In the beginning we read that G-d blessed the seventh day and declared it holy because on that day G-d ceased from all the work G-d had done. And then began the work of Man, who was created in the image of G-d. Man created Drama. Sometimes competition brought out the best in human nature. Hands, visible and invisible, appeared in many artworks… Family Drama is a given.
The Protector of the Challah
“The Protector of the Challah” was created as an expression of my mother’s blessings and the unconditional love she bestowed upon my sister, brother and me on shabbas. My challah cover represents my mother blessing us with her hands over our heads and shielding us from sibling rivalry just as the challah cover protects the challah from feelings of rivalry while waiting for the blessings of the wine to be recited before the blessing of the challah.
Love in the Mail
I lived in New York and my Bubbie lived in Vermont and she would send challah to me in the mail. The challah would arrive intact and whole. Whenever I make a challah cover I think about her careful wrapping. I think this was her way of recognizing the “hurt” of not being physically near each other and soothing the pain by sending me something from her kitchen. Whenever I make a challah cover, I put in all that love, hers and mine.
In The Eye of The Storm
This twisting spiral tells a tale of an amazing adventure filled with innocence, love, sadness, confusion, fear, darkness, bravery, openness, freedom, happiness, and light. It encircles my challah cover. It leads us to NOW, and to absolute love. The colored glass upon the wire surrounding my challah cover signifies brokenness and emotion, yet, like the thorns of a rose bush, it also protects. The letter Aleph, twisted into the end of the spiral, holds a symbolic photograph of a final breaking of glass. Among other definitions, the aleph means ONE. We all come from an ineffable ONENESS…a connecting energy force that is beyond words…the Creator and Source of all that is known and unknown. It is up to each of us to strengthen that connection through empathy, compassion, and love. Acceptance of one another, and of ourselves, makes the connecting light within us shine. This challah cover with pictures of my family is the calm in the center of the storm of my life.
We know that nourishment takes many forms: emotional, psychological, intellectual, and physical. But without the proper nourishment, nothing is possible. This challah cover examines the challenge of mitigating the pain of hunger. When we cover the challah with a beautiful cloth, we bring attention to what is under the cloth and when we reomve the cloth we say a prayer of thanks. Our challah cover is a reminder that having bread and nourishment every Shabbat, ever day, is a blessing and not to be forgotten, and a reminder that there are children who continue to go without. When food is unavailable, whose responsibility is it to relive their suffering? Who will help them? A parent? A teacher? A kind stranger? The government? A super-hero? In the United States, 1 in every 4 children is at risk of being hungry. Will you help smoothe the ache of a hungry child?
Hilary Cedergreen, Lauren Levinson, Sarah Wallis
This challah cover is made with fused glass and represents all the tasks the Mother has completed to prepare for the special Friday night Sabbath meal. She has cleaned and washed, cooked and baked, preparing for the family and guests that will sit around her table. The challah cover, which is on the table, displays the symbols of traditions we observe. The challah cover keeps our challah warm and also warms our hearts and souls to prepare us for the sanctity in which we are about to participate…
Judy I. Becker
This challah cover was inspired by the response of Debbie Gordon to the midrash about why we cover the challah. She said ”What makes you think that the challah doesn’t know it is being blessed second (even when it is covered)? This challah cover has two eyes.