This weeks parashah includes the splitting of the Yam Suf, Red (Reed) Sea, Moshe’s and Bnei Yisrael’s glorious hymn of thanksgiving to God for the miracle, and God’s culinary plan for feeding Bnei Yisrael during their sojourn in the desert.
For our menu, I will focus solely on the manna. I graciously request feedback with splitting of the sea ideas for the future.
In Shemot 16:31, the Torah states:
“The House of Israel called it manna, and it was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like a wafer in honey.”
Rashi interprets this verse to explain that the manna tasted just like a doughnut glazed in honey. The gemara in masechet Yoma describes the manna in miraculous terms; the manna had the ability to taste like any food in the world. So…
I am baking honey cookies for dessert for shabbat. (Sorry, I don’t do deep fried doughnuts) to honor Rashi’s interpretation. I’m going to use the honey cookie recipe I found here (http://www.cookiemadness.net/2008/05/1846/). To simulate the manna at our meal on Shabbat, we are going to feature tofu with a variety of both sweet and savory dipping sauces. Tofu, like the manna, possesses the amazing power of adaptability. Dipping tofu in array of condiments will change the flavor of the tofu.
In addition to celebrating the manna this shabbat, we will also recognize that this shabbat, because of the reading of shirat hayam in the parashah, is referred to as Shabbat Shirah. To celebrate this reference we will:
1. place a card with a Hebrew letter at each place setting. At different points in the meal, each guest will have to start a song that begins with that letter.
2. create a palm tree out of tropical fruits (a pineapple, dates, etc.; something like this, but on a smaller scale http://www.chocolatefountainhire.com/fruitpalmtree/) to represent Tomer Devorah, Devorah’s palm under which she sat and judged–a nod to shirat Devorah in the hafatarah this week.
3. Sing two select songs written by songstress and composer extraordinaire Debbie Friedman, zichronah livrachah: Miriam’s Song about the women’s response to Moshe’s shirat hayam and Devorah’s Song about the judge and her wise leadership.
Have a song-filled a harmonious shabbat!