Saturday, June 24, 2017

Aaron`s Blossoming Staff Challah!

And behold, Aaron`s staff, from the house of Levi, had sprouted, blossomed, and produced almonds.

---Numbers 17:8


This week`s Parsha, Parsha Korach, in the book of Numbers, has me thinking about Aaron.
And his staff that flowers with almond blossoms!

As some of you who have been reading my blog know, sometimes I make a challah that expresses something from the weekly Torah Reading.  For this week`s Shabbat I wanted to express something about Aaron and his flowering rod.

I started with some fresh almonds, and let what was to happen blossom from there...

Next, to roll a long staff, divided into three strands...

Because the rod of Aaron sprouted Almond Blossoms, it is said that it may have been made from the wood from an Almond tree.  So I wanted there to be almonds inside the `staff`.   Homemade almond paste rolled inside the strands was just the thing!

Once the strands were rolled, the flowers had to `sprout` from the staff, so you see what happens here, is that the flowers come from the `rolled` ends of the staff...

Now for the braid...
 BUT look what happened, it got so long that it would be too long for the baking sheet.
So another flower bloomed from the end!

 Now there were three flowers!

 And flowers made of almond slivers to decorate the challah!

On the Shabbat table, it truly Blossomed!!

Shabbat Shalom! 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Psalm 104:36/詩篇104:34

Let my meditation be sweet to Him.
I---I will rejoice in ADONAI.

---Psalm 104:36



Shabbat Shalom!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

He Straightens the Bent

 The LORD upholds all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down.

---Psalm 145:14


I planted seeds to grow morning glories on our balcony, and got so excited when some of the little green sprouted up from the soil!  I was so excited to watch them grow.  For a few days or so.

Then to my dismay,  I went out to check them one morning and they all were bent over and fallen down, I didn`t know if there was any chance that they could still have life.  I am not much of a gardener, I am of very little experience .  And almost no know how.

But I thought, as our G-d is a powerful God who straightens the bent, upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down (see scripture above, Psalm 145:14), perhaps I could use this Word and the power of He who lives in me,  and apply it for the morning glories.  I got a new hope! I ran desperately back into the house fueled by a passion to want to straighten them and bring them back to life.  I grabbed some wari-bashi from the cabinet (disposable wood chop sticks) and  nylon string and got to work.  I sat with the wilting stems and lifted them up onto the chopsticks.

The next day, they were still standing, and little by little, with adjustments here and there, they made it to the top of the chopsticks.  They have sprouted the `vine` and today, one of the vines made it to the net and is on its way up the trellis!! Praise God!!

       2.                              Another scene---a few days ago I was having a sandwich and coffee for lunch in a nearby park, but not so nearby.  I hadn`t been there for about a year.   When I looked around, I noticed the beautiful purple hydrangeas.  After eating I took a walk around  looking at the hydrangeas, when an amazing thing caught my eye!! I saw little green plants being held up with chopsticks!! And then I saw a net around the tree, and that these little plants were morning glory, and some were even growing up and around on the net around the tree!! There was one flower!!

can you see the greens around the tree, and growing up the tree and supported by a net, a vine of morning glories!!  There was even one flower that was open

I felt filled with such great hope and confirmation that my morning glories too would make it to flower ! Seeing that I wasn`t the only one who used chopsticks to straighten the bent morning glories,  I felt the great presence of the Almighty God, here in this tiny detail of those greens so close to the ground!!!  As I looked around the garden, it was like a miracle unfolding.  Next I saw there was a great tree in the middle of the garden.  It was a palm tree!  And then I noticed...yes!... a net around the base of the Palm Tree.... for morning glories to grow up around!!  I wondered who made this garden, and at the same  I loved just sensing it was put there  from the G-d of Heaven to reveal something about His love and kindness and mercies that are new every morning for us here on earth!!

At the base of this great, straight, Palm Tree in the ....middle of the Garden!!...someone had planted morning glories!!!

