Challah Bread

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

Every Friday, the craziness of our busy lives dies down as my immediate family sits down at the Shabbat table. It is the most important meal of the week as we all gather for dinner simultaneously and talk about our lives. We make the blessings and then eat the food my mom has worked for 2 days to prepare. The traditional blessings include blessing over wine and bread, but not just any bread, Challah bread. I went to a very diverse middle school, and since Shabbat was such a big part of my home life, and my school friends were so central to my social and academic life, I wanted to introduce the two to each other. Challah bread may be a traditional food used for the blessing, but that does not mean it isn’t delicious. Each time a new friend would come over, I would feel a bit anxious. Would they be nervous when I recited the blessing for the washing of the hands? Would they feel uncomfortable tasting the wine or Challah, like they were somehow betraying their own tradition? However, each time it was a success and my friends appreciated learning a new tradition. Most of them liked Challah so much that they made their mothers buy it for them to eat at home! Whenever one of my friends would come in with a Challah bread sandwich, they would proudly come and show me, and this one small food connected my culture and my friends of other cultures. To this day, we eat foods that we showed each other, like Pocky my Korean friend introduced, or the Naan my Indian friend introduced.

– Caryn Nahum

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant