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Bringing Parsha to your Table… one dish at a time

Themed Shabbat meals allow us to focus on the Parashat HaShavua in an engaging and dynamic way.

Here is the meal that I plan to serve for this Shabbat on which we read about the creation of the universe. Each dish will represent a day of creation:

Day one: light and dark

  • a platter of white basmati rice and black rice served side by side
  • On Friday night, we’ve also served black bean soup and white bean soup poured into the same bowl. When poured simultaneously, they stay distinct and separate.

Day two: separation of the waters and the firmament

  • Layered mocktail drinks (orange or pineapple juice and grenadine or cranberry juice work well) To layer a mocktail, you need a clear glass, a spoon, and juices of different densities. Start by pouring the heaviest liquid into the cup (syrupy drinks such as grenadine are heaviest). Invert your spoon in the glass and pour the next layer over the back of the spoon very slowly and gently. That should help the next layer fall smoothly atop the first. If you are brave enough for a third layer, just remember to go form heaviest to lightest.

Day three: trees, seeds, and flowers

  • Salad made of broccoli trees, flowers created from vegetables (i.e., pepper petals, string bean stems, carrot flowers, alfalfa sprout grass) etc. If I find edible flowers, I would definitely include them.

Day four: sun, moon, stars

  • A gorgeous sunburst made of pureed winter squash, cranberries, and apple slices.
  • Star-shaped pasta, a small bowl (small relative to the sunburst) of mashed potatoes for the moon.

Day five: birds, fish, etc.

  • A bird’s nest created out of spaghetti, birds shaped out of chicken tenders with black sesame seed eyes and tails made from cellophane-topped cocktail picks.

Day six: Humans

  • Easy to recognize God’s greatest creation: RIBS!


  • Sinfully delicious chocolate cake–shaped like a snake. To create a snake cake, bake cakes in two bundt pans (I have mini bundts that I am using for a very narrow snake), cut each cake in half, and line up the halves in alternating directions to make a swervy snake. Decorate the snake with frosting tinted green and an array of candy embellishments; your family and guests will understand just how enticing that serpent could have been!
  • To honor the creation of darkness and light, we are making black and white cookies and have bought black and white jelly beans.

Shabbat Shalom.

Tammie Zaks Rapps creates menu plans that reflect each week’s Torah reading. Tammie feels that “Themed Shabbat meals allow us to focus on the Parashat HaShavua in an engaging and dynamic way.” Check out Tammie’s blog at and follow her here on ChallahCrumbs!