Category Archives: Toldot

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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Parshat Toldot

In this Parsha, Esau comes from the field and he is faint. Rashi says that he was faint from committing murder: כי עיפה נפשי להורגים (Jeremiah 4:31). He tells Yakov to pour him some of the red pottage because he is faint. Yakov was cooking red lentils because his grandfather Avraham had died that day. Rashi explains that Avraham’s life was shortened by five years so that שלא יראה את עשו בן בנו יוצא לתרבות רעה  — he would not have the grief of seeing his grandson falling into bad ways. But then he asks – why lentils? Rashi explains that they are round like a wheel and mourning “is like a wheel revolving in the world.” He also explains that lentils do not have a mouth or opening like other beans do. The mourner is like without a mouth as he is prohibited from speaking. That’s where the custom to feed mourner eggs comes from – they are round and have no mouth. From Mo’ed Katan (21b), it states that for the first three days of the mourning period, the person should not respond or initiate greetings. From the third to seventh days he can respond but not greet.

This week’s recipe is so obvious but how can I resist? Think of all those challenging Parshas about the Mishkan (tabernacle) that I struggled to find recipes for last year. Once in a while a recipe just calls out to you from the Chumash! So here it is…

UPDATE: Update: I tried a new lentil recipe and it’s so awesome I have to post the recipe. It’s called Egyptian Lentil Soup and I found it at Food.com. I made it tonight and it’s just so delicious. Much better than the regular red lentil soup pictured below. My dh tried this tonight and said, ‘this is restaurant soup!’

Egyptian Lentil Soup

  • 5 cups vegetable broth or 5 cups water
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped potatoes
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Add the first 5 ingredients to a large pot; cover and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until the lentils and veggies are tender.
  • Take pot from stove burner and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, add the oil; warm over low heat until the oil is hot but not smoking.
  • Add in the cumin, turmeric, and salt; cook and stir constantly for for 2-3 minutes or until the cumin has released its fragrance (be careful not to scorch the spices).
  • Set spice mixture aside for 1 minute to cool.
  • Stir spice mixture into the lentil mixture; add cilantro, stir to combine.
  • You can puree the soup, in batches, in a blender OR you can use an immersion blender and blend to desired texture (I like to leave it a little chunky).
  • Add in lemon juice; stir to combine.
  • Rewarm soup in soup pot; season if needed with salt/pepper.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/egyptian-red-lentil-soup-94673#?oc=linkback

Genesis 25:34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and a pottage of lentils, and he ate and drank and arose and left.

Regular Red Lentil Soup

  • 2 cup dried red lentils
  • 3 zuchinni, peeled
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 2  chopped onions
  • 1 chopped potato
  • 4 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • salt and pepper
  • water to 2″ above vegetables

Cook 40 minutes and puree.

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