Before I left the garden I began to notice tucked here in there in between shrubs and in quiet corners, I saw a watering can here, a shovel there, and then a box of garden gloves and other garden tools.  The hand of the gardener was there, and yet so sweetly she/he tried to hide her presence.  Then I saw her there, in a corner, pruning some plants.  She must have been 100 years old, her face full of lines almost hidden by a bonnet, as though she had been there, in that garden, tending it for a lifetime, plus lifetimes, waiting for someone to notice it`s splendour, to  wander through the garden just marvelling at its wonders.

Blessings and Shabbat Shalom!

Much Love,


Because of the mercies of ADONAI we will not be consumed, for His compassions never fail.

They are new every morning!

Great is Your faithfulness.

--Lamentations  3:22~23 TLV

Saturday, June 17, 2017



ADONAI spoke to Moses saying, "Speak to Bnei-Yisrael.  Say to them:  When you enter the land to which I am taking you, and you eat some of the food of the land, you are to offer a portion to ADONAI.  You are to offer a cake from the first of your ground-up meal as an offering from your threshing floor--so you are to lift up.  Throughout your generations to come, you are to give this offering from the first of your ground-up meal.

--Numbers 15:17~21 TLV

This week`s Torah portion ( parsha Shelach Lecha)  is  very exciting for a person who makes Challah.

In this week`s reading we see one of the places* the word `Challah` is mentioned in the Torah!

It comes after the episode of the sin of the spies, where only Joshua and Caleb get to enter the land and the other ten and their generation are banned from entering the Promised Land. (Numbers Chapters 13 and 14).

Events in each weeks parsha and how they are set together give us amazing `lessons` to study in each week`s Torah.  And for each person, the Torah portion speaks to us in different ways. 

For me, in the middle of all the intrigue of the spies, the tears, and the knowing about this great sin, how was it that all my eyes could see was those three Hebrew letters that spell Challah! I got so excited to see the word Challah (חַלָּה) in the Hebrew text of the Torah.

You can see the word Challah in the scripture below.  It refers to the `cake` in the English translation.

כ  רֵאשִׁית, עֲרִסֹתֵכֶם--חַלָּה, תָּרִימוּ תְרוּמָה:  כִּתְרוּמַת גֹּרֶן כֵּן תָּרִימוּ אֹתָהּ

20 Of the first of your dough ye shall set apart a cake for a gift; as that which is set apart of the threshing-floor, so shall ye set it apart.   --Numbers (Bamidbar)  15:20

 and from there comes the mitzvot of continuing in all the generations to come,

כא  מֵרֵאשִׁית, עֲרִסֹתֵיכֶם, תִּתְּנוּ לַיהוָה, תְּרוּמָה--לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם.

21 Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto the LORD a portion for a gift throughout your generations.  --Numbers (Bamidbar) 15:21

I was intrigued to see the word challah  here as the first offering `cake` of bread, the first part of the dough, and to see where in Torah the word comes from.  The word challah appears before this, as,  when talking about the showbreads,  where it says `cakes` in English (as in Leviticus 24:5).  In that case and in other places in Exodus it was for the special priestly offering.
In this case in the Scripture in Numbers 15, it is an offering to be made from each household.

There are rules in Jewish Rabbinic law for `taking challah`, which come from this scripture.   My challah doesn`t qualify because I don`t use a large enough quantity of dough and I am not in the Land of Israel.

But I can `take` away a lesson from this and see the challah itself as an offering to ADONAI in each week, and lift it up to Him, as the first food (reminiscient of the first fruits offering we make on Shavuot) that we will bless for our Shabbat meal!

And speaking of `first`, the other word in Hebrew that I notice in this scripture is `reshit` and means  `first`.  It  is the same root as Bereshit, which means In the BeginningBereshit is the name of the first book of Torah, Genesis.  Bereshit is the very first word in the first line of the Torah.

