Savoring Songs and Heavenly Delights
This weeks parashah includes the splitting of the Yam Suf, Red (Reed) Sea, Moshe's and Bnei Yisrael's glorious hymn of thanksgiving to God for the miracle, and God's culinary plan for feeding Bnei Yisrael during their sojourn in the desert.
Next year, God willing, I will focus on Yam Suf and Shirat Hayam. This year, because we are invited out for both lunch and dinner, I will focus solely on the manna.
In Shemot 16:31, the Torah states:
"The House of Israel called it manna, and it was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like a wafer in honey."
Rashi interprets this verse to explain that the manna tasted just like a doughnut glazed in honey. The gemara in masechet Yoma describes the manna in miraculous terms; the manna had the ability to taste like any food in the world. So....
I am baking honey cookies for shabbat to take to our hosts. (Sorry, I don't do deep fried doughnuts) to honor Rashi's interpretation. I'm probably going to use the honey cookie recipe I found here. Our Friday night host is a wonderful friend and an enthusiastic team player; when she invited us, she asked for an idea for a parashah-related menu item. We came up with tofu, which like the manna possesses the amazing power of adaptability. Dipping tofu in array of condiments will change the flavor of the tofu.
[BTW, if this sounds familiar to anyone who has been an avid reader of BabagaNewz, these ideas have been repurposed from a lesson I wrote several years ago. :-) ]
This shabbat, because of the reading of shirat hayam in the parashah, is referred to as Shabbat Shirah. To celebrate this reference I would (or will):
1. place a card with a Hebrew letter at each place setting. At different points in the meal, each guest would have to start a song that begins with that letter. (I'll see if either set of hosts is game.)
2. bring a decorative bird feeder and birdseed for our hosts' gardens as a host gift. (This commemorates that the birds did not dine on the manna--and to encourage the birds' warbling and song.)
3. create a palm tree out of tropical fruits (a pineapple, dates, etc) to represent Tomer Devorah, Devorah's palm under which she sat and judged--a nod to shirat Devorah in the hafatara this week.
Have a song-filled a harmonious shabbat!
© Tammie Rapps 2009