These cookies were on my "to do" list for more than a year! And it's not because I can not find time to bake and decorate a dozen cookies to make a friend happy. It's because to create a set I need information. I not only need to know which colors to use, but also why.
This Hanukkah cookie cutter had 6 different shapes and I knew only 3 of them. For the other three I had no idea what they were:
Instead of baking the cookies, I was staring at this cutter, trying to figure out, what could it be. Then, of course, I searched the internet for Hanukkah information and found out, that this is the Chai symbol. At this point a cookie decorator could stop, draw the symbol and proceed. Not me! I wanted to know more...
Chai: This symbol, commonly seen on necklaces and other jewelry and ornaments, is simply the Hebrew word Chai (living), with the two Hebrew letters Cheit and Yod attached to each other. Some say it refers to the Living G-d; others say it simply reflects Judaism's focus on the importance of life. Whatever the reason, the concept of chai is important in Jewish culture. The typical Jewish toast is l'chayim (to life). Gifts to charity are routinely given in multiples of 18 (the numeric value of the word Chai). (source: http://www.jewfaq.org/)
So now, I know this symbol, I like it and I am ready to do a Chai cookie.
And by now, I now a little about all of them.
I even wanted to know the sound of the Shofar (A ram's horn, blown like a trumpet as a call to repentance.) It's amazing!
Making cookies is a great way to learn about other cultures. And I have so much more to learn!
Go to my website to see more of my work.