April 23, 2024
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April 23, 2024
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Yeast Rises and So Do We All

From the first time I ever baked challah, I felt an instant connection—from the physical way of forming the dough to the ultimate spiritual realm of connecting to a higher purpose. There are very few other ways in Judaism that I truly can say I feel deeply connected in a very overpowering way. I have been making challah on and off for a few years now. I was religiously making it for a while and then it was in ebbs and flows. My Bubbie passed away a little over a month ago and I was depressed. Everything felt very dark. I was talking to a dear friend about making challah again and saying a blessing for my Bubbie’s soul. She encouraged me, saying that I would feel great to do it. So off I went to buy the flour and yeast. I made the yeast and was delighted when I saw the bubbles forming. The second I had my hands in the sticky dough forming and kneading it to rise, I felt tears come to my eyes and I felt my Bubbie’s spirit shining down on me.

I felt so close to God and in the ultimate realm of spirituality. The heaviness on my heart lifted. I said a blessing for my Bubbie’s soul to be at peace and for others who needed a speedy recovery. I asked for health for my children and family and said thank you for all that I have. Nothing felt better and I knew that I must continue this legacy of my ancestors and this incredible ritual that God asks woman to bring into the Sabbath. My house smelled heavenly and it brought so much meaning to the Sabbath. My children delighted in the challah they baked. Like my friend Jess says “yeast is a metaphor for life.” The yeast rises and so do we all. And sometimes it doesn’t rise, just like we fall. But we get up again and rise. Rise more than ever.

By Simi Rubinstein

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