Friday, June 19, 2009

My eyes have been opened

I thought I knew Challah. Braided egg bread for Shabbat. You take two, you say a blessing, you eat.

I knew nothing.

Today we had a class on "A Mitzvah of Body and Soul- A Challah Baking Class. I thought it was going to be on how to make challah, and I thought I was going to get to make some. When I heard we were not going to be able to make it ourselves, but rather watch this woman make it, I have to admit I was bummed. This was my chance to cook, to take advantage of my talent, to get into my groove thing. Now I was going to sit and LISTEN to someone? To WATCH someone else do it??

It was unbelievable.

This woman had the most amazing soul- you could see it when she opened up her mouth. She explained about the mitzvah of Challah, and what you need to do to fulfill it. There are all sorts of specifics about how much flour and what sort, but what it really is is this spiritual moment of connection with G-d while you are making it. You can pray while you're kneading, and those prayers are very special. You can even have communities of women that pray for you while they make challah, like a Jewish prayer phone tree.

I read this and I realize how I cannot do justice to how glowing this woman Raize Gutman is when she teaches us about this mitzvah. This Challah Lady has a real connection to the Divine. I have never wanted to make challah so badly as I did while she was teaching. She actually did show us several ways to braid the Challah that I'd never seen before. Honey, I'm going to make flower round Challahs, napkin ring Challahs, swan Challahs, four strand woven round Challahs, and six strand braided Challahs. The way I feel right now, I never want to buy a Challah again.

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