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Archive for December, 2012

“May the angel who redeemed me from all harm bless the youths, and may they be called by my name and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, and may they multiply abundantly like fish, in the midst of the land.” (Genesis 48:16)

Questions: Why do you think it is a blessing to increase like the fish of the sea? Why are the children of Israel compared to fish? Why do you think that we sing this song to little children? Who is the angel that is mentioned in the verse?

Ideas: Fish! Gefilte fish, sardines, tuna quiche, salmon concealed in puff pastry or phyllo dough, Angel Food Cake. Set your table with hamsas, scatter turquoise beads and eye charms or tie napkins with red string.

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“Joseph gave the wagons according to Pharaoh’s instructions, and he also provided them with food for the journey…. Joseph sent the following to his father: ten male donkeys carrying Egypt’s finest products, and ten female donkeys carrying grain, bread and food for his father’s journey.” (Genesis 45:21–23)
“And when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to transport him, the spirit of Jacob their father was revived.” (Genesis 45:27)

Questions: Why do you think that Joseph sent wagons to his father instead of going himself? Why do you think that Jacob’s spirit was revived at the sight of the wagons?

Ideas: Arrange slices of citrus, avocado, red pepper or other vegetables on a plate in the shape of a wagon wheel. Make little wagons out of celery, carrots, peanut butter and raisins (cut a small section of celery, fill with peanut butter, use two round carrot slices for wheels and decorate with raisins). Serve round cookies for dessert, and don’t forget some good-quality aged wine!

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“If that’s the way it must be, do this: take products that the land is famous for in your baggage, a little balsam, a little honey, some gum and resin, pistachios and almonds.” (Genesis 43:11)

Questions: Why do you think that Jacob felt a need to send gifts with Benjamin at all? Why did they choose such an unusual assortment of goods? Why did the Bible feel it important to tell us exactly the gifts that they brought?

Ideas: Serve pistachios or almonds, almond or honey cookies, marzipan, make or buy a honey cake, serve honey with tea, offer gum instead of an after-dinner mint, or bring a gift of sugared almonds, roasted pistachio nuts and honey.

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“And Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was a son of his old age; and he made him a ketonet passim.” (Genesis 37:3)

Questions: What do you think Joseph’s “ktonet passim” looked like? Why do you think that Jacob gave it to him? Why was Joseph dubbed “the son of his old age” – isn’t Benjamin even younger? Maybe Benjamin wasn’t born yet?

Ideas: Multi-colored cookies (with rainbow sprinkles) or striped candy, a striped vegetable platter (slice multicolored vegetables into long strips and arrange nicely on a platter), set the table with a richly embroidered tablecloth or use striped napkins to decorate your table, however I must request that you not attempt to combine wool and linen at your table somehow – even if it will heal a family feud.

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