Integrating Different Academic Disciplines though Havdalah

Havdalah requires participants to use all five senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. What better way for young children to use all five senses and learn about Havdalah than to incorporate more natural elements. Mixing elements traditionally used during the Havdalah ceremony with complementary materials will add another layer to the exploration.

Traditionally, the spice box is filled with dried spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Try offering fresh herbs in addition to dried spices for children to explore. Offer whole and ground spices so they can compare and contrast them. I love using whole nutmeg and cinnamon sticks and comparing it to the ground spices.  Children and educators can discuss the entire process of herbs and spices: where the herbs come from, how it is grown, the process of drying and then crushing the spices.

Incorporating and discussing different spices and herbs into Havdalah offers opportunities to experience a sacred ceremony through multiple avenues. Just like we are supposed to use all 5 of our senses in the ceremony, we can use and explore different subject areas: math, science, art, social studies, technology and literacy to enhance the experience. 

Here are some ways to incorporate different academic disciplines into your classroom exploration:

Math

  • Compare and contrast dried herbs to fresh herbs
  • Categorize and sort herbs based on smells, tastes, color etc.

Science

  • Study the process of herbs and spices from growth to store
  • Explore 5 senses
  • Grow your own herbs in the class

Art

  • Draw using the herbs (nutmeg and cinnamon sticks can be used to make brown marks)
  • Create a collage using  herbs/spices
  • Draw a still life

Literacy

  • Create a poem about how the children feel during Havdalah. What is smells like, looks like etc.
  • Practice singing the prayers

Technology

  • Use a postal and mortar to crush spices
  • Use a magnifying glass to take a closer look

 

These pictures show how educators explored Havdalah spices during a professional development session. The session encouraged play and using materials in a different or unexpected way. 

 

Capturing Children’s Thinking

Young children learn and process new concepts at an incredible pace. Just think about language acquisition. Children begin speaking, on average, around 12 months. By age two they have about 50 words and by three years old (Johns Hopkins Medicine), most can speak full sentences and express complex ideas and thoughts. Since everything is new to children, they process and interpret things differently than adults. In early childhood classrooms, it is important to capture the children’s learning and thinking.  Documenting children’s learning helps in understanding how children think, this in turn can aid in the plannin process for educators as well as  offer opportunities for reflection, both in student and educators. 

One of the best ways to capture children’s learning and their thinking process right when it happens is to carry sticky notes, or a small notepad and writing utensil with you at all times in the classroom. Whenever I am in a classroom working with children, I always have sticky notes and pencil in my pocket. If I wait to record what is happening, there is a higher chance I will forget or misremember what happend or what was said. If I need to get up to search for a recording device too much time passes, or I interrupt the moment and risk distrupting a child’s thought process and lose the sincerity of the moment.  Ideally, documenting children’s learning should not be intrusive and should not interrupt the child and their thinking and learning. The educator should be able to seamlessly document the children’s learning while still engaging with the children. Taking a picture of children  to help document their learning is only the beginning. It is important to have multiple means and use varied media, such as recording conversations, to help document learning.  

I recorded a conversation I had with a child who was between 3-4 years old.  I used short hand notes while recording the conversation and was careful and deliberate when taking notes to keep my focus on the child and not lose the connection I had with her. This takes  a lot of practice. It is important to be able to take notes that will be short and concise while still being able to decipher them at a later date. It is also important to be able to take notes while not always having to look at what you’re writing. You want to make sure the children know that they are your main focus. 

Here is my conversation with Iris (I changed her name for this post) and the accompanying pictures:

Background:

This took place at the “painting Matzah table”. Iris was painting the Matzah with a roller brush, I noticed there was paper as well. I said “I wonder if I paint the paper will there be a different pattern than when I paint the Matzah?” I used the brush with many strands to “stamp” the paper producing dot like shapes and then I said “I wonder what the pattern looks like when I do long strokes and use the brush like this” creating two different patterns on separate papers. I was just speaking out loud, not necessarily speaking directly to Iris. She was painting her matzah while watching me. This is the conversation that followed:

Iris:  pointing to the one that resembled dots) “this looks like prints” and, (pointing to the one with long strokes) “this looks like tracks”.

