Challah for Parashat Vaetchanan

Hand & head tefillin.

Commentary on Parashat Vaetchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11

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

Bind them as a sign on your hand and a symbol between your eyes. (Deuteronomy 6:8)

וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאוֹת, עַל-יָדֶךָ; וְהָיוּ לְטטָפת, בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ

 

vaethanan

This line was interpreted literally by the rabbis. The tefillin boxes have little scrolls with words of the torah inside, and are placed on the arm and on the head (between the eyes). In this tefillin challah, you can see one method of wrapping: seven times around the arm, with the letter Shin formed at the end. On the tefillin for the head, you see the Hebrew words “shel rosh,” meaning “for the head.”

Discover More

Marbled Rye Challah

Using an overnight starter gives depth of flavor and slight tang to this challah.

Rosh Hashanah 101

The Jewish New Year is a time of rejoicing and serious introspection.

What Ruth Can Teach Us About Celebrating Shavuot

The Jewish people accepted the Torah in fear of God's overwhelming power. Ruth accepted it out of love and loyalty.

The Book of Eicha: Faith in a Whirlwind

At the core of Lamentations is an expression of faith in the human capacity to survive in a broken world.

The Book of Lamentations

This special reading for Tisha B'Av sets the tone for this tragic and mournful day

The Torah

Five books of story, law, and poetry divided into 54 weekly portions.

By the Rivers of Babylon We Remember Zion

This famous psalm is read on the eve of Tisha B'Av and sets the tone for an emotionally challenging holiday.

The Prohibition Against Studying Torah on Tisha B’Av

Why would learning sacred Jewish texts be forbidden on this day of fasting and mourning?