Our church had a Thanksgiving Eve dinner and worship with communion. As the challah was broken I thought of its symbolism as the Sabbath bread of Judaism. According to my bread mentor, Peter Reinhart, the three strands of this braided loaf symbolize peace, beauty and truth. The braids separate the loaf in twelve sections representing the twelve tribes of Israel, and sesame or poppy seeds on top symbolize manna falling from heaven.
Peter Reinhart writes that “true festivals are not man-made but God-inspired and they represent a stopping of time, a suspension of everyday worries and concerns, a chance to celebrate an aspect of the goodness of the Creator and creation.” When I make bread each loaf holds this celebration as I choose the grains, knead the dough, allow it to rise, then bake the loaf to be shared with others. Every day can be a festival.
As we enter into the festival of Thanksgiving I look forward to breaking bread with family and friends and celebrating the goodness of God.