Welcome to the latest edition of Sarah's Tent. The Biblical Fall feasts are done and we are heading into winter. I pray that you all were blessed tremendously during Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. While it is technically still Fall, it may not feel like it depending on where you live. Here where I am we seesaw from beautiful Indian summer days to having to pull out the winter coats. These chilly days remind us that Chanukah, the Feast of Dedication is just around the corner. While this feast is not a Biblical one, there is praise to our God for deliverance from the enemy, for miracles, and impotant things to learn con- cerning the end times. If Chanukah is new to you or you would like more information I would encourage you to visit our Chanukkah section on the Feast page for more information.
May the Light of Messiah Yeshua shine brightly in you. Enjoy the ezine!
What About the Children?
I was planning on presenting On His Mind Part 2, the continuation of the article that was published in the Summer issue, but as I was considering the article the question, “What about the children?” popped into my head and stayed there. I got the distinct impression that this was what I was to write about. I have been asked this question a few times, and I’m sure some of you have as well. You have turned from the polluted worship that has contaminated the church, and have made the decision to obey Torah and follow the appointed times of YHWH. However many of your extended family members don’t understand. You may have been inundated with Scripture passages used to convince you that the “Law” has been done away with. Nevertheless, you stood firm in your conviction that God has revealed His truth to you and there was no going back. Then comes the final assault by well meaning family and friends: “What about the children?” The question very clearly insinuates that if you follow your present course your children will suffer, and what parent would want their children to be deprived in this way? While other children are helping decorate trees and homes with silver, gold, and greenery; preparing for the day which climaxes with the opening of presents, what will your children be doing? While other children are participating in egg decorating and egg hunts, unwrapping baskets full of candy and chocolate bunnies, and finally at the end of the day sitting down to a big ham dinner, what will your children be doing?
There is the assumption that our children are deprived because they are not participating in what everyone else is doing and it is our fault. What about the children? Allow me to tell you about them. They are learning to obey YHWH, the God of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaacov, and worshiping Him in the way He wants to be worshiped. They are not polluting their faith in the one true God by mixing it with the ceremonies and celebrations that are a part of ancient idol worship. (Jeremiah 19:44; Jeremiah 10:3-4) They understand that these things are spiritual adultery. They are learning about the Feasts of the YHWH, and how they tell the story of redemption and the return of our Messiah Yeshua. They see that the Torah, Prophets and the Brit Chadasha points to the restoration of all things and they are looking for that day. They are studying Hebrew to be able to study the Word in it’s proper perspective and to learn the language of the Kingdom. They are learning about prayer and the proper way and times to pray. They are learning to be hospitable like their father Avraham and their mother Sarah. They learn to give rather than expecting to receive. They are sharing and fasting. In other words they are learning how to please YHWH, to be “a kingdom of priests, and a set apart nation.” (Exodus 19:6) This should be our desire for our children. To train them up so they will be acceptable to YHWH. There should be no greater aspiration. We learn what is acceptable to Him from Torah. Part of the Shema tells us to be sure to teach these things diligently to our children. This is our responsibility. While our extended family and friends see our children as being deprived of worldly and vain things, we are training and preparing them for the world to come. I pray that we all continue to persevere in this task which He has appointed to us.
Shalom, and welcome to this edition of Kosher Kitchen!
In this issue, I am going to share various facts about Challah bread which is traditionally eaten on Shabbat. And, of course, at the end of every issue there are delicious recipes for you to try!
This sweet egg bread has crossed all cultural lines. It seems that almost every country has a version of it. Aside from the traditional braid (3 or 6 strand), there are other different shapes. On Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, raisins are added to the dough and the challah is rolled into a circular shape; this could evoke a crown, representing the kingship of God, or the cycle of the year. Some press a small ladder shape onto the top of the challah as a wish that the prayers of the day will go straight to heaven.
During the time the Temple stood, the challah which was separated from the dough was earmarked as a gift to the kohen (member of the Jewish priestly class). The kohen was supported by the community; toward that end he received gifts of challah and terumah (a small portion set aside from the fruits of the field and vineyard) to feed his family. His wife would take the many small gifts of challah they received and put them together to form her own batch of bread.
The traditional blessing recited over the challah bread before eaten is:
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha olam, ha motzi lechem min ha aretz. Blessed are you, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe, who brought forth bread from the earth.
I hope that you enjoy the following recipes.
Enjoy them with your mishpocha (family) on your next Shabbat!
12 cups flour ½ cup sugar 3 eggs plus 1 yolk ½ cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 1 tablespoon anise seeds 2 packages fresh yeast 3 cups warm water
Place the flour in a huge bowl. Make a well in the center and add to the well sugar, 3 eggs, vegetable oil, salt and sesame and anise seeds. Proof the yeast in 1 cup of the warm water. Then add it to the well.
Gradually work in the flour with the ingredients in the well. Add more water as needed (about 2 cups). When a medium stiff dough is formed, knead on a wooden board for about 20 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball, turn it in a greased bowl to coat the surface, and cover with a towel. Let rise then punch down and knead once more. Divide the dough into 5 pieces. Either shape each into a round ball, or make a long piece of it and twist it into a spiral with the end of the dough at the high point in the center. Cover for about 1 hour and let rise until doubled.
