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Archive for November, 2012

“’And Esau ran toward him and embraced him, and he fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.” (Genesis 33:4)

Questions: Why do you think Esau was the one who ran to his brother? Do you think he was sincere in giving him a hug and a kiss? The verse says that both of the brothers wept – what do you think that each one was crying about?

Ideas: Serve chocolate chips or raisins, serve cinnamon raisin bread or bake chocolate chips or raisins into bread or challa to spark discussion about ‘dots.’ Make chicken soup with a chicken or turkey neck and place the neck in a bowl on the table. Serve ‘bite’-sized hors d’oeuvres, or use Tabasco sauce or hot peppers in your cooking – to give everything at your table a little ‘bite.’ For dessert: Hershey’s kisses.

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“Reuben went in the days of the wheat harvest, and he found dudaim in the field and brought them to Leah, his mother, and Rachel said to Leah, ‘Now give me some of your son’s dudaim.’ And she said to her, ‘Is it a small matter that you have taken my husband, that you wish also to take my son’s dudaim?’ So Rachel said, ‘Therefore, he shall sleep with you tonight as payment for your son’s dudaim.’ When Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah came forth toward him, and she said, ‘You shall come to me, because I have hired you with my son’s dudaim,’ and he slept with her on that night.” (Genesis 30:14–16)

Questions: What do you think these dudaim represent? Why was Reuben involved in all of this? Why do you think Rachel was so desperate to purchase these dudaim that she was willing to give up a night with her husband for the privilege or pleasure of having them?

Ideas: Jasmine tea, plain jasmine rice, dried figs, fig bars, placing a pot of African violets on your table, and even mandrake liqueur from Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek in the North of Israel, where mandrakes are grown!

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“And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Give me some of this red, red stew, for I am faint;’ he was therefore named Edom.” (Genesis 25:30)

Questions: Why did Esau think that he was about to die? Why do you think he calls the food that Jacob is cooking “red” twice? Why does the Bible then make the point of telling us that it is because of this request of his (or this incident) that he is called “Edom”?

Ideas: Add lentils to your cholent or stew, serve a lentil salad, or mujadara (rice and lentils). You could also serve red things – red peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, red jello, tomato sauce, red meat etc. Or “twin” foods like sandwich cookies, two serving plates of every food you are serving, or give everyone two forks, two plates, two cups etc.

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“And afterwards, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre, which is Hebron, in the land of Canaan. 20. And the field and the cave within it were established to Abraham as burial property, purchased from the sons of Heth.” (Genesis 23:19-20)

Questions: Why was it so important to Abraham to own a plot of land for the burial of his wife? Why didn’t he want to own a plot of land before this? Why was this plot of land a cave?

Ideas: Serve chocolate coins for dessert, purchase and serve cookies that look like little mountains (like the Israeli cookie – “Krembo” or  the equivalent “Mallomars” or “Whippets”) or you can purchase and serve a chocolate jelly-roll cake to represent the cave.

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“Lot’s wife looked back, and she turned into a pillar of salt.” (Genesis 19:26)

Questions: Why do you think that Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt? Salt is also known to be a preservative – can you think of a reason God might have wanted to preserve Lot’s wife? What would have been a better punishment for Lot’s wife in your opinion? Why?

Ideas: Place an extra dish of coarse or “kosher” salt at the table, serve salty things like sardines, feta cheese, potato chips, peanuts, cold cuts, hot dogs, pickles, olives, saltine crackers etc.

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