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Challah Makin Bar Mitzvah
Adventure B'nai Mitzvah Class makes Challot

Annika Uncovers the Joy of Shabbat

As part of her training with Adventure Judasim’s  Adventure B’nai Mitzvah Class, Annika Aumentado was required to pick a Shabbat practice and explore it. In this essay, she shares her experience.

Part of being in the Adventure Class meant that I was required to celebrate Shabbat once a month for eight months. Shabbat is the day of rest that occurs from Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown. I started my first four months by celebrating Shabbat a different way each month. The purpose was to expose us to the many ways that we can practice Shabbat. I then chose one of those four practices that I had tried and continued to celebrate Shabbat that way for four more months. I had to continue with one practice so that it could become part of my regular schedule. The practice that I chose to celebrate for the last four months was baking a different Jewish food each month.

The first thing I tried baking was challah, but it didn’t turn out well. The challah was really dry and I tried to adjust the recipe but it didn’t work. So when I began my four months of baking, I decided to start by baking challah again because I was determined to make delicious challah. This time it actually tasted good and I was proud that I had succeeded. The next food I made was chocolate rugelach. I learned that it would take two days which was good to know for future reference. The next food I made was hamentashen and it was probably my favorite. I was reminded of it at the time because Purim had just ended, and I thought that it’d be the perfect thing to make for that Shabbat. The last food I made was babka and it ended up being the most involved process of the four foods I made. It wasn’t that great looking but it tasted pretty good and I brought it to school to share with my friends. Probably the best part of the Shabbat experience I chose was being forced to bake because I love baking but I can’t find time for it and by choosing this Shabbat practice I had to find time for it.

I ended up sharing a lot of my food with friends and family because I made so much of it and I could never eat all of it. I find that when I’m baking it’s restful and I think that’s one of the most important parts of Shabbat. I think that in the future I want to continue trying different ways that I could practice Shabbat because there are still so many practices that provide rest at the end of the week that I didn’t get a chance to do because of busy schedules or not knowing about them at the time. This experience has opened up Shabbat for me in a new way that I’m thankful for.

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