Saturday, March 4, 2017

May God make you like Sarah and Rebecca, Ruth and Esther

This week`s challah was a second*...original!...variation on a Cherry Blossoms Challah! It is a Whole Wheat Challah with Cherry Blossom Paste filling.  You`ll have to taste it and see how very very good the LORD is.  Only He could create a world that has the tastes of natural and somewhat coarse grainy whole wheat, and the exquisite sublime ephemeral pink taste of cherry blossoms.

*for the first Cherry Blossoms Challah, see a few posts down or click HERE

This Shabbat was also a Japanese Holiday which celebrates Girls, I call it Girl`s Day.  Every year since my daughter was born we put up a display of dolls that were given to her by our Japanese family. Cherry blossoms are featured in the special tastes of this day.

She has grown up celebrating this day every year on March 3.  For her, Shabbat is something that is still new.  We have just begun celebrating the Shabbat a little over one year ago, since my `return` to my Jewish faith through the miracle of meeting Yeshua here in Japan!! I wonder what it was like for my daughter that one day suddenly we were celebrating Shabbat.   I sensed that for her it was comforting to have the dolls display there on this Shabbat.  And even to have the taste of cherry blossoms swirl through the challah.

It was the first time we had  the two `cultures` so outwardly there in front of us.  The pink swirls of cherry were another taste of God`s goodness.  He must have given me this idea, as the tastes just settled in to make a challah that even my daughter described as `Alive`!.

This weeks Parsha was Parsha Terumah, I almost said Parsha Mishkan! As it is one of several parsha
in the book of Exodus about the details that were to go into the making of the Mishkan, or Tabernacle.  Speaking of color, there are scarlet and purple and blue and gold.  Every detail is outlined by God as He tells Moses instructions to be carried out to the exact specifications.  All of the parts have to be portable, so gold rings and poles are attached to each part, as well as fittings that can piece together and take apart.

A portable dwelling and a cherry blossoms challah---can you see any connection?! I do, as I was trans-ported from America to Japan over my life journey.  God `found` me here after my 40 years in the wilderness.  God dwells in us wherever we are once we say `yes, we want to be your people` .  Once we say YES to Salvation in Yeshua, and receive the Ruach Kodesh (Holy Spirit),  He begins the work to make our hearts pure as gold and to be places where His tablets of testimony (in the form of His Holy Spirit) can dwell.  

The descriptions of the Ark which will hold the tablets are like our hearts, or rather how our hearts need to be in order to hold such a treasure as God`s Holy Spirit which is to dwell in us.   Acacia wood overlaid with gold inside and out.

 After the Tabernacle came the Holy Temple, and then through Yeshua, it is our bodies that will be the `temple` for Him to Dwell.  This parsha and this challah help me see how He guides us in our life to want to do the work that we can only do with Him,  to `build` that temple in us to His specifications.  For some of us (that`s me)  it really does take 40 years in the wilderness to finally be ready to let that work begin...

For the Israelites, who set out to do the task of building the Tabernacle for God to dwell, it was a great labor but it was also filled with great joy as they were making a place for their God to dwell in here on earth.  May it be with that same joy, or even greater!, for us today as we set out to do the work of making our hearts and homes places for Him to dwell here on earth.

Shabbat Shalom, and as the week is beginning here in Japan, Shavu`a Tov!!

Don`t you know that you are God`s temple and that the Ruach Elohim dwells among you?

1 Corinthians 3:16 

note: Ruach Elohim=Holy Spirit

Now they are to make an Ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits in length, one and a half cubits wide, and a cubit and a half high.  You are to overlay it with pure gold, inside and out, and make a crown of gold around it.

---Exodus 25:10~11

You are to put the Testimony, which I will give you, into the Ark.

---Exodus 25:16 

notes on the challah:
I used my favorite Whole Wheat Challah recipe by BarbaraBakes for the challah, and made one challah loaf braided with three strands.  For the filling, I used Sakura-an (Cherry Blossom paste, its like a smooth jam).  Once you make the three strands you roll them to flatten, put in a layer of the filling, then roll them again and try as best as possible to close the seams to keep in the filling. I also made a few substitutions in the recipe, instead of butter I used Natane Oil (I think that translates as Canola Oil), and for brown sugar I used Tensai-to (a kind of natural sugar that is made from Daikon Radish plant).  You can find the recipe at the side bar at the right, and make substitutions as fitting to your corner of the world.  Enjoy!

notes on the Parsha:
The Parsha from this week was Parsha Terumah, please see link to `weekly readings` on the right side bar and join in the Torah readings and discussion!! God Bless you and have a good week! 


  1. Those are beautiful decorations! :-)

    Greetings from London.

  2. Thank you!

    Shalom and blessings from Japan.

  3. I love what you said about the Tabernacle and the heart ... that's beautiful and inspiring. I wish I could taste that Whole Wheat Cherry Blossom Challah, too! Sounds delicious.
    Shabbat Shalom!