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A Taste of Home: Fresh-Baked Challah for IDF Soldiers in Gaza

Instead of a recipe, read of a heart-warming initiative taken up by scores of women in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. .
By Yael Ron
First Publish: 8/3/2014, 12:00 AM

Challah package for IDF
Challah package for IDF
INN:YR

What Jewish mother doesn't feel that all the IDF soldiers in Gaza are her sons?

This past week, a large number of women in the Jerusalem and Bnei Brak area showed this is a unique way. They baked challah (braided Sabbath loaves) to send to IDF soldiers fighting in Operation Protective Edge.

One of the three mitzvahs in the Torah which Jewish women take special care to keep, is "separating challah": when baking using more than a specified amount of flour, part of the dough is set aside after saying a blessing on it. The dough, given to the priest in ancient times, is now burned in memory of the Temple. The blessing is often said with someone's welfare in mind.

Precisely at 5 p.m. on Thursday, all the women said the blessing at once in merit of the soldiers, praying for their success and safety. The women packed two small loaves for each soldier, as the Sabbath meals must include two loaves, adding two candles and a personal message of gratitude to him and the hope for his safe return.

Attorney and Rabbinic Pleader Lili Horowitz, granddaughter of the former late Rabbi of the Kotel, Rav Getz, zts"l, initiated the project in Jerusalem. The youngsters of Mitspe Yericho saw to it that the packages reached a chaplain who was going to the area. In Bnei Brak, Rabbi Elimelech Firer's organization "Ezra Lamarpe", collected the packages and sent them to the south.

Attorney Horowitz told Arutz Sheva that over 10,000 packages reached the soldiers, way above the hoped-for goal, and that "there is no doubt that the initiative provided the soldiers with encouragement - and gave the participants the feeling that they had done something for our sons, for the war effort."

Note: for more details on the mitzva, click here

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