 

Natalie: Those area great words! I wonder what the difference between tracks and prints is? Hm….

Iris: hm… those are footprints and those are tracks (pointing to the respective papers) (she knows that they look different and she labeled them differently but she can’t explain it yet, my goal is to get her to explain her thinking and reasoning behind why she labeled them differently)

Natalie: Oh so those are FOOTprints…feet made that pattern

Iris: Yes, people made those. I make footprints in the snow when I walk

Natalie: And what made these tracks?

Iris: someone dragging something

Natalie: so there is a difference between footprints and tracks

Iris: Yes, someone walks to make these and someone drags something to make these (pointing to respective picture).

Natalie: hm, I see

Iris: yes, and someone can drag their feet to make the tracks.

Natalie: oh so a person can use their feet to make footprints and tracks?

Iris: Yes

Natalie: I wonder what else can make these tracks?

Iris: (pausing to think, continues to paint matzah, about a 20 second silence) A stick! If you drag a stick you can make this track!

Natalie: I think that would work too! I would love to test out your theories!

Iris: I have a dinosaur path (described a carpet at home with dinosaurs and walking paths and footprints)

 

We then tried the roller brush on the paper that she was using on the matzah and it made a different pattern. She said that if you drag your feet sideways it would make that track.

 

In capturing this conversation, I was able to discover a few things about this child and her thinking. I get insights into her previous experiences and knowledge of snow, dinosaurs, footprints, and tracks. I also get to know her better since she shares some facts about her home, specifically her dinosaur-path rug.  I can use this knowledge to plan curriculum for the students such as experiments with footprints and tracks, comparing different  materials to make the tracks in, snow, sand, ice, paint, grass etc., and track making materials (sticks, feet, shoes). This investigation could last weeks or months depending on the interest of the children.

  

Feeding your Chemical Engineer: Customizable Noodle Kugel

Children love mixing, creating and customizing things, especially food. My daughter is no exception. Whether it is paint colors, ingredients for baking, or dirt and sand outside, she seems to find interesting objects to mix together to create something new. I like to say she is a budding chemical engineer. My daughter’s favorite ingredient is sprinkles of course. What could be better than brightly colored pieces of sugar in fantastic shapes! Like many children, she also likes to customize and create things for specific people: Dad gets the salad with tomatoes and Mom gets the one with the cucumbers. Whether you have picky or specific eaters, I like to refer to them as connoisseurs with a specific palate or children who love to mix and create, I have a holiday solution for you.

Here is a super simple and easy recipe for a traditional holiday food, noodle kugel, that can be customized for every taste in the house. Using cupcake tins, instead of a bundt pan or baking dish, is an easy way for children to get creative and create many different flavors of kugel.

Recipe: Noodle Kugel
1 package of 16 oz wide noodles (follow directions on bag to cook noodles)

In a bowl combine:
1 cup white sugar
1 stick butter (or pareve margarine)
3 eggs
¼ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons oil

Add noodles to mixture once they are finished cooking and mix all ingredients together
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Pour about 3/4 cup of the noodle mixture into 2-cup pyrex measuring cup or small bowl and add additional ingredients (see examples of ingredients below)
Pour from small bowl or measuring cup into cupcake tin and repeat until entire cupcake tin is filled
Cook in oven at 350 degrees for 60-90 minutes or until tops are golden brown and most of the liquid is gone.

Yields about 18 individual “cupcake” kugels

file_000-4Additional optional ingredients to mix in:

  • Diced apples
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Cherries
  • Other fruit
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts or other nuts
  • Sprinkles
  • Chocolate chips
  • Cereal (corn flakes or crunchy flakes of any brand)
  • Cinnamon

 

Exploring Passover in the Classroom

Passover is a Jewish holiday rich in tradition and content. The unique traditions practiced and foods eaten during the holiday can offer an exciting and enriching experience within the classroom. Combining the traditional ritual objects associated with Passover with loose parts can offer an open-ended opportunity for children to explore the holiday. For more on loose parts in the classroom, see our earlier post on play and loose parts in the classroom.

Here are a few examples of hands-on exploration ideas from a professional development workshop I recently led. 

