COMMUNITY. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to teach a “Challah Bread Cover-Making” class at Congregation Gates of Prayer, a reform temple in Metairie. The class consisted of seven family and friends’ teams, representing a wide variety of ages and stages of life. What a wonderful time.
As I was getting the kits and examples for class ready, I learned to appreciate the differences in our communities. This was such a wonderful experience in which to participate. Making something that a family will use in thanking God for providing substance for them.
During class, while working feverishly to complete our “bread covers,” the class shared stories – for some families, this would be the first “Challah Cover” in their household. Others shared that this would be a replacement for one that was lost or destroyed.
A family’s tragedy of losing their Cover in hurricanes or other destructive events, that their grandchildren or other family members had made. Sad and joyous times. I appreciate all who came and shared.
Some of you might ask, “What is a Challah Bread Cover?” On Friday evenings in Jewish households, “Shabbat, (Hebrew for Sabbath), is celebrated. Part of the celebration feasts include “Ceremonial Sabbath breads,” which are covered by this beautiful cloth. The Bible says that gold and silver protected the manna while it was on the ground, like a divine Saran Wrap. Folklore says that an uncovered Challah would become jealous when the wine and candles are blessed first.
I cannot express what a truly moving and memorable experience. We enjoyed talk, food and community. We at Chateau Sew & Sew are looking forward to having many more events that will bring different segments of New Orleans together to support each other.
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