Dreams, Dreams, Dreams
Because this week is Shabbat Chanukkah, we will start our Shabbat dinner with a candle salad at each place setting: a round pineapple slice with a banana topped with a grape flame in the center. We will also have latke taste test at Shabbat dinner, with pancakes made from a variety of vegetables.
As for Parashat Mikeitz, the beginning of the parashah casts Yosef as the interpreter of dreams once again when he is called to Pharaoh’s court to explain the strange nightmares that have been plaguing the king. Those dreams will be the basis of our meals this Shabbat. For dinner, we will enjoy a lot of courses, lavish table settings, and a variety of “stuffed” dishes (vegetables, meats, etc.) to represent the fat (or stuffed) cows in Pharaoh’s dream; our table will overflow with abundance and plenty.
Before dessert on Friday night, we will distribute a small Chanukkah “goody bag” to each person at the table. In one bag, we will hide a small cup, reminiscent of the goblet that Yosef hid in Binyamin’s sack, and thereby launch a parashat hashavua discussion.
In contrast to Shabbat dinner, we will start our Shabbat lunch with a hunger banquet, symbolizing the skinny cows and shrunken sheaves of wheat in Pharaoh’s dream. Other than two small challah rolls and one cup of grape juice, the table will be empty and I will hide all the food that we will eventually eat. We will talk about what it means not to have any food, how famine could impact a nation, and what Yosef advised Pharaoh to do to prepare for this eventuality. We will search our store houses (aka pantry closet) for the provisions, which will, luckily, be well stocked with a filling, but more modest meal than the previous night’s. I will make lunch dairy so we can enjoy the aptly named “Skinny Cow” brand dessert.
Shabbat Shalom and Chanukkah Sameach!