While last week’s post may suggest that this week I will focus on the remaining three plagues that God hurled onto the Egyptians, I chose to focus this week’s shabbat festivities on a more positive aspect of the parahsah. Locusts. darkness, and slaying of the firstborn were a bit too gruesome and challenging for me. Instead, this week’s Torah reading introduces three mitzvoth, commandments, that were given to the fledgling Jewish nation.
The mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh is the first full mitzvah given. Because the Jewish months are set according to a lunar calendar, our table will be adorned with moons of all sorts: 3-D moons, half moons, crescent moons… some edible and some not. The edible moons will be mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, and slices of white-flesh melon.
Our main dish Friday night will be a nod to the second mitzvah mentioned in the parashah — the Korban Pesach, the Pesach offering. For this I am serving lamb chops on a bed of romaine lettuce with a horseradish dressing and a side of vegetable laden matzah farfel (yes, our family might be the only one that loves matzah all year round), reminiscent of the mandate to eat the offering with matzot and merrorim.
Finally, dessert will focus on the third mitzvah — the commandment to place the blood of the Pesach offering on the doorposts and lintel of every Jewish home, the precursor to the mitzvah of mezuzah. For that, I will serve canolis (sort of mezuzah shaped) on a plate that has been brushed with three lines of strawberry sauce.
I’d love for us to get into a discussion about the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh and why it is the first national mitzvah. I’d also love for our kids to be able to recite the Hebrew months in order.