Weekly Shabbat Messages

Every week, Jody Hirsh, the JCC's Judaic Education Director, provides a Judaic message that is featured at the top of the JCC's weekly email newsletter. Below is the Shabbat message for Friday, April 18, 2014. Click here for archived Shabbat Messages 

Challah on the Shabbat During Passover?

Of course...

But it isn’t what you think. Since we are commanded to eat Matzah during the whole week of Passover (8 days in traditional homes outside of Israel), we clearly can’t have a regular yeast based challah! What IS Challah, after all? In the days after the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in the year 70, the Challah symbolizes the sacrifices that were offered in the Temple – including the bread sacrifice. To make Challah kosher for ritual, the cook must take a portion of the raw dough and throw it into the fire to be burned up. (For more information about the origin of Challah, click here to see the JCC Shabbat Message from November 15, 2013)

However, we’re told in Exodus, chapter 13:6-8 (and other places in the Torah):

Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread... Throughout the seven days, unleavened bread shall be eaten; no leavened bread shall be found with you, and no leaven shall be found in all your territory. And you shall explain to your son on that day, ‘it is because of what the Lord did for me when I went free from Egypt.’

And yet... we’re expected to eat challah during the Sabbath as a symbol of the sacrifices! What’s a Jew to do? The answer to this conundrum is... the Matzah IS the Challah! Just like the Shabbat Challah has a portion separated from it that makes it proper to be served on the Sabbath, so does the matzah. Since almost no one bakes their own matzah at home, the companies that make matzah do this at the bakery. If you study the labels on your box of matzah at home, you’ll find a statement in the fine print that says “Challah is taken” or some other language to the effect that the laws of Challah have been followed. That means that the bakers have separated a piece of the dough when preparing the matzah, making the matzah useable for the Sabbath.

Shabbat Shalom, and Happy Passover.


Past Shabbat Messages

Shabbat & Secret Jews - Friday, April 26, 2013

Out of the Land of Heaven - Friday, May 3, 2013

Almost Shavuot - Friday, May 10, 2013

Cakes on Shabbat - Friday, May 17, 2013

Dressing Up for Shabbat (Part I) - Friday, May 24, 2013

Dressing Up for Shabbat (Part II) - Friday, May 31, 2013

Solomon's Temple and the Shabbat - Friday, June 7, 2013

Shabbat Starts When? - Friday, June 14, 2013

Making Commandments Beautiful: Part I - Friday, June 21, 2013

Making Commandments Beautiful: Part 2 - Friday, June 28, 2013

Making Commandments Beautiful: Part 3 - Friday, July 5, 2013

Crypto Jews and the Shabbat - Friday, July 12, 2013

Shabbat Nachamu... The Sabbath of Consolation - Friday, July 19, 2013

Bialik and Kabbalat Shabbat - Friday, July 26, 2013

Angels and Shabbat - Friday, August 2, 2013

Shabbat in the Land of the Midnight Sun - Friday, August 9, 2013

Shabbat in Jerusalem As Told By Jody-  Friday, August 16, 2013

Shabbat in Jerusalem II As Told By Jody - Friday, August 23, 2013

The Streets of Jerusalem - Friday, August 30, 2013

The Final Heat – Closing in on Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat - Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shabbat and Yom Kippur - Friday, September 13, 2013

Species, Species and More Species - Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Shabbat Breishit - Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Evening & Morning - Friday, October 4, 2013

Singing and the Sabbath - Friday, October 11, 2013

The Rainy Season - Friday, October 18, 2013

The Triennial Torah Cycle - Friday, October 25, 2013

The Sabbath and the Temple - Friday, November 1, 2013

It Is All In the Timing - Friday, November 8, 2013

Challah - Friday, November 15, 2013

Why is the Challah Braided? - Friday, November 22, 2013

Shabbat, Thanksgivukkah and Beyond - Friday, November 29, 2013

Carrying on Shabbat - Friday, December 6, 2013

Eruv Art - Friday, December 13, 2013

Celebrating the Sabbath in Darkness - Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrating the Sabbath in Darkness Continued - Friday, December 27, 2013

The First Shabbat of the Year - Friday, January 3, 2014

Shabbat Shirah - Friday, January 10, 2014

Shabbat and Trees - Friday, January 17, 2014

Strangers in our Midst - Friday, January 24, 2014

The Ten Commandments, Part I - Friday, January 31, 2014

The Ten Commandments, Part II - Friday, February 7, 2014

Shabbat, Babylonians, Tacitus, and the Communists - Friday, February 14, 2014

The Shabbat Umbrella - Friday, February 21, 2014

Lighting Shabbat Candles - Friday, February 28, 2014

Philip Roth and Shabbat - Friday, March 7, 2014

Shabbat Zachor - Friday, March 14, 2014

Shabbat in Amsterdam - Friday, March 21, 2014

Ahad Ha’am and the Shabbat - Friday, March 28, 2014

Shabbat at the JCCA Biennial - Friday, April 4, 2014

Shabbat HaGadol – The Great Sabbath - Friday, April 11, 2014

Challah on the Shabbat During Passover? - Friday, April 18, 2014