In our family a highlight of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, celebration is sharing a dinner that includes the holiday Challah. The one pictured here was handcrafted by my daughter. Its traditional round shape symbolizes the on going cycles of each year.
Thinking about the Challah reminded me of the importance of bread not just for holidays but also throughout the year. Historians remind us that throughout the centuries, in many countries, the price of bread has been carefully regulated to insure its availability. In medieval times bakers who didn’t follow the government guidelines, who charged too much, could be punished, even executed.
Providing bread for the general population was serious business then and it remains so today.
Just ten days ago NBC news ran a story headlined “Defiance in Damascus: Government keeps bakeries open 24”. In an effort reduce the anxiety of the population worried about on going violence and predicted attacks, state owned bakeries would be open 24-hours a day, (http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/31/20270435-defiance-in-damascus-government-keeps-bakeries-open-but-syrians-concerned?lite