Challah for Parashat Bo

Door, Hyssop, Blood.

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Every week, Julie Seltzer, artist and Torah scribe, bakes a challah depicting an aspect of the week’s Torah portion.

Take a bundle of hyssop, dip it in the blood that’s in the basin, and put it on the lintel and the two doorposts. (Exodus 12:22)


וּלְקַחְתֶּם אֲגֻדַּת אֵזוֹב, וּטְבַלְתֶּם בַּדָּם אֲשֶׁר-בַּסַּף, וְהִגַּעְתֶּם אֶל-הַמַּשְׁקוֹף וְאֶל-שְׁתֵּי הַמְּזוּזת


challah for parashat bo

The Hebrew slaves were instructed to put blood on their doorposts, so that the Angel of Death would know to skip over their houses when meting out the tenth plague–killing of the first born. The “blood” here is beet juice, and when we blessed the bread, we reenacted this instruction.

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Julie Seltzer is a scribe, baker, and artist. She began creating challah art at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Connecticut, where she lived until recently. Julie now resides in the Bay Area, where she is writing a torah scroll at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

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