Category Archives: Matot-Massei

Parshat Matot-Massei

This week’s Parsha includes a continuation of the saga of the daughters of Tzelafchad. Their situation is significant to all Israelites because it leads to a discussion about the general laws of inheritance. In fact Chazal repeatedly refer to this episode as “Parshat Nachalot” (the portion dealing with inheritance matters).

Having secured their father’s inheritance in the previous Parsha,  they’re now concerned about marriage. It’s important to note that the daughter’s claim occurs right after the census (26:2). Rav Elchana Samet explains that since only men were counted, and their father was dead, the daughters stood to lose their father’s inheritance in the land of Israel. Because the tribal borders were to be based on this census.

They married within the shevet of Menashe but future generations of women who inherited land were allowed to marry ‘out’ of their tribe. In this generation only they had to marry within their tribe so that Menashe’s property wasn’t diminished.

I wanted to do a recipe that was connected to Shevet Menashe. I thought of the B’nei Menashe, a small group of people in North-Eastern India who believe that they are descendants of Menashe and are part of the ten lost tribes. They’ve been practicing Judaism for over 27  years and many have them moved to Israel. They are situated close to Myanmar – Burma. I’m assuming that there is a similar cuisine because of the close geographic proximity. Here’s a Burmese recipe for Beef Potato Curry. I think that next time I cook this recipe I’ll substitute cauliflower for the potato.

Beef and Potato Curry: a recipe from Burma

Beef Potato Curry from Burma

  • 1 lb beef, cut into strips or cubes
  • 5 potatoes, cubed
  • 2 onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons, chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt
  • 2 cups water

Put the garlic, ginger, turmeric, onion, and chili powder into food processor and process until it’s a paste. Heat oil in a sauce pan and add the paste. Cook for 5-10 minutes, adding water if it starts to dry out or burn. Add cumin and continue cooking until golden brown. Add meat until browned. Season with salt and add water and potatoes. Cover pan and continue cooking until the potatoes are soft.

Chazak chazak V’Nitchazek.





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