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Here’s a delicious way to break bread with Jewish friends this Hanukkah


Pascal Deloche / Godong

Cerith Gardiner - published on 12/04/21

This symbol of peace is perfect for the religious celebration.

As Christians throughout the world look forward to Christmas, our Jewish friends are in the midst of their very own religious festival — Hanukkah. The 8-day celebration marks the victory of the Jewish Maccabees over the Syrian army, leading to the retaking of Jerusalem 2,200 years ago.

During this time, a miracle also happened along the way. The Maccabees went to reclaim the temple, but it had been defiled by the Syrians. In a bid to rededicate it to God they went to light the Menorah lamp that was fueled by olive oil. Despite just having a day’s supply of oil, the Menorah burnt brightly for 8 days — this is why the traditional Hanukkah menorah candelabra plays a key role in today’s celebrations.

Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah lasts for 8 days, meaning there’s still some time to participate in the celebrations with any Jewish friends and family. And we have a delicious way to do this that echoes the Christian faith, and requires only a little talent for baking and braiding!

Bread plays a quintessential part in both faiths — from the sacramental bread to the miracle of the loaves and fishes. In the Old Testament (Leviticus 7:13) bread was used as a peace offering. This is exactly what we would wish on any friend — peace. Shalom.

So why not try this tasty recipe and bake some Challah bread. The golden braided bread has a brioche sort of texture and sweetness. You could bake one one to give as a gift, or better still, share it with friends.

It’s also important to remember that according to ancient tradition, a part was meant to be set aside to give to the Kohen — Hebrew for priest that referred to the Aaronic priesthood of the time — as a sort of tithe. So you might want to save a chunk for your own priest, and make sure there’s enough to give to your friends’ rabbi, too!

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