Every Jewish holiday and any Jewish gathering worth its salt always has an element of food involved, yes, even Yom Kippur (breakfast anyone?)! The foods at the oneg, seder, or Shabbat table are what mark the times in our days, weeks, or year. For me, the most important food that marks my week is challah. Like a fine wine, chocolate, or cheese, I taste each week’s challah and compare it to the last. My weeks are woven together with this simple, savory (or sweet), braided bread.
This past Sunday over a hundred congregants came together to share in the making of this magical bread. For many, it was the first time making challah. For some, it had been months or years since their last attempt, but what I saw on everyone’s face was the shared joy of a braided community. What I mean by a braided community is one that works together, that weaves lives together, and that grows together. I believe all of this starts with the simplicity of braiding challah.
My challenge for all of us this Shabbat is to find a way to come together. Invite friends or a family over for Shabbat dinner; join Rabbi Rachael and me for Friday with Family (@6:30!); or, find an opportunity to do something with loved ones that involves interacting without a screen: hiking, playing board games, or going out for ice cream. A braided community finds ways to come together that bring warmth and joy to the heart.