It’s been quite a week. After an adventurous Pesach vacation with my family in Slovenia and Croatia, we spent 9 hours in the Warsaw airport following a missed connection. I landed and my world switched to high-speed mode to put together a big event in my home with a Holocaust survivor on Wednesday night in honor of Yom HaShoah, a challah bake for women last night, and preparing for almost 50 guests in my home for dinner tonight!
It’s a tradition to bake a key-shaped challah for the first Shabbat after Pesach. This is to remind us of the Mana that fell in the desert beginning in the month of Iyar; it also symbolizes that the 'key' to our sustenance and prosperity is in Hashem's hands.
I was thinking that there is a connection between the Key and the story of survival of the Jewish People - the story of survival against all odds! We only have to hear the miraculous stories of survival from Holocaust survivors to appreciate that surviving as Jews is not to be taken for granted. We learn that in every generation there is an Amalek whose goal is to wipe out the Jewish People. In our own country, Israel, thousands of soldiers defend our right to exist every day.
The Key is our Torah. When we make time to learn the wisdom of Torah and what it means to be a Jew, we become the links in the chain that connect us from generation to generation, building the future of our people.
(written and published on social media on Friday, April 29)