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November 24, 1989 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-11-24

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Whether made in batches of
one or 2,000, there's nothing
quite like challah.


bowl. She will make about
nine challot for Shabbat,
when she and her husband,
Rabbi Avraham Jacobovitz
of Machon L'Torah, will host
at least 20 guests, as they do
each Friday night. Many say
they wait from Friday to
Friday just to eat Bayla
Jacobovitz's challah.

As the deep blue of the
Jerusalem night is replaced
by daylight, the bakers
begin slowly to shed their
white uniforms. Soon they
will go home. Then the
crowds will come: Israelis
from everywhere, all here to
buy challah.
Thousands of miles away
and eight hours later, Bayla
Jacobovitz pours yeast and
warm water into a large

Down the corner and to the
left of the Jacobovitzs' home,
Zeman's New York Kosh6r
Bakery also is preparing for
Shabbat. By Friday after-
noon, more than 2,000
loaves of bread will have
been baked to sell that one
From generation to
generation, Jewish homes
have been filled with the
aroma of fresh bread for
Shabbat. Two loaves, sym-
bolizing the double portion
of manna the Israelites in
the desert received each Fri-
day, are placed on the
Shabbat table.
It may appear as little
more than a simple loaf, but
bread must be treated with
respect, the rabbis taught. It
is covered during Kiddush to
spare it "embarrassment"
because its bracha, blessing,
follows that of wine. Bread
may not touch raw meat or
be tossed across the table.
To keep bread from the
poor is called a sin, while
providing it to the needy is
regarded a moral obligation.
In the Torah, the idolater
Micah was promised a place
in the world to come because
he had given bread to the


Features Editor

he smell of hot
• bread drifts into
the street, past the
dark homes where
children sleep, past
the shops that sell
multicolored glass ash trays
and music boxes that play
"Yerushaliyim Shel Zahay."
The aroma flows past the
home of the rabbi who stops
motorists on Shabbat and
says, "Please don't drive to-
day! Come have tea with me
and I will tell you magical
stories of the world to come!"
and past the dusty bookstores
that hold volumes about the
life of the great scholar Rab-
bi Akiva.
Most of Jerusalem is sleep-
ing. The bakers are not.
Their work has just begun.
Each Thursday night, they
come to make challah.
Framed by a dim orange
light near the hot ovens,
they knead the dough.
Thousands of loaves — with
poppy seeds, with a braid on
top, in a circle, with sesame
seeds — are created.




hen she moved
from New York to
Oak Park, Bayla
Jacobovitz brought her
mother's and grandmother's
challah recipe, which she
always had prepared with
great success. -

But she didn't like the
taste of the bread when she
made it here, she says.
Sometime later, a student
from Machon L'Torah asked
to make challah at her
house. His bread, she says,
was delicious.
That's when Jacobovitz
discovered another recipe,
which friends called "the
recipe that always works."
She uses it to this day. Just
as Shabbat is the seventh
day of the week, this recipe
has seven ingredients,
Jacobovitz notes.

6 packages of yeast
5 cups warm water
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup oil
6 beaten eggs
8 tablespoons salt
20 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water.
Add sugar and let sit for 2
minutes. Then stir in re-
maining ingredients. Knead
until air bubbles pop. Let
dough rise, then punch
down. Let rise 30 minutes,
then coat with egg yolk and
poppy seeds. Let rise another
30 minutes. Bake at 350
degrees for 30-45 minutes.
Jacobovitz, who often
teaches young women in the
area how to make challah,
sets aside a small piece of

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