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The Edible Torah

 

Posts Tagged ‘torah’

Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com


The portion begins this week with Moses describing the blessings that the Israelites will enjoy if they follow God’s commandments and then links that to the requirement to drive out the inhabitants of the land and destroy their worship sites. It’s so important to avoid contact with idol worship, that Moses tells them to destroy the gold and silver, rather than use it, to avoid even the taint of idolotry. Moses recalls the experiences of the last 40 years and how God helped and taught the Israelites like a parent would help and teach a child, including the fact that manna fell from the sky each day to feed them, and that their clothes and shoes never wore out, and their feet didn’t swell.

Moses warns the Israelites not to forget those blessings when they are settled in the land, and not to fall into the trap of believing that all that is good around them came solely from their own luck and hard work. He finishes this thought with yet another reminder not to worship idols.

Moses talks about the enemies they will have to defeat, and how God is with them – not because they are virtuous (they aren’t, he reminds them) but because God is honoring the promise he made to their ancestors. This leads to a description of the times the Israelites were defiant including the Golden calf and various times the Israelites complained. Moses concludes this section by pointing out that the Israelites began with just 70 people and left as a multitude, and that they saw the miraculous things God did to free them from Egypt.

Moses points out that the Land they are going to enter is not like Egypt, where they had to work to make things grow and thrive. Moses states that this Land is nurtured by God and is fruitful on its own. Because of that they must take care not to worship idols, or all those blessings will cease.


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”.

Vaetchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

After reviewing we are getting a firm talking-to from Mr.-Best-Friends-With-God himself, Moses.

In this portion the Israelites endure this tongue lashing along with snippets of VERY familiar phrases – things like "Shema Yisrael", and "V’ahavta". Words that have kept with us (and some say kept us whole) through the millenia. Because this is the first Shabbat after the emotionally charged holiday Tisha B’av, this is also popularly known as "Shabbat Nachamu" or Shabbat of Comfort (after the opening words of this week’s Haftarah portion which read "Comfort, O comfort My people").

So, limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring a food for Jewish survival.


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 Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

We’re standing on the high hilltop of July, and from our lofty vantage point we can see September. The Three Weeks are pushing us forward, down the slope toward the sadness of Tisha B’av, the momentary diversion of Tu B’Av, the thoughtfulness and preparation during the month of Elul, and finally arriving at the majesty of the Days of Awe.

We are standing on a cusp. The end of a beginning, or the beginning of an end. It’s always so hard to tell.

The metaphor is mirrored in the Torah cycle, where we have left the wilderness (Bamidbar) and are now surrounded by words (Devarim) and more words. Words that are oddly familiar, an echo of other words in other parts of Torah. Some words meant to enlighten us, some to fortify us, and some words which are discouraging.

In this first portion of the last book of Torah, Moses – the man who originally described himself as being “slow of speech” begins his final epic oration, a summary of their journey and what the the nation of Israel has learned in the process. His words this week are, by turns discouraged and discouraging as past mistakes are brought back up.

SO… limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring something that represents "words" or "discouragement". Or both.


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 Matot-Ma’asei (Numbers 30:2 – 36:13)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

It’s the end of the book of Numbers, . Rather than focus on the specifics of this portion, we thought we would try to recap the entire experience of Bamidbar in the meal this week. So, limited only by the category of food assigned and your bountiful creativity, please bring a dish based on the character which matches the assignment (or perhaps bring a dish as it might have been prepared BY that character).

Guest1 – Aaron – appetizers
Guest2 – Korach – challah
Guest3 – Miriam – salad
Guest4 – Pinchas – vegetable
Guest5 – Joshua – starch
Guest6 – Moses – main dish
Guest7 – Bilam – fruit
Guest8 – Tzelophachad’s daughters – dessert
Guest9 – Eldad & Midad – you’ll need to fortell what we might need that isn’t listed


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 Pinchas (Numbers 25:10 – 30:1)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

In addition to the dramatic events left over from last week (Israelites being tempted into idolatry and adultery by Midianite showgirls, culminating in one couple attempting to have relations in the Tent of Meeting itself, only to be thwarted (not to mention skewered where they lay) by Pinchas, we hear about the divvying up of the Promised Land.

