"What a lovely experience. Thursday evening, Esther, Sheila and I went to Lubavitch of Bucks County to join a Challah Bake Class with Rosie Weinstein, a lovely instructor. As you can see from the slide show the tables were set with everything anyone would need to make Challah, an apron, inscribed “Kneading Spirituality”, a bakers hat, which we should have put on for the photo, and all necessary ingredients.

The class consisted of three segments. First was to prepare the dough. Each place setting had exactly what we needed, an egg, flour, yeast, sugar, salt and even a plastic glass marked with how much hot or warm water had to go in. With all ingredients in the bowl we were ready to begin kneading. I did it wrong. I went in with both hands. What a mess. Thankfully a lovely young lady across from me gave me a hand and it all worked out. When the dough was ready we put the bowl on top for forty minutes for it to rise. 

That time was not wasted. Rosie gave a very interesting lecture about the origins of Challah, why we make two and why we take off a piece before baking. We make two to commemorate the fact that Jews in the desert received a double portion of manna every Friday in honor of Shabbat. We remove a small piece of dough before baking because in ancient times Jewish women set aside a small piece of dough for the Temple priest. After the destruction of the Holy Temple Jewish women began to burn a small piece of dough whenever they made bread in rememberance of the priest’s portion. Most important Rosie explained why this day of making Challah was so special. It was Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, the beginning of a new month.

After the lecture we went back to the table to prepare the dough for baking, which consisted of dividing the dough and making the braids. As you can see from the photo my braiding skills leave a lot to be desired. With that said the Challah was delicious.

We all left with a great feeling of spirituality and accomplishment and carefully carried our Challahs to the car.

We thank you Rosie. Looking forward to your next class."

~ Arlene