Chal­lah: A Chewish Guide to the Torah

Susan Abram­son; Gen­na San­dler, illus.
  • Review
By – February 2, 2016

Rab­bi Susan Abram­son is not only the longest-serv­ing female rab­bi in the Com­monwealth of Mass­a­chu­setts, but also she is the author of the Rab­bi Rock­et­pow­er series. Abram­son con­tin­ues the fun in her lat­est book by unit­ing the week­ly Torah pas­sages with our love of Chal­lah. Young and old can give mean­ing through chal­lah design, impress­ing all with the wis­dom and lessons of Torah and feed­ing our bod­ies and minds in the process. 

The com­men­tary lay­out reveals the Hebrew name of the Torah por­tion, chap­ters and vers­es, a brief sum­ma­ry and in her Food for Thought” sec­tion stim­u­lat­ing ques­tions that will cre­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties for mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tions both dur­ing the bak­ing fun and the Shab­bat meal when the chal­lah design has every­one guess­ing the con­nec­tion to the week­ly Torah por­tion. A favorite design is The Chal­lah with a Heart. Exo­dus 25:1 – 27.19 out­lines the mate­ri­als need­ed to build The Ark in which G‑d states, that the Israelites’ gifts must only be those from the heart. A heart-shaped chal­lah will cer­tain­ly stim­u­late ques­tions and will, per­haps, become a Shab­bat tra­di­tion for many families. 

Rab­bi Abram­son has gift­ed us with a heav­en­ly chal­lah recipe and Gen­na Sandler’s pho­tos will offer the bak­ers a trea­sury of design ideas. It can be said that this book de­livers the love of Torah to us with thoughtful­ness one enjoy­able tasty bite after another. 

Rec­om­mend­ed for chil­dren of all ages, with a par­ent, if nec­es­sary, for baking.

Chris­tine Maas­dam holds a Mas­ters in Human­i­ties, cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in Muse­um Stud­ies and Cul­tur­al Prop­er­ty Pro­tec­tion. She is cur­rent­ly com­plet­ing her M.L.I.S. Her inter­ests are phi­los­o­phy and the impact of art and tech­nol­o­gy on culture.

Discussion Questions