The scent of heaven

By Patricia Hirschl

Fill your home with the welcoming smell of baking bread. Real estate agents swear it boosts house sales. Generations associate home-baked bread with mother’s love. A hands-on challah workshop by Chaya Teldon awaits you at the Quinta Loreto TV Salon Friday morning, August 3 at 10:30, guaranteed to put the homey aroma in your kitchen that very day.

A hands-on challah
By Chaya Teldon
Fri, Aug 3, 10:30am
Quinta Loreto TV Salon
Loreto 15
Free and open to all

Chaya Teldon has spoken throughout the US, as well as in Israel, Australia, Canada, England, Argentina and South Africa, although not always about challah. The New York Times called her the Erma Bombeck of Jewish Speakers. Another reviewer claims, “her humor and warmth, mixed with the Jewish wisdom of the ages, has captured the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide.” She shared stories with Oprah as a guest on Oprah’s OWN network this past February. Shalom San Miguel invites you to join Chaya for this workshop, her gift to the community.

The braided bread known as challah is the traditional Sabbath and holiday bread in Jewish homes. Countless folklore surrounds its origin and use. One tradition is that the two loaves baked for the Sabbath symbolize the two daily portions of manna, the miraculous food that nourished the children Israel during their long desert trek from Egypt to the Promised Land.

Historically, “… the name ‘challah’ was given to a bread in south Germany in the Middle Ages, when it was adopted by Jews for the Sabbath in Poland and eastern Europe, It was the traditional local Sunday loaf, and its various shapes and designs were in the local tradition of decorative bread. The first mention of the bread was in the fifteenth century, … the term was coined in Austria. Before that, the bread was called “berches,” a name that is still used by Jews in some parts today. The bread became the Jewish ritual bread in Germany, Austria and Bohemia and was taken to Poland, Eastern Europe, and Russia when the Jews migrated east. Housewives kneaded the dough on Thursday, let it rise overnight, and got up early on Friday to bake it. They often baked all the bread for the week at the same time, so as not to waste fuel. The distinctive smell which emanates from the oven and fills the house when it is baked is the Sabbath aroma that pervades the memories of the old Yiddish‑speaking world.” (Reprinted with permission from Claudia Rodin, The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York, Knopf, 1996.)

Learn more and take home a challah to bake in your own oven for the Sabbath. The workshop is free and open to all, but reservations are essential, since enough dough must be prepared for a challah for every participant. Contact Carole at, phone, 154-6760.

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