A blizzard can’t stop the Jewish women of Albany from baking challah!
The newscasters were predicting a “super blizzard,” with the snow beginning to accumulate at 1 pm. The event was called for 12:30 pm at the Shabbos House, Chabad UAlbany. The organizers of the event, the five shluchos in the surrounding areas, braced themselves for an empty hall.
But the women of Albany, NY proved that they are made of tougher stuff, as one by one, college students, grandmothers, and every age in between, they trudged in, bundled and buffered against the blowing snow, to celebrate the annual Spa for the Soul and first ever Challah Bake in Albany, NY.
The event was a tremendous show of achdus between four neighboring shluchos, each contributing to the incredible success and warmth of the event.
The event was organized by Rebbetzin Rochel Rubin, head Shlucha of Albany and Mrs. Leyee Rubin – Chabad of Clifton Park, Mrs. Raizy Rubin – Chabad Shabbos House, Mrs. Clara Simon – Chabad of Delmar and Mrs. Chana Simon – Chabad of Bethlehem.
The program began with a makeshift spa, including all sorts of goodies, such as facials, smoothies, manicures and DIY sugar scrubs, and continued with a fabulous lunch prepared by the shluchos. By the time the Challah Bake began, the women had completely forgotten the cold snowy conditions outdoors and were thoroughly warmed with the shluchos’ loving pampering.
The highlight of the event was a Mega Challah Bake, led by the dynamic Brownstone Brooklyn shlucha and guest speaker, Rochie Pinson, author of the upcoming book on challah, RISING (Feldheim publishers, spring 2015).
Step by step, Mrs. Pinson led the women through the challah making process, blending together words of Chassidus with some good old fashioned wisdom, while highlighting the beauty of this beautiful mitzvah and bringing warmth and inspiration to all gathered there.
The women soaked it in. There was laughter, tears and plenty of flour everywhere. Even those who had baked challah before, were newly invigorated and uplifted by the deep meaning behind this mitzvah, and the incredible power of a communal bracha.
With beautifully braided challahs in hand, the women put on their warm winter gear and headed back out in the snow, but this time, carrying the light of Torah and Chassidus into the cold night.