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.