Monday, October 3, 2016

From the High School Lesson Book - Rosh Hashanah

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From the High School Lesson Book - Rosh Hashanah on Homeschool Coffee Break @ - including a recipe for challah

All last week I was wondering what I could write about for the Lesson Book today, and by the time I figured it out, I had no time to write it in advance. Today is Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Jewish New Year, so I thought I'd give a quick lesson about it. You see, even though we are not Jewish, as Christians we see the truth of the Messiah in all the Jewish feasts. And for the next couple of weeks, Kennady's World History course is looking at ancient Egypt and the Jewish people. She won't be focusing specifically on the Exodus and the laws given to the Jews that commanded them to celebrate this feast each year this week, but it's close enough to make this a timely topic for the Lesson Book!

This day is also known as The Day of Trumpets, and is the start of a period of repentance for Jews as they prepare for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). It's customary for Jewish people to greet each other with the wish "may your name be inscribed for a good year", and it's traditional to eat fruits, honey cake, and apples dipped in honey. These sweet foods are a reminder of the biblical celebration described during the time of Ezra, when the people were instructed to "Go your way, eat of the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord." (Nehemiah 8:10) Braided Challah is another traditional treat for Rosh Hashanah, so guess what we'll be having at dinner tonight!

Challah isn't hard to bake from scratch, especially if you use the techniques and recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. Here's how I do it:

Challah (makes two braided loaves)
Add 3/4 tbsp yeast, 3/4 tbsp salt, 2 lightly beaten eggs, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter to 7 ounces lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl. Mix together, then stir in 3-1/2 cups unbleached flour with a wooden spoon. Don't knead, just mix with the spoon, although you might need to use your hands a bit. Lightly cover the bowl and let the dough rest for about two hours at room temperature. The dough should rise and then collapse or flatten a bit on top during that time. Then put it in the fridge for about an hour to make it easier to work with (or you can keep it up to five days covered in the fridge if you don't want to bake it right away). 

Dust the dough with flour and cut off about half of it (size of a grapefruit or so) to make one loaf. Stretch and turn the piece of dough quickly into a ball and put it on a cutting board dusted with flour. Divide it into thirds using a knife. Roll each third into a ball and then into a rope. Braid the three ropes together, starting from the middle and going to one end, then turning the braid and braid from the middle to the other end. Let the braid rise on a cookie sheet that has been lightly greased or covered with parchment paper for an hour and twenty minutes. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350*F and brush the loaf with an egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the challah cool before slicing and eating.

"Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us and sustained us and brought us to this season." 
~Traditional Jewish blessing for Rosh Hashanah~

"I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty...Your forefathers ate manna in the desert, yet they died.  But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven." 
~Jesus the Messiah, as quoted in John 6~

By the way, we are using Exploring World History from Notgrass which covers History, Bible, and Literature. I plan on sharing some world history tidbits on the Lesson Book as we go through the year.

Curriculum Favorites From the High School Lesson Book on Homeschool Coffee Break @ - part of a round-up of favorite curriculum for the

What are you celebrating today? And what are you studying in History? Leave a comment and let me know! Then please link your posts about homeschooling high school here - I'd love to see what you are working on! Also, please visit your neighbors and leave some encouraging comments!

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Joanne said...

Yummy! Thanks for the recipe. I once taught a vacation bible school class when I was in high school and the Jewish religion was our theme for the year. We made challah bread but I never had a recipe for it.

Annette said...

I will have to try out that recipe sometime. :)

Lori said...

I enjoy reading about the feasts of the Old Testament because their devotion to God's words is so clear in these moments. Thanks for sharing about this one and for sharing your recipe. Looks good. - Lori

Sandi said...

"as Christians we see the truth of the Messiah in all the Jewish feasts."


"...and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord." (Nehemiah 8:10)"

I love this part.

"Braided Challah"

And this. 😄

Thank you for writing about the Feast Day. I am also homeschooling high school. It is not for the faint of heart!

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