family, or friends who are sick, or just for appreciating all she has. That, she says, is a pretty profound moment to come from flour and water.

“It’s actually the most mundane of foods. It’s a staple. And we use a staple of our life to connect to infinite,” she says.