Have You Ever Made Dough From Scratch?

Watch: A job does not secure a livelihood. A degree does not secure a livelihood. Hard work does not secure a livelihood. How does this connect to dough and can dough actually be made from scratch?

In 2015, a Minneapolis native decided to challenge himself to make a sandwich from scratch. “From scratch” did not only mean baking the bread himself. It meant planting and milling the wheat, milking a cow for cheese, and evaporating ocean water to salt. 

Six months, $1500, and lots of hard work later, his sandwich was ready. 

Is this process actually defined as “from scratch”? In fact, is there anything that can truly be made from scratch? 

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Let’s talk about challah. Setting aside a piece of our dough seems like a simple ritual. Yet somehow, separating that small piece is linked with the very essence of our faith. 

Our Sages state that taking off a piece of challah nullifies idolatry. In fact, the two topics follow one after the other in the Torah. What is the connection between the two?

Bread represents our staple needs. The world is designed in a way that we need to work in order to sustain ourselves. As we toil, we may submit ourselves to the notion that more work equals more money. We may be convinced that our success is solely due to our efforts. 

This is similar to idolatry. Idolatry is not limited to serving idols. Attributing significance to anything other than Hashem is serving an “other.” 

Separating challah reminds us that although hard work is called for, ultimately, work brings money only because Hashem created it that way. This acknowledgement nullifies the basis of idolatry. 

A job does not secure a livelihood. A degree does not secure a livelihood. Hard work does not secure a livelihood. The job that results in a paycheck is merely a curtain hiding Hashem. 

A small piece of dough set aside from each batch that we whip up realigns us with the truth that nothing is actually made from scratch. 

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