by Jordana Levy, Elementary Director of Judaic Studies
This evening, Hebrew Academy will be hosting our first Mother and Daughter Hafrashat Challah- Challah Bake in the cafeteria at 7:00 pm.
In Parashat Chayei Sarah, the Parasha that immediately follows our Hafrashat Challah evening, we learn about the life of Sarah Imeinu. The Parasha focuses on her Midot and different attributes. Sarah is the first of our four matriarchs; she devoted her life to teaching Am Yisrael the importance of Emunah and the existence of Hashem. It is told that Sarah’s tent had four doors. These four doors represented four important concepts in Yahadut: Hafrashat Challah, Hadlakat Neirot, Shechinat Hashem and Hachnasat Orchim. Sarah’s tent was blessed in that her candles were lit all week from one Shabbat to the next. Her doors were always open to guests, Hashem’s Shechina always rested upon her tent, and her dough for challah was always blessed. We learn that when Sarah dies, the light in her tent is burnt out, her doors are shut, Hashem’s Shechina is lifted and the blessing over her dough disappears. The sadness of her death affects Am Yisrael and is only revived when Rivka Imeinu, our second matriarch, is introduced.
Our Hafrashat Challah Bake is a perfect opportunity to strengthen and actualize our Hebrew Academy mission. At Hebrew Academy we live by enriching our lives both spiritually and physically. At our upcoming event together as a school community, we will come together to enrich our lives and surround ourselves in Mitzvot, words of Torah and Brachot. Vicky Szyf will inspire us with words of Chizuk, Brachot will be made for Rofei Cholim and for the safety of our soldiers in Israel, and laughter and light will be shared among friends. This will culminate in the physical production of yummy Challot.
When we meet on November 5, we will sift the flour and sing, because joy is the foundation of all spiritual success. Then we will add each ingredient consciously: sugar for the sweetness we hope to see in our family’s life; yeast so that each member of our family will grow and expand in Torah and Mitzvot and Maasim Tovim; water represents Torah; when measuring salt, which represents rebuke, we will fill two tablespoons, then shake some back into the salt container because we should always give less rebuke than we originally plan to give; and as we slowly pour in the oil, we “anoint” each member of our family by name, praying for his or her specific needs.
I encourage all women – and mothers and daughters in particular – to come out for a memorable evening. Please bring all of your ingredients as well as bowls and trays. Feel free to use the recipe of your choice. We will be making the dough together in school.