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The Edible Torah

 

Posts Tagged ‘shabat’

Shabbat Behar-Behuchotai (Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

Parasha Behar (“on/in/from the Mountain”) spends a great deal of time discussing the sabbatical and jubilee years in the land of Israel. The rabbi’s have interpreted this Shabbat of the land in different ways, from simple agricultural common sense to a living reminder that everything ultimately belongs to and derives from God, to a mirror of the 7 days of creation, to a chance to put ourselves in the shoes of the truly needy and be sensitized to their plight.

Regardless of the interpretation which might resonate with you, we decided to give our “food theme of the week” a sabbatical also (although not for a full year – perish the thought!). For this week, the food you bring is not required to have any particular connection to the parasha at all. It’s just food.

But just like the sabbatical does not mean a cessation from all work, rather it is simply a reprieve for the soil, we have an assignment for you. Please bring your answers to the following questions:

Imagine for a moment that your family was given a sabbatical year – 12 months leave from work and school with a guaranteed income but no obligations. What would you do with that time? How would you use such a year? What goals would you set and what activities would you plan?

In thinking about your answer, try to complete the following sentences:

A year of release from _______________
A year free from _______________
A year to return _______________
A year to allow _______________
A time for _______________
A time to _______________
A time with _______________

Come prepared to share your responses.


Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.

Shabbat Emor (Lev 21:1 – 24:23)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

This weeks’ portion continues with the “Holiness Code”. The Hebrew word for Holy (Kadosh) comes from the root that does NOT mean “better”, “higher”, “righteous”, etc but RATHER “set apart” or “separate”. It puts an entirely different spin on what it is that God is asking the Israelites to do and be.

Where last week the portion focused on laws of holiness for the entire nation, this week spends some time focusing just on the Priests and how they need to be set apart from the rest of the community.

The Rabbis of the Talmud derived from these rules that the Priests had to be superior to the rest of Israel because of the urgency and criticality of their job. Specifically, they had to be:

  • taller
  • stronger
  • wealthier
  • smarter
  • and better looking

Whether we agree with this assessment (that Priests actually were these things) or not is our choice, and puts us into a fantastic dialogue with the voices of our tradition.

SO… limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned please bring a food which represents one (or more!) of those 5 priestly attributes.


Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.

Shabbat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (Lev. 16:1-20:27)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

Not nearly as exciting as Metzorah, Acharei Mot discusses a variety of laws and actions. There’s some funny ideas, like “putting” the sins of the entire tribe of Israel onto a goat and setting it free in the wilderness. Then there are the details of what needs to be done during Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur got us thinking about fasting (which is NOT something we do around Passover). Fasting got us thinking about break-the-fast. Break-the-fast got us thinking about breakfast. So limited only by your creativity and the category of food which you have been assigned, please bring breakfast food. IN ADDITION, please bring one ingredient for omlettes.


Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.

Shabbat Tazria-Metzorah (Lev. 12:1-15:33)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

Tazria begins the discussion of situations where people, places or things are “unclean” or “impure” – which may or may not be as negative as it sounds.

However, the very first thing in Tazria (“When she gives birth”) is babies. After a woman gives birth, she is considered impure for a certain number of days (different for a boy versus a girl). Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Could it be a liturgical showcase of every mother’s efforts? A guaranteed “hands off” space to prevent horny husbands from jumping back on the bandwagon too soon? A way of ensuring that every mother has a chance to bond with each child, free from interruption or interference of the outside world? Or could it be recrimination for vows and oaths a mother in childbirth is likely to say but not necessarily mean (or even remember) afterward?

Regardless, this is where we want to start the discussion – thinking about that very basic natural event.

Limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring something you consider to be “baby food”.


Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.

Shabbat Shmini (Lev. 9:1-11:47 )

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

After 4 (or was it 5) glasses of wine at Passover last week, the theme this week might seem obvious at first blush. But our fevered brains had different reasons for this strange idea. Abducted by aliens? An idea which hit us like a bolt from the blue? Out of the frying pan and into the fire? Your burning questions will have to wait…

This week Nadab and Abihu – Levites Gone Wild, do something wrong during the opening ceremonies of the new Priesthood. Some translations say they bring forth “strange” fire, others use the word “alien”. Whatever it is, it seems they take things a bit too far. Some rabbis speculate that they are drunk.

Thesaurus.com lists the following synonyms for the word “drunk” (as in “intoxicated”):
bashed, befuddled, boozed up*, buzzed*, canned, crocked*, drinking, drunken, flushed*, flying*, fuddled, gassed, glazed*, groggy, hammered, high*, hosed, in orbit, inebriated, jolly, jugged, juiced*, laced*, liquored up*, lit*, lush, merry, muddled, oiled, on a bun, overcome, pie-eyed, plastered*, plowed, potted*, seeing double*, sloshed*, soaked, sotted, soused, stewed*, stoned*, tanked*, tight*, tipsy, totaled*, wasted*, zonked

To that list I could add: sauced, snookered, fermented, obliterated and many more.

So, limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring something which represents – in name, form or ingredients – one of those words or any other synonym of your choosing.


Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.

Shabbat Tzav (Lev. 6:1-8:36)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

This weeks’ portion begins saying “This is the Ritual (Tzav) of burnt offering.”. However, various interpretations give the meaning of tzav as “commandment”, “law” or even “Torah”.

One commentator explains that the word “Torah” does not always apply to the 5 books of Moses. It can mean the 5 books plus Talmud. Or all the official holy books together (Torah, Prophets, Writings, etc). Then there’s “the Torah of Solomon” (all the teachings of Solomon). Some people go so far as to say that any wise thing said by any Jew anywhere is part of the Spoken Torah – that we are constantly contributing to an ever growing body of knowledge and learning.

SO, limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring a food which appears prominently in your Torah – your personal collection body of knowledge and teaching.


Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.

Shabbat Vayikra (Lev. 1:1-5:26)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

Fasten your seatbelts, keep your hands completely inside the ride, hold onto your hats and small children. We are about to begin the gripping, chilling, heart pumping action of Leviticus.

Or not.

Yeah, I definitely may be off on that one.

The fact is that splattering blood is chilling in a Hitchcock movie, but somehow it loses it’s gruesome appeal when it’s done by a priest wearing a bath towel around his head and jingle-bells on his pastel-colored robes, and the victim is a defenseless pigeon. Actually, I think that’s a “Far Side” I saw once.

Depending on your guilt (it’s always about guilt, isn’t it?) you can bring goats, sheep, birds (anybody have a copy of Tom Leherer’s “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”?) or flour (“meal”). The interesting thing is that the flour has to be pure – without leaven. Chametz, the word for leven with which we’ll become constipatingly familiar in a few weeks can also mean “sour”. And the idea was that the leaven soured the offering.

Therefore, limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring something which is either pure (unsoured) *OR* something which requires an ingredient which has soured.


Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.