This leads to a conundrum for 5 tribeswomen – the daughters of Zelophechad. It seems the poor guy kicked the bucket without any male heirs, or brothers. The daughters put forward their case – that they shouldn’t be cut off from their portion of land – and God agrees.

Only by standing together are they able to make their case, and in doing so they continue to make strides toward bringing the sexes together in true equality.

SO… limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please plan to bring a “united 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 Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

A talking donkey, an invisible angel, a cursing king and a pagan prophet with a case of divine dyslexia. Only in Torah can you get a story like that. OK, maybe there’s “Shrek”, but it’s not quite the same. Although it has to make you wonder what John Lithgow sounds like speaking Hebrew…

I remember a story from childhood about two little sisters. One would speak and out of her mouth would come diamonds and rubies. Her sister, on the other hand, couldn’t utter a word without coughing up snakes and frogs. No wonder I had such a hard time going to sleep as a kid.

This week we’re going to look at the difference between what we say and what we mean, between what we say and what others understand.

So, limited only by the category of food which you have been assigned please bring food which is a curse to the one cooking, but a blessing to those who eat it. It doesn’t have to be YOU (the cook) who is cursed. Perhaps it was the recipe your grandmother made every year, cursing under her breath even hough everyone around the table sang her praises. Or maybe it is the dish you wish you had never learned to make. The choice is yours.


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 Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

RedBull, it gives you wings! Or in the case of the portion this week, the ability to enter The Temple after coming into contact with a corpse.

The Red Heiffer is just one of the items that is difficult (if not downright impossible) to get a hold of these days.

In the blink of an eye, 38 years pass in the Torah narrative – time that we can never get back or find out about. Miriam dies, and her mystical well dries up. Aaron and Moses forget to follow directions, and their punishment is that seeing the Promised Land is placed out of their reach. And last but not least, Aaron dies, and Moses finds himself the last of his family, let alone his generation, after the Israelite’s 40 year trek through the desert.

For these reasons (and any others you can find in the portion), and being limited only by your uniquely boundless creativity and the category of food which we will assign, please plan to bring a food which is rare, or even impossible, in some aspect.


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 Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

Good old Korach. Such a joker.

The Israelites have screwed up bigtime – they lost faith at the border of Canaan and have been doomed to wander until the entire generation of slaves has died out. Not only that, but some folks thought they could push the issue, and tried to take Canaan by force (and without Moses or God on their side. Not a good idea!). The results were as tragic as they were predictable – they got crushed.

But that was last week. This week, back on the desert trail, some folks are understandably miffed. However, you would have thought everyone got the whole Moses + God = BFF’s concept. Nope. Korach and his gang of 250 attempt a violent takeover. The results are, again tragic and yet predictable. Swallowed up by the earth, Korach and his associates become a vivid example of how NOT to stage a political protest.

Limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring something that is contained in something else, swallowed up.


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 Beha’alotcha (Numbers 8:1 – 12:16)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

So many interesting ideas clamor for attention this week:

  • silver trumpets and the logistics of getting any number of Israelites moving on time;
  • Moses getting fed up with the non-stop whining, and as a solution appointing 70 elders to over see things (how helpful do you think 70 old Jewish men were, exactly?).
  • Then some of the elders start prophesizing, and pimply-faced Joshua gets his knickers in a twist about it. read more…

Shabbat Sh’lach (Numbers 13:1 – 15:41)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com

This is the portion where the 12 scouts go to scope out the new Israelite digs (Canaan) – and wind up with a huge inferiority complex. 10 of the scouts despair that they (the Israelites) could never succeed in conquering the Canaanites – people as big as giants they say – and start whining (again) about how much better it was back in Egypt. 2 of the spies (Joshua and Kaleb) keep the faith, but the consequences for the Israelites are pretty depressing.

So, limited only by the size of your car and the category of food which you have been assigned please bring something which is either very large, or very small.


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”.