Rosh Chodesh Sivan
Wheat Stalk Challah with Parmesan Topping
Saturday, May 23 | 5 – 7pm
Light nosh provided.
Event limited to 10 people. Register early!
TICKETS COMING SOON!
Rosh Chodesh is the first day of the lunar month, marked by the birth of a new moon. We will celebrate Rosh Chodesh by making a thematic challah.
We celebrate Shavuot as the day we received the Torah. Every Shavuot for over three thousand years, we have endeavored to renew our partnership with the Divine. One of the customs we observe is to eat dairy, perhaps because the Torah is likened to spiritual milk for our spiritual sustenance. Shavuot is also an agricultural festival and so we will be shaping our loaves as wheat stalks.
You can attend if you haven’t made challah before, but the session is not a “how-to” make challah class. The dough will already be made and ready for shaping as part of a Rosh Chodesh celebration, with reflection and meditation. Participants will leave with a formed loaf of challah ready to bake or to put in the frig to be baked the next day.
There will be blessings, prayer, guided meditation and facilitated reflective conversation on the upcoming new lunar month as we shape our bread into a loaf that highlights a spiritual theme for the months of Iyar, Sivan, and Av.
All ingredients and equipment will be provided, but participants should bring a baking sheet and a tea towel to cover their shaped loaf of challah and carry it home. Participants will be able to purchase the dough-raising bucket and bench blade they will be using.
A wise and clever rabbi was once asked by Jew with no Jewish education how to enter Jewish tradition. The inquirer complained that the tradition was so vast. Where does one even begin to start?
The rabbi offered a down-to-earth-practical response.
“Pick just one mitzvah,” the rabbi advised, “but pick one you feel you can do forever. If you don’t feel you can commit your lifetime to certain mitzvot, don’t start with any of them. Pick one you are confident you can do for the rest of your life.”
The rabbi added, “And then become an expert on that one mitzvah. Find out everything you can about it. Study it. Learn it. In all of its detail. Just that one mitzvah. Become the world’s authority.”
The secret, of course, is this: each mitzvah contains all of the others. By exploring the depths of one mitzvah, you are led to a profound, uplifting entanglement with all of the mitzvot.
I picked the making of challah as my mitzvah over 7 years ago. Thematic challahs have led me to more in-depth Torah study and exploration of themes presented by the Jewish calendar.
My return to Judaism began my first year in San Francisco when I wandered into Congregation Beth Sholom for HHD and heard R. Saul White (z”l) inspire his congregation to fully embrace what it meant to be a Jew. Further exploration led me to read, debate and discover just how deep and soulful Judaism can be.
I have served as lay leader and educator in a variety of Jewish contexts and always learn something more from the adults and children as we wrestle with text and tradition.