11 Challah Facts Every Jewish Woman Should Know

I have provided Captions for each picture, these are not complete, go to the article proper for the Historyof Challah

 

Challah is the rich braided bread that adorns Shabbat tables in Jewish homes the world over. Here are 11 interesting tidbits you might not know about this essential, delicious traditional bread: 1. Biblical Origins The word challah in the Torah first occurs when G‑d describes to the Jewish people what life will be like for them in the Land of Israel: When you come to the Land to which I bring you, it shall be that when you will eat of the bread of the Land, you shall set aside a challah (portion) for G‑d. (Numbers 15: 18-19)
1Save Print Email Discuss (1) Art by Raiza Malka Gilbert Art by Raiza Malka Gilbert Challah is the rich braided bread that adorns Shabbat tables in Jewish homes the world over. Here are 11 interesting tidbits you might not know about this essential, delicious traditional bread: 1. Biblical Origins The word challah in the Torah first occurs when G‑d describes to the Jewish people what life will be like for them in the Land of Israel: When you come to the Land to which I bring you, it shall be that when you will eat of the bread of the Land, you shall set aside a challah (portion) for G‑d. (Numbers 15: 18-19) Challah is used to describe the portion that is set aside. Doughs made of any of the five grains (wheat, barley, spelt, rye or oats) should have a portion separated out, which was later given to the priests who worked in the Temple and their families to eat. Further reading: About Challah 2. Challah in the Temple When the ancient Temple stood in Jerusalem, 12 special unleavened wheat loaves, called challah, were displayed on a gleaming golden table, opposite the golden menorah. These delicious fresh loaves were changed weekly and represented each of the 12 tribes of Israel who together formed one whole: the Jewish people….
WHY TWO LOAVES? It’s traditional to place two loaves of bread on Shabbat and holiday tables. This represents the double portion of manna with which G‑d fed the Jewish people as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years after leaving Egypt. (Shabbos 117b)

 

 

Flat Challah Many modern Jews think of challah as a delicious loaf of braided egg bread. But during the centuries, the definition of just what type of bread this refers to has evolved.

 

Remembering the Temple Today although our Temple is destroyed and we no longer have priests whose lineage we can verify beyond any doubt, we still observe the mitzvah of separating challah today.[ ]
Inventing the Braided Loaf today, many people associate Shabbat challah with braided golden bread infused with eggs, and sometimes studded with sweet raisins. According to some, Jews began baking these types of braided   [ ]

After saying the blessing the challah (or all other bread), it’s customary to slice it and dip it into salt. This recalls the salt that the priests in the ancient Temple used to sprinkle on the sacrifices they offered to G‑d and links us directly to the worship of our ancient ancestors in Jerusalem. Salt is also symbolic of the Jewish people: It never spoils, is always fresh, and brings out the beauty and flavor of everything it touches.
Not hurting Challas feelings When Shabbat and holiday challah loaves are set on the table, they are draped with a beautiful cover, hiding them until it is time to make the Hamotzi blessing over bread. One of the reason behind this custom reveals a great deal about the value that Judaism places on
Throughout the Jewish year, some communities bake challah in different shapes or incorporating different decorations. It’s common in all Jewish communities to eat round challah loaves from Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, all the way through Simchat Torah, several weeks later. The round shape of these special challahs symbolizes the circular nature of the Jewish year. They also recall crowns, recalling G‑d’s majesty during the High Holy Days.

Source: 11 Challah Facts Every Jewish Woman Should Know

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