The child safe grain grinder and wheat berries above from Kodo Kids offer an opportunity to investigate the process of making Matzah from start to finish. Highlighting and showing children each stage of wheat is a great way to develop STEM skills in the classroom. The children can see and touch the different stages of wheat from green grass to dried stalk to wheat berry and then they can grind the berries to make flour.

wheat grass

 

 

Wheat grass grows incredibly fast. The picture on the left is after 7 days of growth. If you have wheat allergies in the classroom you can use another type of grass and grind a different grain to make a wheat-free matzah.

 

 

 

 

Using wheat berries in a tray or sensory table.

Using loose parts to create a visual representation of the story of Passover. Above left: Colored sand, stones, shells and plastic people to create the parting of the Red Sea. Above Right: Blue and clear glass stones, plastic frogs, fish and plants, shells and a baby in a “basket” create the scene of baby Moses in the river.

In the pictures above, wheat stalks, white glue, wheat berries, matzah, paint brushes and liquid water colors were set-up on the table. There were no instructions or directions given to the educators about how to use the products or what to create. This provocation allowed the educators to explore the materials in any way they wished. Some used the wheat stalks as brushes. Others painted directly onto the Matzah, while others glued the materials onto the paper to create a collage with texture and color. Food coloring or dyes made from vegetables can be substituted for the water colors if children want to eat the matzah after painting on it.

Please share any of your hands-on explorations of Passover as we would love to see them.

The Secret Sauce

One of my best friends in college was a fiery Persian Jew from Los Angeles; she reminded me of Princess Jasmine from Aladdin, if the princess had a potty mouth and wore less clothing. One Passover, Jasmine and I were trying to make our respective family charoset recipes. There was just one problem: neither of us actually knew the specific servings of the ingredients. We knew the general recipe and what it should taste like but otherwise we didn’t have a clue (generous helpings of the the Passover drink of choice, Manischewitz, didn’t help the matter). We both grew up making these dishes with our family every Passover, but the recipes were transmitted orally and through the shared experience of cooking together.

No matter, we forged ahead. I found myself covered in the fallout of Ashkenazi ingredients–shaved nuts, pooled honey, wine, apple slices, cinnamon, and nutmeg–while my roommate was painted in the dates, banana mush, ginger, cardamom, and pomegranate juice of Persian charoset. Sauced on sweet wine and befuddled, we exercised every college student’s best option and called our mothers for help. To this day I remember her response when pressed on the specific ingredients: “I don’t know, just taste as you go.”

One of the great ways Jews create community is through food and cooking. Instead of writing down exact prescriptions, people are the keepers of the recipes. This cleverly ensures the need for humans to participate in the process, demanding not only communication, but also face-to-face interaction. The key to a successful recipe is the presence of the “keeper of the recipe,” and as a result, our families were ensuring the continuity of community and tradition. Whether our parents and grandparents realized it, they were making their physical presence a necessity.

The tradition of oral law and storytelling has a long history in Judaism. It exists to create and sustain community. For many generations, the only way to learn the traditions, laws and customs was from the community. Now that I have my own daughter, I can’t wait for the first Passover that she asks me how to make my famous charoset and of course my answer will be, “I don’t know, just taste as you go.”

This time of year can be crazy and overwhelming: Purim celebrations rush quickly into Passover preparations and the stress of expelling every tiny crumb from the house. It is easy to lose track of the ties that connect us to each other. But the demands and traditions of the holiday are also a terrific excuse to reach out and reconnect. Go call your mom, grandma, dad, best friend etc. and share something special together this holiday season. Happy Passover!

Ingredients for my friend’s Persian Charoset:
Dates, apples, banana, walnuts, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, pomegranate juice

Ingredients for my Charoset:
Apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts, honey, Kosher sweet blackberry wine

Annual Jewish ECE Conference- Colorado

I recently had the opportunity to host a workshop at the Annual Jewish ECE Conference sponsored by Colorado Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE) and the ECE Initiative in Denver, CO. The event brings together Jewish preschools in the greater Denver, Boulder Colorado Springs area as well other cities in Colorado.  Educators attend various workshops and seminars focused around a general theme. This year the theme was “The Power of Story.” I presented a hands-on workshop, Enhancing Storytelling using Story Stones and Loose Parts, and we had an amazing group of educators who made the session a total success. For more insight on story stones, please see my related blog post.