Returning to Numbers 15:20 where `challah` appears, can you see the word `reshit`, or first, beginning.  It is the word I highlighted in pink:

כ  רֵאשִׁית, עֲרִסֹתֵכֶם--חַלָּה, תָּרִימוּ תְרוּמָה:  כִּתְרוּמַת גֹּרֶן כֵּן תָּרִימוּ אֹתָהּ  
21 Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto the LORD a portion for a gift throughout your generations. *
It is the same word that is in the beginning of the whole Torah.  Can you see it there, Be-reshit, In the beginning, again I will just highlight where you read `reshit` :
א  בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ. 
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  *

The flour that we use for bread is from G-d, and from the earth that He created.  In a sense, as we offer the challah, we are taking something from earth --from Him!--,   and offering it to heaven--to Him, through this act of creation (the `last` act of creation in the week!),  each week, as we prepare to enter into His time and His rest.

 As I write this I am reminded that once Shabbat begins, we are to cease from all acts of creation, and rest in His presence, to remember that He rested and ceased from the work of Creation on the Shabbat!  The bread always seems to come alive in those hours of rising and anticipating!  When we eat the bread on Shabbat, we see indeed that it is good! It is His goodness that we taste and see!!

 טַעֲמוּ וּרְאוּ, כִּי-טוֹב יְהוָה;    אַשְׁרֵי הַגֶּבֶר, יֶחֱסֶה-בּוֹ.

9 O consider and see that the LORD is good; happy is the man that taketh refuge in Him.

---Psalm 34:9

And now to come full circle and `round out` this post, back to the sin of the spies.  It is said that the reason the commandment for taking challah and the commandment for wearing tzitzit (fringes on the garment) come in this same parsha, is because these commandments are to remind us to keep His commandments.  When we sin we are far from G-d.  We don`t believe in His promises, and take hold of our own beliefs rather than see His Greatness.  That separation is the great sin.  We can shake our heads at the spies, but rather may they help us to see our own sins and learn from them. (I recall Yeshua`s words in Matthew  7:5 when I judge another for their sin, first I have to look at the `plank` in my own eye).  So it is interesting that separating the Challah in a sense brings us back to ADONAI!! This act of taking the first part of the dough is a reminder each week that says, YES, I will do all that You command!  I will return to You ! It  is also an acknowledgement of the Land, the Promised Land that the ten disobedient spies did not enter.  They spoke badly about the Apple of G-d`s eye, the Land of Israel.  For me this is a lesson in going deeper in my heart to learn about Israel, to know it from G-d`s heart of Love, and to acknowledge the real promise of entering the Land.  Israel Is real! (that is not a line from the Torah, those are words that came to me recently!).  

How did the Parsha speak to you in this week? (*For the weekly readings, see `Link to the weekly readings` on the right sidebar!)

My prayer in this post is this... Like Matriarch Sarah, whose Challah was said to stay fresh from Sabbath to Sabbath because of the divine light that she contained from her Righteousness and Faith, may we too yearn to deepen our Faith and  Righteousness as women of G-d.  May we feed people with the `bread`  that comes from our Messiah Yeshua who lives in us, and may it nourish many!!!

Love to you!
Blessings and Shalom!


For more about the Mitzvot and Meaning of Challah,  Here is one Link I referred to, and it also tells about the specifics in Jewish practice of taking Challah from the first part of the dough.

welcoming the sabbath light

*note:  The Hebrew scriptures in this post and their English translations are referenced from HERE, Mechon Mamre 

Other references to the word Challah in the Scriptures include:
Exodus 29:2, Exodus 29:23,
2Samuel 6:19 (below!), King David giving out `cakes` to celebrate the return of the Ark of the Covenant!!

 Please let me know others as well!  

יט  וַיְחַלֵּק לְכָל-הָעָם לְכָל-הֲמוֹן יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְמֵאִישׁ וְעַד-אִשָּׁה, לְאִישׁ חַלַּת לֶחֶם אַחַת, וְאֶשְׁפָּר אֶחָד וַאֲשִׁישָׁה אֶחָת; וַיֵּלֶךְ כָּל-הָעָם, אִישׁ לְבֵיתוֹ.

19 And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, both to men and women, to every one a cake of bread, and a cake made in a pan, and a sweet cake. So all the people departed every one to his house. 

