March 19, 2021

Baking Challah for Shabbat

Tags: 2021, Israel, Teen Voice

Gaya is an Amplifying Israel Teen Fellow from Yokneam, Israel.

I was born in Israel and I live in Israel so naturally I’m Israeli and I’m proud. Living in Israel has its ups and downs but after reading the paper and watching the news about the life of Jews in other countries it seems to me that I live in a wonderful place without antisemitism and prejudice.
In Israel we are all Jews that is what I see at school when I look around me. Of course there are other nationalities and religions in Israel but still Israel is a country for Jews. It is like an oasis in the middle of the desert.


In Israel being a Jew is not unique. My family and I eat kosher food and don’t mix dairy products with meat. We do it even without thinking and without special intention. When we go to the supermarket the meat we buy is kosher and so are the rest of the groceries. On Shabbat my parents don’t work and we don’t have school because Israel is a Jewish country. Sometimes we need to intensify the fact that we are Jewish so we do that with special little rituals like the ritual of the challah baking on Friday morning.

I’m not religious, but on Friday mornings I like to get up early in the morning and bake challah bread with my mother. This is a small but an important ritual that takes place in my house. The challah baking ritual began even before I was born with my sister, Maya.  Now that my sister is in the army, I find myself baking the challah with my mother only almost every Friday. This ritual got me closer to my mother and when we sit together to eat Friday night dinner we look proudly at our challahs, knowing that we did something special for the Shabbat.

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