By Miriam Dworcan
I was one of the close to 1200 women who took part in last year’s Challah Bake International – Chamisha Asar B’Av Shidduch Challah Bake.
It’s hard to describe the feeling of doing the mitzvah of hafroshas challah in South Africa knowing how many other mothers around the globe were undertaking same mitzvah in their own time zones, reciting the same heartfelt tefillos for their children of marriageable age, together with all the names in their group. I truly felt that our combined prayers must surely have pierced the Shaarei Shomayim – Gates of Heaven.
The upcoming bake will be on Friday, Chamisha Asar B’av, July 27/ 15th of Av, Erev Shabbos Nachamu.
This auspicious time is ideal for women to join not only in the mitzvah of Hafroshas Challah, but also in giving tzedokah and davening for each other’s children of marriageable age – evoking Heavenly mercy for a significant, positive change in finding Shidduchim for our children.
I found it so simple to do this mitzvah in the comfort of my own home, while channeling the power of women throughout the world in a unique unity and harmony of prayer.
This year, there is capacity for 2000 women to join together in this initiative. They will be divided up into 100 participants per what’s app group, and the names of their submitted “singles” will be read by each woman at the time of taking challah, giving of tzedokah and taking on a hachlota to motivate at least one other woman to light Shabbos candles.
The way it works is that you submit the name/names of your single children, being careful to ensure the correct spelling of each name. Even if your own children are married, you can submit the names of other singles for whom you will be davening and baking.
Last year all the names were read at the Ohel and will, IY”H, be read again this year.
In the spirit of Tzeddakah, Tefillah and Torah, we will be listening to an uplifting message from Shaindy Jacobson, Director of JLI’s Rosh Chodesh Society.
Those who sign up early will receive a daily inspirational Torah thought from the desks of Dina Gourarie, Shlucha in Sidney Australia and Chana Labowski, Shlucha in S. Paulo, Brazil.
Challah, lighting Shabbos candles and Mikvah are the three mitzvos given to women. In the spirit of including all 3 mitzvos, each woman will be asked to try to influence one woman or girl who is not yet lighting Shabbos candles to start lighting Shabbos Candles by this upcoming Rosh Hashanah.
With regard to the third mitzvah, Mikvah, once again there will be an opportunity to contribute towards Mikvah Mei Chaya Mushkah through the Challah Bake. Not only is it segulah for our singles to marry soon and fulfill the sacred mitzvah of Taharas Ha’Mishpacha – Family Purity, but is of great benefit to the Mikvah as well.
“The money that came in from the Challah Bake helped with the CBI overhead and paid some necessary expenses for the Mikvah ! It came just at the right time,” said Binyomin Duboff, the bookkeeper of Mikvah Mei Chaya Mikvah. “If only we could have donations like this every month, it would keep our heads above water!”
The testimonials and pics of people who participated in last year’s event were truly heart-warming and inspirational and came pouring in with love and appreciation.
Women who bake challah regularly every week remarked that the unity of the Challah International Bake experience was unique… unlike anything they had ever previously experienced.
May all our efforts, tefilos and ma’asim tovim be counted and answered l’tova b’korov!