Archive for March, 2012

“And Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the Sanctuary and everything in it…. And he poured some of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and he anointed him to sanctify him.” (Leviticus 8:10–12)

Questions: Why did Moses pour oil on Aaron’s head? Why is oil sacred? Why is it used to sanctify objects and people?

Ideas: If you don’t have time to make a marinade or a recipe using a marinade – buy a jar of something marinated. Anoint something you serve with olive oil at the table – put olive oil on olives, on hummus, on your salad, put out a bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping your bread into.

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“You shall salt every meal-offering with salt, you may not discontinue the salt of the covenant of God from your meal offering – on all your sacrifices you shall offer salt.” (Leviticus 2:13)

Questions: Why do nearly all sacrifices include salt? What is it about salt that makes it spiritual or necessary? Is it a preservative? Does it enhance the taste of the meat? Why would God desire salt?

Ideas: Encrust your steak, burger or meatloaf with a salty rub (most steak spices are pretty salty on their own), serve a bowl of salt at the table for dipping, and eat your meat with the right intentions!

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“They brought the Tabernacle to Moses, the Tent and all its utensils: its hooks, its planks, its bars its pillars and its sockets.” (Exodus 39:33)

Questions: Why was the tabernacle brought to Moses? Wasn’t he involved all along? Did it need his approval? Didn’t he approve everything already? What now was Moses’ task?

Ideas: Use Petit-Buerre cookies or graham crackers to have children and adults at your table assemble their own mini versions of the tabernacle (mishkan) using ready made frosting as the “glue”. This can also be done after dinner with a deck of cards or dominoes (minus the frosting!)

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“Moses said to the children of Israel: ‘See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. He has imbued him with the spirit of God, with wisdom, with insight, and with knowledge, and with [talent for] all manner of craftsmanship to do master weaving, to work with gold, silver, and copper.’” (Exodus 35:30–32)

Questions: Why does the Bible need to tell us that Bezalel was talented? Isn’t obvious that God would choose someone talented to build the tabernacle (mishkan)? And anyway, then it tells us that God gave him wisdom, insight, knowledge and talent, so was he really talented? Are all gifts God-given?

Ideas: Set your table with a woven tablecloth, have your children create works of art for display on or around your table, serve bread in baskets to represent Bezalel’s weaving, purchase or make a lattice-topped pie, or simply weave your regular challah or bread recipe in a different – more artistic way! You can also serve Triscuit crackers or Rice/Corn Chex or make Crispix Mix – any kind of cracker or cereal that has a woven form to it will do. Different color strands of fettuccini, Twizzlers or fruit roll up strips can also be woven.

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“He took (the gold) from their hands, and fashioned it with an engraving tool into a molten calf, upon which they said: ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’” (Exodus 32:4)

Questions: Why do you think that Aaron agreed to help make the golden calf? Is he as much to blame as the people were? It seems so out of character for Aaron to agree to this! What do you think happened? Have you ever been in a situation when you have done something against your better judgment? What happened?

Ideas: Serving any kind of roast or beef, even meatloaf will do to represent the calf. Set your table with a golden tablecloth or table runner, decorate the table with gold confetti or golden napkin rings – anything glittery or sparkly with which to decorate your table – or your meatloaf!

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“You will command the children of Israel to bring pure pressed olive oil for the lighting of the eternal menora.” (Exodus 27:20)

Questions: Why does the Bible enumerate that the olive oil must be “pure” and “pressed”? Why olive oil and not any other type of oil? What is special about oil? How was this menora (or candelabra) eternal? What does the Bible mean by eternal?

Ideas: Anything made with extra virgin olive oil or olives, “light” food items. Serve bowls of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping your bread. Light a candelabra in the middle of the table (use olive oil to kindle the flame of course!).

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