In honor of Parshas Chayei Sarah, Yeshivat Merkaz HaTorah hosted their Fourth Annual Mommy & Me Challah Bake on Sunday, November 17. The school mothers and students gathered together to celebrate and learn all about the special mitzvah of baking challah. Every year, the mothers of the school make an effort to rearrange their schedules in order to attend.

As parents entered the hall, they snapped pictures with their children at the photo booth and enjoyed a refreshing breakfast, sponsored by Bagels & Appetizing. The hall was elaborately decorated in bright and colorful decorations with matching bowls and centerpieces, creating an exciting and beautiful atmosphere for this special event. With ingredients portioned out for each family and personalized aprons prepared, the parents and students were guided through the process of making the dough while learning about the symbolism of each step.

Rabbi Yigal Haimoff taught a beautiful class about child-raising and chinuch. One of the main messages that he related was to try to find ways to positively reinforce your children when they do mitzvos and emphasize a love of doing mitzvos. We learn that one of Sarah Imeinu’s special qualities was that she had challah that lasted from week to week in her home. By baking challah with our children, we are essentially passing on this special mitzvah to our children and having it “last” from year to year in our home by forming a special bond with our children. Sharing these customs with our children and passing them along to them forms a link between us and our future generations and enables us to hold on to this special tradition. Rabbi Haimoff also strengthened the importance of a Jewish mother’s role in her home, and gave the mothers words of chizuk as they entered a new week.

The children enjoyed the hands-on experience of kneading the dough and mixing the ingredients with their mothers, forming a special bond between parents and their children. We would like to thank Rabbi Yigal Haimoff for taking the time out of his busy schedule to inspire and educate us, and also to Bagels & Appetizing for sponsoring such delicious food for our event.