This summer, Spiritual Care Services has been bringing fresh challah rolls to Jewish patients at the Brigham on Fridays. Challah, a ceremonial Jewish bread, represents the concept of taking something physical and elevating it to the spiritual. Both physically and spiritually nourishing, challah is served during the Jewish Sabbath on Friday night and all day Saturday, as well as on holy days.
“Shabbat can be an isolating experience for patients in the hospital, missing the comforts of home,” said Ruth Delfiner, a chaplain in Spiritual Care Services. “We hope to bring comfort to members of our Jewish community and make it easier for patients to make Shabbat in the hospital.”
Patients across the hospital have appreciated this opportunity to celebrate Shabbat.
Last Friday, Peg Newman, a chaplain who works overnight, delivered the last of their challah rolls to a patient from Brooklyn. “He told me that while the best challah is undoubtedly from Brooklyn, he was still willing to give our challah a try,” she said.
Another patient’s husband, originally on the elevator to head home, requested some of the challah and then went back upstairs to bring it to his wife. Spiritual Care Services also offered to share some challah with a physician, who said he was missing it at home while working the night shift.
“It’s such a treat to delight so many people,” said Newman.