I got your feedback!
I read each and every response and I am so moved by the differences and the things we have in common as the Challah Bytes community. We are individuals, and all over the world– yet unified in baking challah.
Here are the wonderful challah experiences and feelings you shared with me and our fellow members of the Challah Bytes email community.
If anyone is wondering about my favorite part of challah baking, here goes:
Davening and singing with my daughters while we knead the dough.
The Shabbos smells of challah, chicken, and soup- especially on Friday afternoons on the winter.
Watching people’s reactions when the challah cover is pulled off!
The best part of challah baking is watching my kids make challah. They roll it a hundred times then put too much flour on it then sprinkles and one of them turns it into a cinnamon roll that has way too much sugar and cinnamon in it but they have a wonderful time. They ask me to wait to do my challah with them because they love it so much.
The feeling of being connected to an unbroken chain of Jewish women going all the way back thru our history to Sara Imenu.
Upon a few minutes of introspection about making my challahs it hit me that my favorite part of the whole baking routine is holding the piece that I tore off the mass and saying the Harei Zu Challah . After that everything becomes a crying fest.
The rest of the bracha is so beautiful.
My nonreligious students complain about the Torah not being respectful to women. I just get up and show them the Bracha that is said during the Hafrashat Challah ceremony. How can one say that women are put down and disrespected when it is us the very women who are now blessed with the mitzvah that is equal to a korban on the mizbeach !! It is we women who are asking Hashem to watch over families and loved ones.
I have NEVER done a Hafrashat Challah where tears didn’t flow. The heart, the neshama, everything opens up and one can feel the Shechina in the house !!
I don’t just have one. For me, its the taking of challah with a bracha, and continuing on to pound and knead the dough while I am davening for my husband and children, family, and friends. Whatever my thoughts and hopes are, I speak to hashem and daven.
The best part – and the real reason I make challah – is seeing the excitement in Eitan, my four year old as he makes the dough, rolls it out, does the “sprinkles” (poppy seeds, sesame seeds etc.) and does the bracha on Shabbat!
I enjoy most the creativity of baking my own challos and the encouraging feedback I get every week from my family members and guests about the delicious, fresh and beautiful challos. It brings warmth to family gathering at the seudos. I also enjoy the opportunity to pour my heart out in tefillos at this momentous ais ratzon and to thank Hashem for all the constant shefa He provides.
As to my favorite part of challah making, I love putting my finished product on the Shabbat table and seeing the smiles! Of course the compliments, when they are especially successful, never hurt either!
I love when I take them out of the oven, then I’m no longer worried how they will come out.
Braiding the challah, I love rolling out each piece and braiding it together with my daughter.
I think it is the braiding/shaping. Sometimes I like to get ‘creative’ and see what will work and how it will come out.
The best part for me is the kneading while i say psalms and the braiding with my kids!!
Asking my girls to braid and knowing they’ll say “YES!” cuz it’s a job they enjoy and the 3 of us work at the table braiding together 🙂
My favorite part is the rhythm of kneading and using it in a rhythm to give outwards.
My favorite parts are infusing my dough with my tefillos for my family and the Klal; also, I love when everyone has their first bite and oohs and ahhhs.