Monday, November 14, 2016

Seeds, Salt and a Zucchini Challah

塩 = Shio = Salt!  When you use zucchini in a yeasted bread, it is good to add salt first to the zucchini so it takes out the extra moisture and will make a smooth dough. 

The angel of ADONAI called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, "By myself I swear--it is a declaration of ADONAI---because you have done this thing, and you did not withhold your son, your only son, I will richly bless you and bountifully multiply your seed like the stars of heaven, and like the sand that is on the seashore, and your seed will possess the gate of his enemies.  In your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed---because you obeyed my voice.

---Genesis 22:15~18

Plans for A Salt and Sesame Challah! It became a Zucchini Challah!

There is so much in this parsha, and this is only the smallest taste.

Note to readers, if you are just joining in to reading the blog, recently I started studying Torah and from that,  my newest endeavor is thinking of creative challah to go along with the Torah portions!!

I planned to made a Salt and Seeds challah for the Parsha Vayera!
But the most unexpected events happened.
When I went to buy coarse salt to use on the challah for the `Salt`, a fire alarm sounded in the department store food floor where I was, and I couldn`t buy the salt.  The people in the store all had to be evacuated!  So I gave the salt back to the saleswoman, evacuated with everyone and stood and looked over the scene as the fire engines came in and the whole area was roped off. 

The fire started from grilled yakitori---meat on skewers.  I couldn`t help but think to the parsha for this week, which includes where Isaac was almost sacrificed as a burnt offering, but was spared by ADONAI in a great test of Abraham`s faith. 

I was holding a package of salt when the alarm went off.  As lately I am always thinking of the weekly parsha and the upcoming Shabbat, I couldn`t help but be doubly alarmed.  Not only that all this was happening in our local department story, but that it was on Friday afternoon.     The store would be closed for at least all of Friday afternoon and Saturday for investigation and clearing the smoke and assessing any damage.  Thankfully all the smoke was extinguished and people were able to get out safely. So I will leave that part of the story for a moment, and go back to the challah, as I mentioned it was Friday afternoon and it made me reflect on a lot of things and especially to be extra thankful as we were getting ready to enter to the Shabbat.

 I don`t have a Salt and Sesame Challah to show you, and as you can see instead I made a Zucchini Challah, using a gift of a zucchini that I was given by the mother of one of my students the day before.  In a way, there was still `salt and seeds` because I had to use salt (the `regular` salt which I did have at home) to take some of the moisture from the zucchini to use it in the dough. And seeds because zucchini have a lot of seeds.

So here is what I was thinking about with salt and seeds and the parsha!:

We always have a choice to obey or dis-obey God`s commands.  The salt and the seeds on one loaf are reminders of that.

God gave Lot`s whole family the chance to be saved from the destruction of Sodom.
He gave one command as they were fleeing, `don`t look back`.
Lot`s wife did not obey God`s command through the angel.  She looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.

God gave Abraham a son when he was 99!  Isaac was born to him and to Sarah! 
God promised Abraham that through his `seed` he would become a nation and bless all the nations.   Abraham believed in the promise.
But then God asked Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son.  How could it be?  What looked like the only way to continue his seed, and yet now he was asked to make such a sacrifice!!
And Father Abraham obeyed!  His response revealed his Faith,  his complete obedience to God.

God blessed Abraham for his obedience, spared Isaac, provided a ram,  and promised again that his seed would multiply.

We know this scene also sets the stage and shows us  to the time when God himself would actually sacrifice and not spare HIS one and only son, Yeshua.  And in His death we all have life!

We can`t know sometimes why God is asking us to do something, and it is not for us to know as His ways are so much greater than ours!!

Seeds and salt, salt and seeds, everyday we have a choice to be the salt, to spread the seeds, by walking in Faith in God`s ways and commands.  The other choice is to disobey, turn the other way from His voice.  We may not actually become a pillar of salt, but by not walking in His ways, our lives are thwarted and ..

Can you see how they could make a good tasting challah and give us a lot to chew on in this parsha of Vayera!!!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.  By His will, He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.  ---James 1:17~18

And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham`s seed---
heirs according to the promise.
---Galatians 2:29 

God Bless you!
Shabbat Shalom!


  1. Awesome observation, and use of the zucchini (seeds) and salt! I truly enjoyed reading about this! Lot's wife was always a favorite story to tell the kids at church. It is a truly a lesson in complete obedience. When the Lords says, "don't look back," he means it! We may find it silly that Lot's wife did not listen, but if placed in modern times, it's so easy to "look back" at things the Lord has told us to leave behind. While we won't be turned into salt, but the "looking back" can impeded us in many ways!!! This challah with salt and sesame seeds sounds interesting! Salt is wonderful as seasoning. We are called to be the salt in the world, to season, to bring life, to enhance flavor! But too much salt, like say, a pillar of salt... that is useless, destroys the taste, and destroys the soil so no crops can grow!

  2. Thank you Sarah!
    Yes! Amen! About the salt, and about looking back. Sometimes its really hard not to look back. Lately I have been looking back at things, and this scripture has been helping me to stay on track...may we keep our eyes in front and upward at Yeshua and not look back!! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insights!!
    Blessings and Love,


    1. Hi, can you please share the zucchini challah recipe?

  3. Hi, can you please share the zucchini challah recipe?

    1. Dear Amy, I am so sorry, I just saw your message now!!
      It came through sometime after the post, and I hadn`t realized it and just somehow saw it. I don`t know if you will find my reply here, but just to let you know, I used a `basic` challah recipe, which you can find on the sidebar of my blog. I recommend either the dough base for the Fig, Olive Oil and Sea Salt Challah, or the Challah 1 recipe that you see there. Those are my basic `starts`. From there I added grated zucchini gradually into dough before kneading. There are a few tips in the recipe about using salt to take the moisture out of the zucchini, so please follow them!
      A few things, also in my challah I have started using Grapeseed oil, for the oil, and for the sugar I use tensai-to, it is a Japanese sugar made from radish, so it is gentle. If you don`t have that, you can use whatever is called for in the recipe! Blessings and hope you find this and can make the zucchini challah!