Preheat oven to 400. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Move the dough to the cookie sheet; brush with the remaining egg yolk and a tablespoon of oil and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
Sweet Raisin Challah
1 1/2 cups dark or yellow raisins, plumped (soaked in water)
1 3/4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
pinch sugar approx, 1/4 teaspoon
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs 2 egg yolks
6-7 cups flour
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 egg 1 yolk
In a large bowl stir together the yeast, water, and pinch of sugar. Let stand five minutes to allow yeast to swell and dissolve.
Briskly stir in remaining sugar, honey, and salt. Then add oil, eggs, yolks and about five cups of the flour. Stir and let stand 10-20 minutes to absorb flour. Knead, by hand or with a dough hook, adding remaining flour as needed to make a soft and elastic dough (about 10-12 minutes). Dough should leave sides of the bowl. If it is sticky, add small amounts of flour until dough is soft but no longer sticks.
Let dough rest on a lightly floured board ten minutes, then flatten and press in raisins as evenly as possible into the dough, folding dough over raisins to "tuck" them in. Place dough in a greased bowl and either cover with greased plastic wrap and a damp tea towel or cover with a damp tea towel and place entire bowl inside a large plastic bag. Let rise until doubled and puff y looking, anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.
(If you are doing an overnight, cool rise, place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and insert this in a large plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight. If you see the bread rising too quickly, open the bag, deflate dough, and reseal. Next day, allow dough to warm up then gently deflate and proceed.)
Divide dough in three sections. Shape to each to a round ball.
Place on cornmeal dusted baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together egg glaze ingredients. Brush loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let rise until puffy, around 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake bread 12 minutes then reduce heat to 350 Degrees F and bake another 25 minutes or until bread is evenly browned.
Can be frozen baked or unbaked. If freezing unbaked, let bread rise slowly, overnight in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before baking.
5 pounds flour
2 ounces fresh yeast and 1 package dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 sticks margarine
2 1/3 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg, beaten
Poppy or Sesame seeds
Dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water in a small bowl, until it bubbles. In a large bowl, place margarine and pour boiling water over it and stir until margarine is melted. Add salt and sugar. Let cool for a few minutes and beat in eggs. Add the bubbling yeast. Gradually add flour. Knead for 10 minutes. If dough is too moist add a little more flour.
When ready to rise, sear top of dough with oil, cover and let rise 1 hour. Separate a small portion of dough known as 'challah" from the whole dough. Shape and let rise another hour.
Brush with beaten egg to gla ze. Sprinkle with seeds.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour for large challahs and 1/2 hour for smaller challahs and rolls.
This photo is the property of Tracey Haider Sprague and is used with her permission.
Want to try a fancier braid with your challah? We can help! Below is video by Tracey Haider Sprague, one of our contributors, which demonstrates braiding a six strand challah. Tracey is a homeschooling mom, writer, and Vice President and Training Director for Small Beginnings Ministries in Washington State. Posting regularly on her blog, Chai Time she discusses Judaism, Christianity and her ongoing discovery of her hidden Jewish ancestry. She was kind enough to allow us to post this video here for your convenience.
Bonnie Wills is a contributor here at Sarah's Tent and also has her own website at www.its-time.info .
For this issue of Children's Corner I would like to tell you about Torah Truth. Torah Truth is an email list at Yahoo Groups which makes available Torah studies on each of the weekly parshas. I have found these studies are excellent for ages 10 and up. After joining this group you will receive notices on a weekly basis when the files are available. You can download them directly from the file area of the website.
To give you an idea of some of the activities that Ruth, the listowner has available, I have, with permission, posted two files. One is the activity for B'reishit, and the other is a Timeline of Genesis Genealogy, which is extremely interesting. You can see how long each person lived and it is fascinating to imagine that many of the patriarches must have known and influenced each other. Both of these files, as well as the ones at the site are in pdf format.
We also have links in the Chanukah section of the Feast page so that you can prepare for this holiday with your children, including stories, crafts, and coloring. Enjoy!
There is a new book published by Artscroll that I am very excited about. It is the Transliterated Linear Tehillim (Psalms). There was an older book that had the transliteration of the Psalms, but it has gone out of print, so I was very excited when Artscroll published this in August. The transliteration is in phonetically accurate English beside the Hebrew text with the English translation beneath. The book is set up so that you can easily pray or study the Psalms in Hebrew or English, and is an excellent tool to help learn Hebrew. Transliterated Linear Tehillim also contains commentary at the bottom of the page for certain verses, which I have personally found very helpful. The back of the book contains special prayers, a schedule for reading the Tehillim, and pages for personal notes. You would think with all this the book was large, but it is amazingly compact at 5 1/8" x 8 1/8" and easy to carry with you. I often take it along with me to my children's lessons and use it while I am waiting for them. This book can be found at Tehillim: Transliterated Linear - Seif Edition
We highly reccommend the book Light in The Darkness, Hanukkah and the Disciples of Yeshua. This book is published by FFOZ, First Fruits of Zion. It includes the Hanukkah story with excerpts from the book of Maccabees, an anthology of Hanukkah articles, a prophetic Bible study on the book of Daniel and the abomination of desolation, step by step instructions for celebrating Hanukkah, games, recipes, and crafts. This is an excellent book, whether it's your first Hanukkah, or twentieth. FFOZ also is offerring this book along with the seminar on DVD entitled The Last days, Hanukkah and the Rise of the AntiChrist. The DVD is 3.5 hours. Both of these items can be purchased at First Fruits of Zion.
Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek Yahweh: look to the rock whence you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him, and made him many.