Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why Challah Tastes So Good

In this week's parsha, Shlach, we read about the Mitzvah of Challah, when baking bread, separate a part of the dough for Hashem. This would be given to the Kohen, however today we burn it.

In the Torah the paragraph that speaks about the Mitzvah of Challah says the word "Tarimu" three times. The literal translation of Tarimu is "you should lift up".

Though men are also obligated to do this Mitzvah, it is considered as one of the special Mitzvahs near and dear to Jewish women. This Mitzvah is so holy that women use the time of separating Challah to pour their tender hearts out to Hashem.

What makes this Mitzvah so special? Why does the Torah stress tarimu, you should lift up?

Bread is the most basic food and is symbolic of our most basic physical needs. It is what we toil for and work for, to make "bread" and to put "bread" on the table. It is symbolic of everything physical in the world.

When you separate Challah your are touching on the essence of Judaism. You are taking the physical and lifting it up to a spiritual state.

First, emunah, belief in Hashem, we recognize that all we have is from Hashem. One may think "my smarts an abilities has made me all this wealth", which, in a way is like saying, that it is not from Hashem. Separating Challah to Hashem is a statement and recognition that everything we have is from Him.

Second, our purpose is to infuse the physical world with G-dlyness, even something as basic as food needs to be infused and used for Hashem.

Finally, the food that we feed our families is a holy endeavor, the future of the Jewish people is nourished by the hands of holy Jewish women.

You feed us Emuna, you feed us essence, you feed us with a Mitzvah. You feed us with love, you feed us with pride and you feed us with tears.  You are taking the physical and lifting it up to a spiritual state. The heart of a Jewish woman can do all that and more.

I am so grateful to all of you who have done the Mitzvah of Challah in my merit. Thank you for your prayers and tears. 

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