Then they went up from Egypt and came to the land of Canaan, to Jacob their father. They told him saying, "Joseph is still alive and he is ruler of the whole land of Egypt!" --Genesis 45:25~26This weeks parsha is Parsha Vayigash. And he drew near...
Because it is still the years of famine in the parsha (and perhaps spiritually in our world too?!), for this first Challah of the New Year, I decided to make a Vegan Challah!
Also as we just came out of many days of feasting, both for Chanukah (see many posts below!) and New Years (see many posts below!), it seemed fitting to make a simple challah for this week. This recipe is for a challah without eggs or dairy, it`s focus is on the grain.
The taste is natural and delicious, and reminds us of the true blessing it is to have bread. We give thanks to our Maker who is the provider of the bread from the earth, and of all things and who sanctifies the Sabbath Day and makes it Holy.
And Joseph supported his father and his brothers and his father`s entire household with food for the mouths of the little ones. ---Genesis 46:12
on starting the new year...simple...and with a childlike heart!
I`ve said it over and over in these past few months of posts, and will say it again here!
Returning to the Father and to the feasts and to this first year of reading the weekly Torah portions has made me feel like a child in many ways!
Of course, Hannukah brought that out a lot with the dreidel game, songs, lighting the menorah for the first time since being a child, and the pure oily happiness that moistened my heart and soul!!!
Some people think following God`s commandments and reading His Torah sounds like a chore and a burden, but really it is a wonderful and amazing time to get to closer to Him, to do something that is pleasing in His eyes, and to open our hearts to knowing how He plans and purposes all of creation. It is `His Story` and because it is ours too, studying the Torah is the very way that we can begin to understand our purpose and how we can live our lives and return to His divine plans, to live out our parts as per the instructions in His great plan for Salvation and Redemption. Halleluyah!!
Like an extra treat to add to the childlike joy, I just found parsha songs on a Chabad study site for kids! You can click on ♪HERE♪♪at Chabad.org to listen , and to get an idea from the simple lyrics of what the highlights of this weeks parsha are! They are also good to listen to if you have children or if you teach or study together with children or the young at heart! ♪♬Chorus: "I am Yosef, is my father still alive?
Ani Yosef, haod avi chai?"♪♬
back to this week and the parsha and the challah!
In this week`s reading, Joseph re-unites with his father Jacob. Can you imagine what a poignant moment that was! All these years Jacob thought his beloved son had died, not knowing that Joseph`s brothers sold him as a slave and that he was still alive. As the years went on and Joseph became ruler in Egypt alongside Pharoah, Joseph too didn`t know if his aging father was still alive. This song captures a feeling of joy when they both find out that each other is alive!
Yeshua says we have to be like children to enter the Kingdom of God. May we let our hearts soften and let God`s love in in all ways in this New Year!! If you are reading this and are becoming curious about reading the parshashiot, that is wonderful, I`m so glad to hear that, and I do hope you might even make it your resolution this year to start reading Torah!! Praise God!! The list of weekly readings is here, and also located on the sidebar at right, so you can always check to see where the reading is for each week.
In these photos below, you can see how the challah also came to express something else---it ties in with the Haftarah portion this week, where Ezekiel is told by God to prophesize over two sticks, one `For Judah`, and one `For Joseph`, representing all the children of Israel, to become one.
When making this challah, you first make two braided pieces, one bigger and one smaller, and then you put them together and they become one when the loaf bakes. Interestingly, I am just realizing even that parallels, as the one braid is made from a larger portion of the dough , and joins with a smaller braid, like the ten tribes of the North joining with the two of the South!
In this new year too, may the divisions in all God`s people breakdown, and may we all become one in Messiah Yeshua!
The word of ADONAI came to me saying:
You, son of man, take one stick and write on it, `For Judah`--for Bnei-Yisrael joined with him. Then take another stick and write on it, `For Joseph`--the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel joined with him. Join them one to another for yourself, as one stick, so they may become one in your hand.
|two braids become one in this weeks Challah for the Parsha Vayigash|
They will no longer be two nations and never again be divided into two kingdoms.
I will cut a covenant of shalom with them---it will be an everlasting covenant with them. I will give to them and multiply them. I will set up My Sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling-place will be over them. I will be their God and they will be My people. Then the nations will know that I am ADONAI who sanctifies Israel, when My Sanctuary is in their midst forever.
--Ezekiel 37: 26 ~28....
photo here, caption and link to recipe: I love egg challah, but tried this in keeping with the parsha to do without something, and keep it simple without the eggs. It can be the challah of choice if people who are vegan come to a Shabbat dinner. This year one of my resolutions is to share Shabbat with more people! Or you can make this challah simply to keep it simple in the New Year, or after times of feast and plenty. You can find the recipe HERE.