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Bonus: Shabbat Dinnner
by Tonya Ball

Sabbath Evening Service

When Shabbat (Sabbath) is over, we gather at the table for a Havdalah service. Havdalah is Hebrew and means "separation," a time to separate the holy day from all the other days. First my mom says a prayer thanking Yahweh (God’s name in Hebrew) for the Sabbath and thanking Yahushua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) for bringing light into the world and saving us. 

My mom then lights the havdalah candle, which is very big with many wicks. It makes a huge flame. She blesses Yahweh for creating the light of fire. We all reach out our hands to feel the warmth and see the brightness on our hands. 

My dad then reads John 1:1-14. He blesses Yahweh for the grape juice. He pours it into a pretty goblet that is on a plate. He pours it so that it spills onto the plate. This shows how Yahweh’s blessings overflow. He also reads Matthew 26:27-28, which says that the grape juice symbolizes the blood of Jesus. 

Next one of the kids is selected to put out the candle into the spilled grape juice. This reminds us of the darkness that fell on the world at Yahushua’s crucifixion when He shed His blood. 

Next my father passes around a container filled with spices. It has cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and dried orange peel. You can put whatever sweet spice or flowers you want in it. We take a deep breath, smelling the wonderful aroma. It reminds us how sweet Sabbath is and helps us to look forward to the next Sabbath. It also reminds us that Yahushua’s body was wrapped in linen and spices. My dad reads John 19:40 and John 10:10.

My dad reads Psalm 23 and then prays for the family. He ends with Isaiah 52:7.

Challah Bread (vegan recipe)

2 packages dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar or sucanat, divided
3 heaping tablespoons ground flaxseed
3/4 cup water
6-9 cups flour (we use 4 cups whole wheat and the rest unbleached flour)
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees). (We do this by mixing 1 cup cold and 1 cup boiling water together.) Add 1/4 cup sugar, and allow the yeast to work for about 10 minutes while you prepare the dry ingredients.

In blender, or in separate bowl using hand blender, blend flaxseeds and water for about 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens. This replaces the egg that is in traditional Challah.

Place 6 cups flour, salt, and remaining sugar in a large bowl. Add flaxseed mixture, oil, honey, and yeast. Mix until dough forms, adding more flour if needed.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, flour your hands and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Add flour as necessary until the dough no longer sticks to the board or your hands.

Oil a deep bowl. Put the dough in it, turning to grease it on all sides. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise for about 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. 

Punch down and allow to rise a second time (about 1/2 hour).

Punch down again and knead briefly. Use a heavy, sharp knife to cut the dough in half. Cover one half while you shape the first loaf.

Oil a baking sheet. Divide one dough ball into three equal parts. Roll each one into a "snake," using a back-and-forth motion and keeping the dough under the palms of your hands. Each strand should be about 16" long. Allow them to rest a few minutes, then pinch the three strands together at one end. braid them, and pinch them together at the other end. Place on oiled baking sheet and repeat with other ball. Allow the loaves to rise again. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush loaves with cold water before placing in oven. Bake 25-35 minutes. Should sound hollow when you tap the bottom of the loaves.

This recipe was adapted from The Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook by Roberta Kalechofsky and Rosa Rasiel.
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By Rebecca Oliva

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