Since Agape’s Annual Advent Evening falls just before the first night of Hanukkah, we will honor this holiday with two loaves of challah.
Challah is a rich, sweet bread eaten on Shabbat and other Jewish holidays. For Shabbat, two loaves symbolize the two portions of manna that God to the Hebrews every Friday when they wandered in the desert. That manna would see the Hebrews through each Sabbath. Different holidays feature different shapes of challah, such as round loaves on Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, to symbolize the cycle of time. Other ritual symbolism includes burning a tiny portion of each loaf as an offering to God.
For our Hanukkah tribute, community resident and accomplished chef Dixon baked two loaves of braided challah, a shape said to symbolize such “tying-together” forces as unity and love. Although challah is traditionally made with eggs, Dixon used bananas for a vegan version. He also sprinkled on poppy seeds, another symbol of manna.
During Advent evening ceremonies, we will light a menorah and break challah bread. Other Hanukkah-related festivities may include a skit about the holiday’s origin, provided we can round up actors. We look forward to honoring a holiday from Judaism, Christianity’s mother religion, along with the approach of Jesus’ birth.