Come by to 2587 Huntingdon Pike, Huntingdon Valley 19006. Wednesday: 10:30-7:00
This week will be normal hours except that I’ll be closed on Sunday. And same thing next week.
The special bread this Thursday is a chocolate cranberry boule: Chocolate chips, cocoa powder, local honey, local cranberries and nocino (a walnut liquor, please be aware if you have a nut allergy) from locally foraged walnuts are blended into sourdough for a semisweet treat. This will only be available on Thursday since Ursa Bakery will be closed Saturday. On Saturday I’ll have bread from Spelt Berry Bakery instead.
This week billions of people across the world will be celebrating Hannukah and Christmas. It is amazing to me that out of what was considered by the most powerful people the world had seen to be an insignificant backwater emerged what over time became some of the most widely celebrated holidays in history. Not only was ancient Judea an “insignificant” region, but the people who inhabited it were persecuted for centuries: Hannukah, after all, is a commemoration of a Jewish revolt against the political and religious persecution committed by the Seleucid Empire; and the nativity story of Jesus revolves around King Herod’s massacre of infant males in and around Bethlehem. That such widespread religious traditions emerged from a mostly unknown territory from powerless people speaks to the pervasiveness of their ideas and the strength of the communities that were shaped by them. Granted these holidays are commercialized within the context of modernity, and genuine belief in their origins has dwindled over time, for the most part those of us who celebrate them still maintain the spirit of the season.
It is also striking to me that 90% of the population of ancient Judea was in some form directly involved with agriculture. Most of the local economy revolved around the production of wheat, barley, sheep milk/meat/wool, dates, figs, and grapes. It is no surprise, then, that much of the Old and New Testaments contain references to agriculture: the Jewish calendar is connected to agricultural cycles; Leviticus contains laws that are designed to improve soil health; and Jesus preached his parables within an agricultural framework. While the religious traditions that emerged out of ancient Near East have spread far and wide, the everyday agricultural lifestyle of those who inhabited it has mostly dwindled. How I would love to see its reemergence in some form. And besides, there is no need to go to the gym if your New Years resolution is to start farming 🙂
Happy holidays to you all!
Oh and thank you all for the kind Google reviews! I’ll leave the link here at the bottom on each email for those who haven’t gotten to it yet.
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