When my daughter got married, my sister and I created a needlepoint challah cover for her. A challah cover is a ritual covering for bread used at the Sabbath table. Challah covers are considered customary gifts for new brides amongst orthodox Jews.
To make the challah cover we first completed a commercial canvas, with a variety of common and unusual needlepoint stitches. Then my sister’s very talented mother-in-law added a backing, piping and beadwork. Finally, as protection for a very fragile work of art, the challah cover was protected with a removable plastic casing.
It’s hard to tell from the photograph, but this Challah cover is full of wonderful details and symbols from Jewish life. In the upper left hand corner, in Hebrew, are the words Shabbot Shalom, meaning “Have a Happy Sabbath.” In the upper right hand corner, is a dove, the symbol of peace. Below the dove is my favorite – a depiction of a shtiebel, or traditional prayer house.
By the way, this canvas was not intended to be a challah cover. It was originally designed as wall art, but we adapted it for our own purposes. And isn’t that what being crafty is all about?Pinterest!