2 Samuel 6:19

Bread of Salvation, Dance of Joy

I love Shabbat mornings, as there is a divine light that shines on everything in a way that is different than on all the other mornings of the week.  This day, Yom Shabbat (Hebrew for `the Sabbath day`), is a weekly appointment to meet our Creator, and to spend time in rest with Him!! He tells us throughout the Torah and throughout all the scriptures about the Shabbat! From the first book of Genesis all the way to the book of Revelation we know that the seventh day was set apart as Holy by the Creator of Heaven and Earth. 

To know this day has such a place, a structural pillar in time,  in the eternal rhythms of Creation and that each of us is given the commandment  to keep and remember it, is such a blessing to `enter` it each week!  As Yeshua says, Shabbat was made for man, not man for the Shabbat!! Hallelujah! 

So this morning when I finished breakfast, I saw the challah with light around it, and felt the bread of Joy was today the bread of Salvation.

The Challah Cover just draped casually into place over the bread.  When I saw how the folds fell, it had a feeling of a Japanese kimono.   I had the sense of Yeshua`s presence, not only in my heart, but in a physical way, here,  in Japan, in this `metaphor` of the draped bread!  Can you see that in the photo in the top of post?  I didn`t `pose` the cloth, but that is how it was draped.

Here in Japan I came to Salvation in Yeshua.*   It was the great surprise of my life.  Why here?   I wasn`t looking for Him.  His word says to seek His face, but I never read those words until I was already found.  Since that time-- it was three years ago---, I search and I knock and want to know Him more and more.  Shabbat is such a special time to put `worldly` cares aside, and to delight in the Bread of Salvation.

Love and Blessings!

Shabbat Shalom!
Delight in the Shabbat!


Worship the One who made heaven and earth and sea and springs of water.  
 ---Revelation 14:7

*Salvation = Yeshua.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Shabbat Rose! Daily Bread Postcard Challenge Report & Thanks!!!『ポストカードのチャレンジ』のレポート

I was so happy to get back two colored postcards (see postcard challenge post below)!
Colored so beautifully and in golden light! With watercolor the color of roses floating around the girl with the rose! 

Thank you K-san and thank you Natsumi!




Thank you to all readers for your encouragements on the Daily Bread Postcard Feature at Challah and Cherry Blossoms these first seven weeks! and for  for participating in the Postcard Challenge!!  The Daily Bread Postcard Posts will resume on Thursdays again from next week! Blessings and Shalom!  love, Shayndel

P.S. Dear Cindy,

I made the bread pudding!
It was delicious!
Thank you.
Here is a photo:

I will call it `Simcha` bread pudding, for you!

Blessings and hugs,


Link to Cindy`s Bread Pudding Post (actually it is a post about Tea and coffee, you can find the recipe in the post!) on Creations by Cindy

Link to an interesting article HERE on the meaning of `Simcha`, and other places where Simcha is used in the Scriptures, Here!!  We never know what we will find from following a good recipe for bread pudding!  All the more delicious!!

You make known to me 
the path of life.
Abundance of joys are in Your presence,
eternal pleasures at Your right hand.   

---Psalm 16:11

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Shabbat Rose! Simcha Challah!

I am a rose of Sharon

---Song of Songs 2:1

Below is a `Simcha` Challah from this Shabbat. Please partake in it!! Simcha means Joy in Hebrew!  Why a Simcha challah?  For the joy in the Shabbat Rose,  Joy in the Shabbat, and the Joy in Yeshua! ---the Lord of the Shabbat, the Light of the World, the Bread of our Life, the Rose of Sharon!!!
Shabbat Shalom! 

Look! He is standing behind our wall---gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.  ---Song of Songs 2:9

 Eat, O friends,
Drink, yes drink your fill, O lovers!  ---Song of Songs 5:1

For how to make a Simcha Challah,  This Video from Joy of Kosher will guide you through  the steps for shaping and braiding! For the dough, see Challah recipes at side bar, or use your favorite.   For a Menu idea:  Sheet Pan Dinner for Shabbat HERE.  I used grated lemon zest and salt for the `Za`atar` in the recipe.  Blessings and Shabbat Shalom! 

Your head crowns you like Carmel,
and the hair of your head like purple.
The king is captivated in its tresses!
How beautiful and how pleasing you are,
O Love, with your delights!
 ---Song of Songs 7:6~7  TLV

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Daily Bread Postcard(s)!



