For the past month, I’ve been baking challah live on TBEYouth Instagram stories each Friday. The first week, I did it as an experiment. I hadn’t made challah since I was a kid, and I felt it would be a nice way to try something new and to perhaps share some fun content with our community. What I didn’t expect was the deep sense of connection that I received from the experience. Teens and parents started texting me photos of challah they made—some beautiful and successful, some burnt, some that hadn’t risen—but all were shared with immense pride and joy in taking part in a Jewish ritual. I found myself feeling connected to Shabbat and grounded in time in the midst of a series of weeks where every day had felt blurry. I found myself texting with teens, college students, adult alumni, and parents about our challah making adventures and misadventures—all eagerly looking forward to our opportunity the next Friday to share in the ritual once again. Each week, once the challah is complete, my husband and I sit with our candles and challah and join the TBE Zoom Shabbat Services. Although our community is physically distant, in many ways I feel closer now than ever both to Jewish time and our TBE community.
Baking Challah at Home
by Hannah Richman Kearney May 15, 2020