Mega Challah Bakes

Thursday October 25th, 2018

Doors open at 5:00, program will promptly begin at 6:15

Those who BAKE TOGETHER, RISE TOGETHER

Enjoy an evening of unity and inspiration, as we knead and braid delicious challah to adorn our Shabbat tables. Those who attended a Challah Bake in the past raved about the experience. Come see for yourself!

The theme of this year’s Challah Bakes will be held in five locations: North County (1930 Sunset Drive);  Coastal (4126 Executive Dr); East County (6660 Cowles Mountain Blvd) with its special invitation to the LGBTQ community,; Women and Girls Only (4855 College Ave);  South County (5012 Central Ave) and Tijuana, Mexico (Av. 16 de septiembre # 18)  is “Those who bake together rise together.”

“In North County at this year’s challah bake we will have special pre-event programming for children as well as a snack hour and shmooze for all ages”, said Jessica Soria co-Chair of the North County regional activities.

Blessed are You G-d, Who made us holy with the commandments, and commanded us to separate challah from the dough.

You’ve heard the expression, “Let’s break bread.” Well, when Jewish families and friends celebrate the Sabbath, or Shabbat, each Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, we begin by lighting candles, saying a blessing over wine and then literally “breaking bread” called “Challah” or “divine dough,” before enjoying dinner.

JCC Challah bake Chair, Lesley Davis, commented, “Dinner will be available for purchase. The Kavod kids choir will perform as the dough rises. And this year we will introduce special toppings to spice up and personalize your challah.”

There are 7 ingredients such as sugar, which reminds us of the sweetness of life, oil, which reminds us to “anoint” each family member with our love, and so on.

The dough reminds us that many things make up our lives and in the end we braid them all together into something positive, healthy, meaningful, purposeful and good.

Thousands will join together on October 25th, 2018 for the mega Challah Bakes in order to usher in Shabbat San Diego on Friday evening. The cost is only $5 per person, $18 max per family.

We’ll join with millions around the world from more than 1500 cities, 97 countries and 10 languages in this unity Shabbat celebration. We anticipate the arrival of our seventh day of the week, Shabbat, with great eagerness. The Torah explains, “Six days you shall work, and the seventh day is Shabbat, for the Lord your God.” (Deut. 5:13). Shabbat is a “taste of Heaven on Earth” our sages tell us. The unique tranquility and intimacy that fills the homes of those who fully experience a Shabbat is also filled with wonderful smells of delicious food, in particular challah."

In 2015 this email was received from the Headmaster of Soille Hebrew Day School:

Challah Bake Overflows

One Mitzvah leads to another, the Rabbis taught.

Yesterday, the 'aftershocks' of Shabbat San Diego, which have brought together more Jews here than any other event in memory, were felt on the East Coast, in the remote town of Bayshore, Long Island.  A Hebrew Day alum, Lucy Weiser (HDS Class of 2009), a first year Physicians Assistant student in the Touro College School of Health Sciences, happened to hear an ad for Shabbat San Diego while listening to a program on Pandora.  The message inspired her.  In short order, and working with a classmate from Cincinnati, Atara Mintzer, the two organized a Challah Bake for the entire first year class of the program. Supplies were hastily purchased, the full class gathered together, and knead, braid, and bake they did!

Lucy shared with us the collage of photos shown below, along with the following:

 "Atara, myself and another girl arranged a Touro Challah Bake today at school for our PA class.  It was a huge success!  Baruch Hashem - as a student group mostly made up of unaffiliated Jews and others in the class - all were so excited to take part.  Best of all was braiding challah with Hamera, an Arab girl in our class :)"

The power of a community uniting around the Shabbat is truly unstoppable.

 

Challah: Unlocking Spiritual Nutrients

An age old question: it is the union of body and soul which constitutes human life; we know food provides nutrients to the body, and without food, a person dies.  What nutrition sustains the soul?

The answer is to be found within the mitzvah of challah. Challah does not mean bread; it literally refers to a portion set aside during the baking of bread: it shall be when you bake the bread you shall set aside a portion of it for G-d. (Numbers 15)

The making of bread combines wheat (from the earth) and water (often symbolic of spirituality).  This mirrors our make- up of body and soul.  As we knead the two together we have the capacity to unlock the spiritual from within the physical, and transform our bread into that which sustains us entirely – body and soul.  In fact, as we join together this evening, we actualize the well known verse:  "Man does not live by bread alone, but rather by what comes forth from G-d's mouth does man live" (Deut. 8:3).

That we associate Challah with Shabbat, and in fact have come to call the bread for Shabbat ‘challah’ reflects on the essence of both: elevating our eating and how we spend our time, giving sanctity to every dimension of our lives.

As we prepare to share together an uplifting Shabbat San Diego, it is only fitting that we set the stage for our time together by preparing the bread which is both bread alone (delicious, fragrant, and beautiful) and which offers a bridge to mankind’s Source for life, which comes forth from G-d’s mouth.

Thank you for joining us this evening.  Shabbat Shalom.