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Posts Tagged ‘weekly portion’

“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.

spread cookie

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“Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered upon the face of the earth.” (Genesis 11:4)

Questions: Why do you think that the people in this chapter of the Bible specifically decide to build a tower and not some other structure? Why did God punish them in the way that he did  (that they should all speak different languages)? Why did they fear being scattered over the face of the earth?

Ideas: Challenge your family to see who can build a higher tower out of cookies (wafers are great!), pretzels, slices of fruit or anything else you can stack! Confuse your family or your guests by serving a multi-cultural meal – food with interesting names derived from other languages/cultures: nachos, baguettes, sauerkraut, borscht, sushi, eggrolls, goulash, samosas, falafel etc.

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“And God brought us to this place, and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 26:9)

Questions: Why is it that the land of Israel is repeatedly referred to as the land of milk and honey? Why not cattle and sheep, fruits, grain and wine – all of which are mentioned in connection with the land of Israel as well?

Ideas: Serve hot steamed milk and flavor it with honey. Put honey on top of ice cream, or make honey ice cream! Add honey to your yogurt or even add it to your coffee with the milk!

ice cream

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“And it will be, when the Lord, your God, brings you to the land He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, to give you, great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and hewn cisterns that you did not hew, vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant, and you will eat and be satisfied.” (Deuteronomy 6:10–11)

Questions: What warning is Moses trying to give the Israelites here? What is he afraid of? Why this list of things that were not done? And why will they eat and be satisfied anyway? How important is it to have faith?

Ideas: Serve grapes, grape jam/jello, grape juice or good wine, olives, olive oil, or an olive spread.

Olives wine

 

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“The Lord, your God, has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as the stars of the heavens in abundance.” (Deuteronomy 1:10)

Questions: Why are the Israelites numbered like the stars when it is obvious that they are not as many as the stars? Why would someone want to be compared to a star? In  other places the Israelites are compared to grains of sand. What do you think is the difference? What would you rather be compared to? Why?

Ideas: Serve star fruit, fruit cut with a star cookie cutter, salami, tofu or veggies can all be cut in star shapes, or make star-shaped pasta.

starfruit

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“These are the journeys of the children of Israel who left the land of Egypt in their legions, under the charge of Moses and Aaron. Moses recorded their starting points for their journeys according to the word of God, and these were their journeys with their starting points.” (Numbers 33:1–2)

Questions: The Bible recounts the forty-two places that the people of Israel encamped during their exodus from Egypt to the land of Israel. Some of the stops are described in detail; others are just mentioned by name. Some make sense geographically; many make no sense at all. Why is this long recounting necessary at all? Is there value in remembering and recounting a journey that you took? What can it help you do?

Ideas: Energy bars, granola bars, ready-made trail mix, any other type of food items meant for traveling like dried fruit and nuts. You can also create a trail with raisins, chocolates, nuts, or fruit and recount every step of your journey as you eat.

candy trail

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“We wish to bring an offering to God. Every man who found a gold article – an anklet, a bracelet, a ring, an earring or a body ornament – to atone for our souls before God.” (Numbers 31:50)

Questions: Why do you think gold was chosen as the gift of choice? Why do you think that the Israelites thought that giving a piece of jewelry would atone for their souls? Would you have given something? Why and why not? What would you have given? What do you think is the proper way to atone for something?

Ideas: Decorate your table with gold – a gold tablecloth, gold napkins, gold paper goods and cutlery. You can also serve other golden foods: golden grahams, golden syrup, golden raisins, golden delicious apples, Rold Gold pretzels, Yukon Gold potatoes, honey, gold wrapped chocolates, Goldschlager, etc.

gold candy

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“The daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph, came forward, and his daughters’ names were Mahla, Noah, Hogla, Milca, and Tirza.” (Numbers 27:1)

Questions: Why do you think it was so important that the lineage of the daughters of Zelophehad is mentioned here? Do you think your lineage is important too? Why or why not? Why do you think the Bible mentions the names of all these women too? What might this say about the power of standing up for what you believe in? And about the importance of one’s inheritance?

Ideas: Capers are a bit of an acquired taste, but they go well on salad and with chicken and fish. Experiment a bit with this new flavor as a tribute to these remarkable women.

capers

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“God opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you that you have struck me these three times?’” (Numbers 22:28)

Questions: Would you like it if animals could talk? What do you think they would say? What animal would you most like to hear talk? Why? What statement do you think the Bible might be making here about how we should treat animals?

Ideas: Serve three bean salad, three different dishes of food at your table, serve food that comes from all different types of animals, or serve animal crackers, gummy worms and animal-shaped chicken cutlets. Use these animals as props at your table, give them a voice too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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‘They ascended Mount Hor in the presence of the entire congregation. Moses then stripped Aaron of his garments and dressed Eliezer his son in them, and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain.’ (Numbers 20:27-28)

Questions: Why was Aaron told to undress? Do you think he knew that he was going to die? What would you do if you knew when you, or someone you loved was going to die? What would you make sure to do with them or for them? Would you like to be buried on a mountain? Why or why not? Where would you like to be buried? Why?

Ideas: Serve rice or mashed potatoes in the form of two mounds or on two separate plates. For dessert you can simply serve one apple half balanced on top of another apple half. Whipped cream can represent the pillar of cloud, or you can have your guests or your kids try to make marshmallow stacks as the pillar of cloud.

cloud cake

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