Message of the Challah

by Sara de Briman

I have been making challah for many years, but the SECRET of my challah I learned from my daughter Karen of blessed memory. Karen taught me that we do not only elevate the bread when we separate a small piece from it and say the bracha “Lehafrish challah min haisa” but that each one of the ingredients becomes an inspiration for prayer to ask Hashem [G-d] for blessings. The complete experience of creating a challah becomes one that connects you to G-d and to your loved ones.


The Flour, which is the largest ingredient in the challah. I ask Hashem that bracha, blessings and Torah should be the largest ingredient of greatest abundance in our lives.

The Sugar, which sweetens the challah. I ask Hashem that He should sweeten our lives and help me to express myself sweetly to all who surround me.

The Yeast, which makes the dough rise. I ask that each day should be one of growth for me and my family. We should rise above any difficulty in our lives and I should be able to give my loved ones sincere compliments that will help them grow.

The Salt, the smallest ingredient in the recipe, represents negativity and nisyonot [tests] which bring tears to our lives. I ask Hashem that they should be very few and carefully measured so that our lives should not become embittered.

The Water, which unites all the ingredients together to form the challah. I pray that throughout my life I should always be united to my family and my loved ones in peace and harmony. And that I should constantly feel united to Hashem.

The Egg, which is round, is the symbol of life. I ask for good life, with good health for me and for all around me.

The Oil, which represents materialistic riches. I pray that our parnassa [livelihood] should come easily and we should always have enough to share with others.

Finally, Kneading the Dough, represents the hard work that is needed in our lives to follow the right path to incorporate, internalize and imprint all these concepts to our souls.

It is all this positive ENERGY that transforms a few simple ingredients into a beautiful and delicious challah, a food that nourishes us not only physically but spiritually as well. It adds that magical flavor that cannot be bought!

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