It`s week 7 of my Daily Postcard series.  Thank you for sharing in the new feature.  I hope you have enjoyed them.   I am happy to have been able to give them out to people in my days!  The `challenge` I took on during this time was to print them and give them out, 7 of each, to people in my days.

As I went along I had many special meetings with people I would not otherwise have met, because I needed to approach people to fulfill the challenge!!  Some of the people were people I knew, but most of them were people who I met through the postcards.  Now as it is the seventh week, I am not sure whether to keep on going with it or if it was just a seven week feature.  Meanwhile, in week 7  I would like to `double the ante` and put forth two postcards.  Uncolored.  They are numbered, 1. and 2.  And ask the recipients to color them.  I also didn`t put a scripture on the second one, and so this too I will leave open and seek a scripture in this week!!

And now the fun part!!
I invite YOU to participate in this week`s challenge!!

The postcards above are for you!  Please take the one you like, your choice! And color it in your colors!  And if you would like, to add a scripture or words to the second one!
You can also add text to the first one as there is a scripture in Hebrew, but if you can`t read it, please feel free to put words that the picture speaks of to you!!

So I hear you asking, `I`d love to, do you play?`
Well, since we are on the blog, I thought it would be fun to play through the blog!!
There are a few ways...

You can just share in the comments and `describe` which one you would choose, and tell a little about the colors you would use, any words you would add, etc!!

and/or,  2.
You could actually drag the image of your choice onto your desktop, Print it as a postcard, then color it, and then scan it or take a picture and send it back to me using your virtual know-how.  Then I will post it next week to follow up!!!

and/ or 3.
You could write me an e-mail with your postal address and I will send a postcard to you the `old-fashioned` way to you by mail anywhere in the world!

Please join in the first Challah and Cherry Blossoms Daily Postcard challenge!
It will be one week long, 7 days of course!

I also thought this was a fun way to celebrate almost one year of Challah and Cherry Blossoms, this blog will be "1" next month! 
Be creative!  Share your colors!!

Blessings and Shalom!!


To see the Daily Bread postcards `history` of the past 7 weeks, click HERE!or just click on the `Daily Bread` label in the labels list below.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Aaronic Blessing in Parsha Nasso

More than halfway through the Torah readings, In Bamidbar, the Book of Numbers, from 6:24,  the Aaronic Blessing

ADONAI Bless you and keep you!
ADONAI make His face to shine on you
and be gracious to you!
ADONAI turn His face toward you
and grant you shalom!

---Numbers 6:24~26

This is such a beautiful blessing, and it is said at Shabbat to bless the children and also in the congregation.  You have probably heard it, and said it, and read it many times.  There is a special connection between this blessing and where we are in the weekly Parsha readings, as it occus in verse 6 in Numbers, in Parsha Nasso!  The readings refer to the cycle of reading the Torah from Genesis in `order` of the first five books along with accompanying Haftorah and Brit Chadashah readings (please see `Link to Weekly readings on the right Sidebar).

In the book of  Numbers,  we are reading about the Children of Israel and what like is like in the camp around the Tabernacle, with G`d`s divine presence dwelling among them, as they are in their first days of living with ADONAI in their midst.  There is such a feeling of ADONAI`s intimacy and love and caring for His children.

It was  so exciting and even intimate to come across the Aaronic blessing in the context of the Parsha.

I just started saying this blessing to my daughter on Shabbat, and even though she is no longer a child, she is already 18!  I`m sorry I didn`t know about saying it to bless our children when she was younger, but am glad at least I had a chance to start it now.

If you have children, even if they are grown up, I hope this post might inspire you to say it and pray it for them.  And if you don`t have children, you can bless others by praying it and saying it for them.  And to all who are stopping by here, I say it and pray it for you!

May The Lord Bless you and keep you!! May He shine His face upon you and be Gracious to you! May He lift up His countenance upon you and give you PEACE!!

Love and  Blessings

There are many beautiful versions of this blessing in a song.  This Link is to a beautiful version by Misha Goetz, featuring her father and worship singer, Marty Goetz.