Monthly Archives: November 2013

Parshat Vayeitzei

And he encountered the place (Bereishit 28:11)

Here’s a very short vort for the Parsha. Why it’s so short…it’s a micro-vort!

Yaakov leaves Bersheva and travels to Charan, where his uncle Lavan lives. En route, he encounters “the place” – Mount Moriah. The Pasuk describing the place, is one of the sources for Maariv, the evening prayer.

According to Rabbi Joshua ben Levi in Midrash Rabbah, the patriarchs established our three daily Tephillot (prayers).

Avraham instituted Shacharit, the morning prayer, because in Bereishit 19:27 it says, “And Avraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before God.”

Isaac instituted Mincha, the afternoon prayer, because it says in Bereishit/Genesis: 24:63) “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening.”

Jacob instituted Maariv, the evening prayer, as it says , “And he encountered The Place… because the sun had set.”

Here’s a dish with three vegetables.

IMG_8061

Three Salad

  • 1 lb green beans
  • 4 red peppers
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Trim green beans. Cut peppers in strips and slice mushrooms in half.
  2. Drizzle oil and spices on the vegetables and bake in the oven at 400 F for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

B’tayavon and have a great Shabbat.

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Parshat Toldot

In this last week’s Parsha, (I’ve had heavy-duty technical problems with the blog that kept eating up my posts) Yitzchak has become tremendously wealthy. He’s dug up some of his father Avraham’s wells that had been stuffed up by the Philistines who eventually become so jealous of his success that they ask him to leave. Yitzchak then re-settles in the Gerar valley where his servants dig two new wells. The ownership of those wells are contested by the Philistines so they dig a third well which was uncontested. Yitzchak calls the well ‘Rechovot.’ “He named it Rehoboth, and he said, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”

According to the Ramban, those first two wells allude to the first two Temples, which were destroyed by Israel’s enemies. The third well represents the future Third Temple which will be established without hostility and strife. “G-d will then broaden our boundaries and all nations will serve Him in unison.”

The image of Rechovot and fruitfulness conjures up an image of the modern Israeli city of Rechovot – where my brother and sister-in-law live.  Although it is apparently not the same location as Yitzchak’s well, it reminded me of an image I had of the city the first time I visited it. The main boulevards were covered with rows of orange trees that were bursting with fruit.

An orange tree on a Rechovot street. Photo courtesy of Stephen Epstein.

An orange tree on a Rechovot street. Photo courtesy of Stephen Epstein.

The closest thing I’ve seen to a public fruit tree here in Canada, is a chestnut tree at the entrance to our local park. I tried baking those chestnuts one year and they were completely bitter.

In any case, the image of fruit and fruitfulness and the memories of Rechovot inspired me to do an orange-related recipe. So here it is – Orange Cranberry Muffins.

Bereishit 26:22 22. And he moved away from there, and he dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehoboth, and he said, "For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land."

Bereishit 26:22 22. And he moved away from there, and he dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehoboth, and he said, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”

Healthy-ish Orange Cranberry Muffins

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup Splenda (or if those chemicals give you the willies, use 1 cup brown sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cranberries (not Craisins)

Place batter in paper-lined muffin tins and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

B’tayavon and I hope you had a great Shabbos.

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