Challah for Parashat Vayeshev

Judah's signet and cord.


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

And he said: ‘What pledge shall I give thee?’ And she said: ‘Your signet and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.(Genesis 38:18)

וַיּאמֶר מָה הָעֵרָבוֹן אֲשֶׁר אֶתֶּן-לָךְ וַתּאמֶר חתָמְךָ וּפְתִילֶךָ וּמַטְּךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדֶךָ

challah for parashat vayeshev

Tamar dresses up and seduces her father-in-law, becoming pregnant by him and showing him his erring ways (namely, that he does not provide his son for a levirate marriage so that Tamar may bear children). The signet, cord, and staff are Tamar’s proof of identity to later show him that the prostitute he slept with was her.

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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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