Channeling Beth

Beth was a member of our community. She taught at one of the local Jewish Day schools. She had her husband had three kids, so good, so sweet so smart that they made the rest of us look like we had raised a pack of Juvenile Delinquents. Beth was diagnosed with breast cancer and fought it for many years. She died about a month after her youngest's bat- mitzvah.

For many years, Beth co-taught with Linda, her best friend. Linda, too, had three kids. All six kids knew that they were equally welcome at either home.

Beth's oldest just became engaged. Linda asked me to make a challa cover as a wedding gift. In thinking about it, seemed to me, that the challa cover needed to express Beth's wishes for her oldest. Linda wanted me to design to challa cover with the bride.

Sunday we had a long phone conversation. I quoted the prayer that women often recite after lighting Shabbat candles. the bride loved it and felt that it did express her mother's hopes for her children.

" May I be worthy to raise children, and grandchildren who are smart and wise, love God, God fearing, people of truth, holy seed who stick to God, and light up the world with Torah and good deeds and the work of the Creator."

The family had discussed adding a piece of Beth's wedding dress to the challa cover. Beth's husband wasn't comfortable with the idea. We decided to add some of Beth's earrings to the corners of the challa cover.

I asked the bride the colors she wanted in the challa cover. When the bride mentioned the colors she wanted, they immediately evoked Beth for me, blues, greens and purples.

I don't know if Beth actually said this prayer when she lit candles. I do know that the prayer expresses who her children were when she died, and who they still are today.
The challa cover is made out of pieced silk shantung and rayon velvet. The gold spirals and letters are painted free-hand. The dark border is blue cotton velveteen left over from the torah mantle I made in memory of my father. I still need to back the piece.


  1. I think this is my absolute favorite of all your pieces (and I've been following your work for years) - maybe it's the colors? That and the combination with the back story.

    Thanks for sharing it.


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