Please enjoy some pictures below from the workshop. I would love to answer any questions you may have and hear about how you use story stones in your classroom!

Telling a Story

Creating Noah’s Ark using a combination of story stones loose parts and traditional toys:

Seminar (1 of 35)

Examples of Jewish Themed Story Stones

Seminar (29 of 35)

These stones are hand drawn illustrations using permanent art markers.

Seminar (15 of 35)

Some of the stones are decorated with clipart images that were printed from a computer and affixed with glue. Other images are hand drawn on paper and then glued onto the stones. All of the stones were covered with a water and glue mixture to seal the paper onto the stones.

Seminar (14 of 35)

These stones are either hand-drawn or they have stickers glued to the face.

Room Set- Up and Materials

 

General Themed Story Stones

 

Adding an Auditory Element to the Stories

Seminar (5 of 35)

A chime, wooden frog instrument and a rain stick

 

The Results

Play in the Classroom

Incorporating Jewish Play into your Classroom

Over the past year it seems the topic of play has received a lot of attention. A recent story by NPR discussed the positive effects that play has on brain development; another story highlighted the connection between play and a child’s success in life.  Most people attribute the decrease in play in schools to an increase of standardized testing and a focus on a more “academic” curriculum. This has led to more time spent on rote instruction and less time for open-ended play.

Research shows that play is an integral and crucial part of learning and development for children. Play helps children develop skills such as language, self regulation, social competence, and emotional intelligence. Play has even been attributed to brain development. Educational philosopher Stuart Brown states, “Play is a vital way for the brain to integrate its divergent parts and build complex synaptic connections. [These connections] are critical to continued brain stabilization, organization, and development.” (Nell, Drew, Bush 15).  Classic educational theorists and researchers such as Friedrich Froebel, Lev Vygostky, Jean Piaget, and Erik Erickson all attribute and expound the importance of play in a person’s learning and development. If we accept that play in the classroom is important and we commit to providing time for it, what does play look like? Moreover, what does it look like in a Jewish classroom?

In any classroom, Jewish or secular, educators must provide a safe space and appropriate materials for children to be able to play. It is important to provide a variety of open-ended materials for children to explore. Educators can seamlessly integrate Judaism into play by adding some thoughtful elements.

Materials: By definition, there is no right or wrong way of using “open-ended materials” or loose parts. Children are not given instructions when using the materials (other than safety guidelines).  Rather, they are able to explore, create and use the materials as they wish. Open-ended materials used in a Jewish classroom can be exactly the same as those in a secular classroom. Educators can and should give children opportunities to experience specifically Jewish items, as well.

  • Do you have ritual items such as kiddish cups, shabbat candles and sticks, challah covers, kippot, a replica of a Torah, etc. available and accessible to children?
  • Do you have items used for holidays such as a lulav and etrog, chanukiah, building materials for a sukkah, seder plate, etc. available in your classroom for children to explore?
  • Are those items used for holidays available and accessible only during the holidays or are they brought out and explored at various times of the year?
  • How do you/your school/your community feel about letting the children explore Jewish ritual objects (in a safe and respectful manner)?

Music and classroom environment: Music can help create and shape the classroom environment. Educators should be intentional about playing music and the types of music being played. For example, playing Shabbat music on Friday mornings has a profound effect on classroom spirit. By playing music with holiday themes or Hebrew lyrics, educators can create a Jewish environment.

Values and Language: Play creates opportunities to discuss and teach values. Introducing language that supports values during play can encourage safe, appropriate play and offer simple ways to discuss values-based concepts in the classroom. Here are 2 examples of using play to discuss and introduce values:

  • Tikkun Olam, repair the world: Use recycled materials in the classroom. Egg cartons, empty food containers, scrap fabric, tile or wood can be used in imaginative and creative ways and offer an opportunity to discuss concepts such as recycling and caring for the Earth and resources.
  • B’tzelem Elohim, In G-d’s image: We talk a lot about treating each other with respect and kindness in preschool. For young children this value can be used to help promote the idea that all humans are similar and, although we may have differences, we should treat each other with respect and love. Highlighting this value can encourage self-regulation and cooperation.

