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Posts Tagged ‘food’

“And they embittered their lives with hard labor, with mortar and with bricks and with all kinds of labor in the fields, all their work that they worked with them with back-breaking labor.” (Exodus 1:14)

Questions: What is the difference between “hard labor,” work with “mortar and bricks” and “all kinds of labor in the fields”? Why does the Bible list these different types of work like this: “all the work that they worked with back breaking labor“? Ok, we get the point. They worked hard. Enough! Is it just for emphasis? Or is there something else going on here?

Ideas: Use peanut butter, apple butter, caramel spread, chocolate spread or any other thick and gooey, mortar-like substance to put together cookie pr cracker “bricks”. Hummus or cream cheese could be used as mortar too.

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“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 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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“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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