This week’s parashah is the first that deals with the construction of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle that accompanied the Israelites in the wilderness and served as their portable Temple. While the entire structure is described in the parashah, there is special focus on the Ark and the curtains that hang around it. The ark, therefore, will serve as the basis for our Shabbat dinner. To begin with, the golden Ark and the parochet (curtain) are decorated by figures of what in English we call cherubs. In Hebrew, those figures are called cruvim, winged angels that flank the ark. Interestingly (although not etymologically connected as per http://www.balashon.com/2007/07/kruv.html ) cruv means cabbage in modern Hebrew and cruvit means cauliflower. The similarity of the Hebrew for cherub and cabbage makes it too difficult for me to ignore stuffed cabbage and popcorn cauliflower for Shabbat dinner. While not a visual tie in, these dishes will permit us to talk about what these figures looked like and why we think they adorned the Ark. For dessert we will build Arks out of chocolate bars and fill them with mousse. If only I could get gold chocolate bars....
We will also play a game of 20 questions. According to the Abarbanel, each of the 16 materials used to construct the Mishkan falls into one of four categories: animal, vegetable, mineral, and color. These familiar categories lead perfectly into a game of 20 questions about those materials.
Have a cruv-y Shabbat,