Just like in secular play, the possibilities of Jewish Play are endless; so take a leap and explore the endless opportunities to incorporate Judaism into play in your classroom.

Making your Classroom Feel More Like Home

“And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your home and  your gates”

-Deuteronomy 6:4-9/11:13-21

For some children, they spend as much time in a classroom or daycare as they do in their homes. So why wouldn’t educators commit to making the classroom feel more like “home”? Hanging a mezuzah*on the classroom door is a way to bring the home-school connection to life and make it tangible for children. Having a mezuzah on the door also makes an important statement, saying “this is a Jewish classroom”.

The start of the school year is a great time to focus on the mezuzah. Children are transitioning from home to school and this is a great opportunity to make children feel like their classroom is a safe and comfortable place, like a second home. Children love sharing stories about their lives, so let each child bring in a picture of a mezuzah they find at their house and share it with the class.  If a child does not have a mezuzah at their home, then use this as an opportunity to discuss different traditions of families and religions. Make it an inclusive project for a diverse classroom.

Children are also much more invested in something if they have a hand in creating it. Let the children help create the decorative case for the parchment scroll to hang on your classroom door. You can easily find large plain wood cases on craft sites to decorate or you can use materials such as clay, plastic tubes, wire,  etc. to create your own case. Children will be excited to see their work hanging on the door. Make sure to let the children create their own mezuzah to take home as well. One way to include families in the process is to invite them to write a prayer or wish for their children or family on the scroll.

There are a lot of opportunities to expand on the concept of a mezuzah and create an entire project around it. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Homes:
    • Composition of a home: (doorposts), materials (wood, brick, cement)
    • houses around the world (huts, igloos, apartments)
  • Mezuzah scroll
    • Explore the different types of writing utensils and paper
  • Mezuzah cover
    • Endless opportunities to explore different materials to create a cover (wood, clay, wire, etc)
    • Are there different traditions and artistic styles for different communities and different parts of the world?

The mezuzah is an important tradition in Judaism and something we see everyday, so celebrate it and have fun exploring and creating!
*A mezuzah is the parchment scroll on which the prayer, the Shema is written and not the decorative cover. For purposes of this post, when I use the word mezuzah, I am referring to both the decorative cover and the parchment inside.

Teshuvah Doesn’t Just Mean Saying “I’m Sorry”

I no longer just say “I’m sorry” nor do I request it from my toddler. Instead, we try to reflect on the true meaning of Teshuvah. Many of us have been raised to believe that during Rosh Hashanah, and especially Yom Kippur, our focus should be on repentance and saying we are sorry.

Every Yom Kippur, our Facebook newsfeed fills up with general statements of “I am sorry to those who I have I wronged in the past year”. Yet, the wordTeshuvah is often mistranslated as “repentance”. According to many sources, the more accurate translation is “return” and signifies a return to the original state (Chabbad, Aish). Is just saying “I’m sorry” really what the High Holy days are about?

When young children are forced to say “I’m sorry” they don’t always understand why they are saying this phrase, nor are they given a solution to avoid the transgression in the first place. We can look to the Jewish scholar, Maimonides, who described four steps to Teshuvah, to help guide us.

Steps to Teshuvah:

    1. Stop: Recognize and discontinue the improper action.
    2. Verbalize: Verbally confess and address the action, thus giving the action a concrete form in your own mind.
    3. Regret:  Evaluate the negative impact this action may have had on yourself or on others.
    4. Make a Plan: Devise a plan to handle the situation better next time and a solution to avoid the wrongdoing in the first place.

In schools and at home, we can take the opportunity to help children by giving them the language and the vocabulary to recognize transgressions and give them tools to help solve or rectify the situation. We can look at a common situation that occurs with toddlers to help us understand how to use the steps of Teshuvah with our children. When toddlers hit, they do so out of frustration, not because they are malicious or they truly want to hurt the other person. Use the steps of Teshuvah in this situation: stop the behavior immediately (stop the hitting). Verbalize what just happened “I see that you are frustrated and that you hit your friend.” Explain the result of the behavior “When you hit your friend you hurt them and make them cry.” You can have the child say “I’m sorry”, but also have the child try to rectify the situation and take action. They can ask “how can I make you feel better?”  Then help the child find a solution to avoid the frustration in the first place or deal with the frustration in a better way: taking turns, playing with another toy or friend, find an adult, etc.

