Why Is Challah so Beloved by the Jewish People?
I had never seen a challah until I first came to America in 1961, but once I discovered it I began to like it very much.
Why am I writing about challah? Recently, I was contacted by the leadership of the town of Soncino, Italy, requesting information about the use of bread among Jews for a special “bread festival” in their region. This prompted me to think a bit more about the role challah played in Jewish life.
Challah is the quintessential Jewish bread that is eaten on Shabbat and festivals. As a yeast-risen bread, it comes in different shapes and textures, mostly with eggs but others with water, and each baker claiming to have the best recipe. On Shabbat it is braided; on Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year, it is round, with all kinds of fancy religious, even mystical, meanings ascribed to it, such as all life is intertwined; roundness stands for completeness and perfection.
57 Shabbat Dinner Recipes You’re Going to Love
Friday night dinner: it’s truly something sacred. And delicious. Roast chicken and veggies, soup, salad, kugel , fresh baked challah and something sweet to finish.
We all love Shabbat dinner, but sometimes we need to change up our weekly routine to include something a little special: a new stew, a spicy soup or some truly decadent cookies.
So here is our ultimate Shabbat recipe round-up with over 50 mouth-watering recipes that are perfect for Friday night dinner. Get ready to menu plan, friends.
Zemirot, or Shabbat Table Songs
Learn the most popular songs associated with the day of rest.
Table hymns sung during or immediately after Sabbath meals are called zemirot . These medieval songs represent a unique blend of the holy and the secular, the serious and the playful, and allow family and friends to enhance the Sabbath experience.
Below is information about some of the most popular Shabbat songs, followed by videos of them with the words in transliteration, so you can practice singing them. Find a searchable database of Shabbat song recordings and lyrics here.
Blessing the Children
This Friday night practice is taken from the priestly blessing.
Many Jewish parents embrace the custom of blessing their children on Friday evening. This custom is a nice way of bringing gratitude and spirituality into your family. On Shabbat and at other special occasions, it can contribute to a special feeling of closeness between you and your children.
The words of the blessing are taken from the priestly blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) and the introduction is altered depending on whether the child being blessed is a boy or girl.
For boys, the introductory line is:
Havdalah Made Easy
Abraham Joshua Heschel called Shabbat a cathedral in time. While in that "cathedral," we live as if the world were perfect, needing no change. We may close our computers and leave our work selves behind, to relish our family and friends, our beautiful world and to express our gratitude. We open the door to that cathedral as the sun sets on Friday evening and we sadly close the door twenty-five hours later with the Havdalah ritual.
Havdalah is Hebrew for separation. As we metaphorically close the door on Shabbat, we remind ourselves of the differing qualities of time that we have experienced. Just as we mark the end of childhood with bar/bat mitzvah, the end of high school and college with graduation ceremonies, Jews around the world mark the end of the special time of Shabbat and our reluctant move back to the world and all its demands with Havdalah.