Saturday, February 18, 2017

Two Five-Strand Challahs=Ten Strands, Ten Words


Parsha Yitro!
This is is the Torah portion (Exodus 18:1~20:26) where ADONAI speaks what we know as the Ten Commandments to the Children of Israel. 
Moses tells the people to consecrate themselves, for they will prepare to meet God and receive His Law at the base of Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19) .  Halleluyah!
 My Challah this week is an expression of this parsha! If you are just joining in to read my blog, you might want to see some of my previous challahs that attempt to express something about the weekly parsha.  For example, there was Red Bean Challah for Abraham, Fig Challah for Israela rainbow slice of many colors for Joseph, and others.   This weeks expression is two challahs made in five strands each, to make a total of Ten Strands to represent this weeks Parsha Yitro which speaks about the Ten Commandments (Ten Words)

I`ll try to give my `drash`, i.e. interpretation, of how the challah this week is meant to express this! For the post I will use the words the Ten Words, for the Ten Commandments (see note below). 
Then God spoke all these words saying,            ---Exodus 20:1 TLV

For the challah,
We start with making one big round ball of dough.
From this dough will come all the bread.
This dough contains all of what will be our two Shabbat challah loaves.

Can you see how this relates already to the parsha about the Ten Words?
All of the mitzvot are contained in the first One.
The first statement is:
"I am ADONAI your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."  --Exodus 20:2 TLV
From the very first words, "I am ADONAI`, or even `I am ` or even `I` , all the rest of the commandments are contained!!  Once we agree to this one, that He is our GOD, He is the God who loves us so much He brought us out of bondage, we are all ready to accept all the rest.

Hence, this one big ball of dough represents all of the commandments contained in the very first statement.  When I agree to loving Him, I agree to ALL His commandments!

Praise ADONAI! For the LORD is One!!
Next I will go on and share how the rest lays out!

From there, I separated the dough to make two loaves.  I was thinking about the two tablets that the Ten Words were written on.  Yet if you read this section of the Torah, you see that the tablets were not yet given!  It was just the spoken words!! But my mind jumped ahead to the two tablets, and I chose to make the two loaves represent them. 

Then I separated the dough again into ten pieces, five from each half which would be the strands.  The ten total strands would represent the Ten Words.  The five on the first tablet are said to be about our relationship with God, and the next five are said to relate to our relationships with other people. The fifth, to honor our parents, is like a bridge between both sides.

As I rolled out each one, I looked at the Hebrew there on the postcard, and I thought of each one, to Love the Lord your God, to have no other gods before Him, do not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain, Remember the Sabbath day, do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not lie, do not covet. There they were, one strand for each.

And yet there are said to be 613 mitzvot in the Jewish law!
This reminds us how all of these ten contain so much more.  And all are contained in the first one.  The ten are like `categories` from which all the smaller mitzvot, which are said to be no less important, come from.

To make the challah, next we braid five each together like this, to make two loaves:

When the loaves are baked, once again the strands, are inseparable from another.
It all becomes one, which reminds us again how all the 10 words, or 613 mitzvot are all part of the `One`, which is the Word of God.

When I ate the challah, I thought about the prophet Ezeikel, when God told him to eat the scrolls!
I was eating the challah that had my meditations on the Ten Words in them!!  We do need to eat His words!  They become part of us as we study them and agree to them and abide by them.
Ezekiel 3:3  TLV
as He said to me, "Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I am giving you and fill your stomach with it."  I ate it and it tasted as sweet as honey.

As man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of ADONAI, (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4)

When we do all our life with His words in our hearts and actions, we bring the Torah, the law of ADONAI into our lives.  May we express everything contained in the first statement, to Love the LORD thy God, in all we do!!

Shabbat Shalom!! And now that its already into Sunday, Shavu`a Tov, have a great week!!

mitzvah/mitzvot=Hebrew word for commandment(s)

Reference:  In writing this post I referred to an ariticle on Judaism 101 with more teaching about the Ten Commandments as found in Judaism. You can read more HERE

Recipe:  You can find the Recipe I used for this weeks challah in this article HERE.  It is at the end of the article, please enjoy the article too and learn more about the real meaning of Challah!
Braiding:  For braiding a 5-braid Challah,  Video link HERE
I like the translation `The Ten Words` for The Ten Commandments.  That is how it is expressed in the Bible I use, the Tree of Life Version, where they are stated in the first verses of Exodus chapter 20.  Also in the article link above, the author tells that in Hebrew the words for what we say are `Ten Commandments` come from the Hebrew in the Torah that says `Aseret ha-D`varim`.  He says this would translate into `Ten Sayings`, `Ten Statements`, `Ten Declarations,``Ten Words`, or even `Ten Things`.  Please read the article HERE for a fuller explanation.

Post script note:
After posting this, about a week later as I am looking for cherry blossoms challah, I came across someone who made a Ten Commandments challah!! Hers is HERE.  I learned from her post that there actually is a tradition to make a challah to commemorate the Ten Commandments, and this is done on Shavuot!!  Its fun to make the discoveries `myself` (it is God who shows us all things, so its never just `me`!) , and then learn after about the tradition!! It seems confirmation that these traditions come from somewhere, and that by reading the Torah and connecting with Him, He will show us what we need to know!! Shavuot is coming up,  stay tuned for a possible return of the Ten Commandments challah in some form.  Blessings and Shalom!

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