True Teshuvah can be difficult. We often are quick to apologize to our loved ones when we hurt them, but how often do we take a moment to reflect on our behavior and the results of our actions and commit to changing our behavior?  Although we can’t change others’ behavior, believe me I have tried, we can change our behavior and the way we interact and react to others. Since having my daughter, this idea of introspection and reflection is especially important to me because the way I interact with my husband and those around me affects the way my daughter will interact with people. Our children learn from us whether we intend it or not. Modeling the steps of Teshuvah in our everyday interactions can help strengthen the relationships we have with our loved ones and our relationship with G-d. I no longer just say I’m sorry when I transgress but instead figure out how to truly make the other person feel better and try to become a better person in the process.

Baking Round Sweet Challah for the High Holidays

Baking challah every Friday can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have young children. Because I can’t spend a few hours each week making challah, but it is important to me to have homemade challah, I use a recipe that yields 4-8 challah loaves (depending on the size you make each loaf). I freeze the loaves and pull one out on the following Friday mornings. My daughter is now getting to the age in which she can help cook, which is a lot of fun if you don’t mind a messy kitchen! Although most food she helps me prepare must have rainbow colored sprinkles in it, cooking with her and sharing the experience is well worth rainbow sprinkled pizza, salad, challah etc. I can’t think of a better way to usher in Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah or any holiday, than with a colorful homemade challah.

For Shabbat, challah is usually braided lengthwise but on Rosh Hashanah we make the challah round to signify the new year. For a long time, I simply rolled the dough into one long “snake” and wrapped it around itself to form a round challah. This approach can work, but mostly for me, it ended up looking flat and uneven. I searched online and found that in order to make the nicely shaped round challah, I needed to weave the dough. I have included a few links below the recipe  to tutorials for weaving round challah.

Here is the recipe I use for Challah:

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons salt
3 eggs
5 lb. flour bag (minus 2 cups)
5 packages of dried yeast (or 4oz fresh)
4 cups of lukewarm water
1 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/2 cups of oil (Canola)
2 cups of sugar (I often do 1 cup brown and 1 cup white sugar, or I will only use 1 cup sugar and substitute honey for the second cup)

Method

In a large bowl dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in  4 cups lukewarm water (wait to see bubbles)

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in separate bowl
  2. Make “well” in center of bowl—add egg, oil and yeast, mix with spoon
  3. Knead mixture well until it has a stiff but smooth consistency
  4. Lightly oil the dough
  5. Cover (with saran wrap) and place in a warm spot
  6. Allow dough to rise until it has doubled in size (1 hour 45 min.)
  7. Separate a piece of dough and set aside in silver foil to broil and discard (broil in oven before baking Challah)
  8. Recite the blessing over small piece of dough (see prayer below)
  9. Grease pans or use wax paper
  10. Divide the dough into 4-8 pieces (depending on desired loaf size)
  11. Add sweet ingredients such as raisins, honey, cinnamon, pieces of apple etc.
  12. Divide again and shape into individual loaves (see links to tutorials for round challah)
  13. Preheat the oven to 375°
  14. Glaze challah with egg (or egg yolk)
  15. Let rise 45 min
  16. Sprinkle with savory toppings: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, oregano, or sautéed onion or sweet toppings
  17. Bake for 20 min., turn the pan around and then for another 20 Min. (or until browned)
  18. Wrap extra loaves, once cooled, tightly in plastic wrap or foil freeze

Links to tutorials on how to weave a round challah:

Chabad
Creative Jewish Mom
Kosher on a Budget Video

Prayer for Separating Challah:

Hebrew:

Separating Challah Prayer

Transliteration:

BA-RUCH A-TAH A-DO-NOI ELO-HAI-NU ME-LECH HA-O-LAM A-SHER KID-SHA-NU B’MITZ-VO-TAV V’TZI-VA-NU L’HAF-RISH CHAL-LAH

Translation:

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to separate challah.