This post is part of a three part installment focusing on Challah - traditional Jewish egg bread. This post will focus on baking and "taking" challah as a time to ask G-d for blessings and special requests. This series is in the merit of a complete and speedy recovery for my dear friend Nechama Gittel Chaya bat Chana (Norma Kuras). See adjacent posts for some challah basics and shaping techniques.
There is never a bad time to ask G-d for help; however, when women take part in the three mitzvoth (commandments/good deeds) specifically given to women, it is considered a particularly auspicious time to ask for things. The three mitvot are: lighting Sabbath candles, managing family purity, and separating challah. In the merit of a complete recovery for my friend, I am instigating a mass challah baking. We want to get at least 40 women to bake Challah this coming week (in your own homes) before next Shabbat (Friday night, November 5.)
There are three ways to sign up:
1.Comment on this post with some form of your real name and your commitment to bake.
2. Join our Facebook event and mark yourself “attending”, or
3. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want a reminder next Thursday, e-mail me. (You can also use this e-mail address to send me pictures of you and your kids baking challah or doing another mitzvah in for Nechama Gittel Chaya bat Chana's recovery. I'd like to collect as many as possible. I think it will bring some cheer to Nechama Gittel Chaya bat Chana and her family.)
*Please specify if you can commit to taking challah with a blessing next week, if you are just baking challah in honor of Nechama Gittel Chaya bat Chana’s recovery, or if you would like to take on another mitzvah in the merit of her recovery (such as lighting candles before sundown Friday night or giving to charity.) I hope the public display of your commitment will encourage others.
Below is an example of how to separate challah with a blessing by Hannah of Cooking Manager and A Mother in Israel.
Here are instructions on the formal way to take challah when you are asking for the healing a sick person, from my good friend Leor:
Update: Thank you everyone who participated! We got an excellent response with people baking, learning, and saying tehillim (psalms) in the merit of Nechama Gittel Chaya bat Chana's recovery. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.
I baked soft pretzels, Leor in Silver Spring, MD made 4-braid challah loafs, and Jennifer in Coral Springs, FL made these beautiful loafs:
Hannah's post for more about Nechama Gittel Chaya bat Chana. Refuah Shelaima!