Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
How fortunate are we and am I, to be in such an active Jewish community, where I literally struggle with deciding which amazing program or activity I should highlight for my Shabbat message in a week filled with highlights. However, I have to say the Great AZ Challah Bake and the worldwide Shabbat Project were truly amazing.
It is impossible to describe how powerful it was to watch more than 600 women and girls together in one room baking challah, laughing and singing, so I’m including some photos – after all, they are worth a thousand words.
I’m so proud that our Federation sponsored this project, along with many of our other wonderful community organizations. The event reminded me of the words of Nancy Nachman, “The spiritual ritual of hundreds of women coming together in one night to bake challah together moved us beyond words. It is something we do every year now & helped us remember the magic of Shabbos in our own homes.”
This week’s Torah portion is Vayera, (reveals) in the book of Genesis. In it, Abraham had just been circumcised at age 99 as the first Jew but, instead of being concerned with his pain, Abraham rushes to prepare a meal for three guests who appear in the desert. I think it is apropos to compare Abraham, who is concerned with hosting his guests, with our 600 Challah-baking women and girls. The love that goes into the baking of challah shines through and creates a glow that is palpable on every Shabbat table in every Jewish home.
May each of you be blessed to be at a Shabbat table this Shabbos enjoying challah and a Shabbos meal with family, friends and those you love.