Saturday, May 3, 2014

Yom HaAtzmaut – Independence Day Challah

imageLooking for pictures to go with a blog post about Israel’s Independence Day, coming up this Tuesday, I discovered a beautiful “new” (to me) challah tradition:  the Yom HaAtzmaut Challah.

(photo credit:  רותי רוטשטיין, via wikimedia)

According to the note that came with the picture, there are a few explanations for the unique design of the challah:

“The center of the special holiday meal is a challah made ​​of twelve parts, which reminds us of the 12 tribes, symbolizing the unification of all parts of the nation and in memory of ancient days.”

The shape of the challah is also reminiscent of a crown… intentionally so.  And, of course, there are charming little flags poked into every single segment to top it off.

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The photographer says:

“We have adopted the custom of baking a special Independence Day challah from the Pri-Chen family who lived in the village. We've passed this practice to the next generation and it’s been accepted as part of our regular Independence Day meal.  The late David Pri-Chen z”l wrote a special song to be said before eating this challah, and the photo shows this song in his handwriting, on the holiday table.”

The song ends with the blessing that King David will accept his crown and renew his kingdom, and we will all stand like brothers together, here in the land.

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May this festival of Kacholavan (blue and white), our first in Israel, be a sweet and peaceful one, a crown for all of bnei Yisrael.

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