TAMBOURINES AND MANNA COOKIES
This has gotta be one of the best parshiot for kids.
I knew that I wanted to repeat our Passover tradition of creating Kriat Yam Suf in the doorway. The girls love running through the streamers, pretending to split the sea.
I was also excited to make some kind of tambourine with the girls based on Exodus 15:20: "And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines, dancing." Artistic tambourines have become a new Jewish feminist symbol.
Thankfully, I found a simple craft version on Crayola's website. Unfortunately, I accidentally bought cake pans instead of pie pans which would have worked better but we managed.
This parsha is also very food-friendly. The miraculous food of the desert included water, quail, and manna. No lamb last week and no quail this week. But, I was determined to reproduce manna. Andy's suggestion was to use tofu since Rashi writes that the manna "tasted like whatever the person eating it desired." But, I was more interested in the description in the text of the manna which is that it was like "coriander seed, white; and its taste was like wafers made with honey." I found this easy recipe online for "manna cookies":
1/2 c. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 tsp. honey
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and mix well. Add honey and vanilla. Add flour slowly. Drop by half teaspoon on cookie sheet then bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes or until done. We rolled the cookies in powdered sugar so that they were white like Manna.
I totally forgot about the end of the parsha in which the Israelites have their first encounter with Amalek. But, Maya asked me about it because in the parsha coloring pages, there was a picture of Moshe with Chur and Aaron on either side of him supporting his arms. I had her get my Tanach so that I could read her the story since I forgot the details of this event. Basically, I explained that when Moshe's hands were lifted, the Israeliltes were able to defeat Amalek with Hashem's help. This description was promptly followed by Maya's question: "How can Hashem help them? He doesn't even talk. He doesn't even have arms or legs!" And I immediately called for Andy to come in from the kitchen. He's the Rabbi; let him answer this one! Andy explained to Maya that there are some times when something seems really hard or even impossible for her to do but then somehow she can do it and that power that helps her to do it is Hashem. Or something like that. It was sketchy. Talking about God does not seem to be getting any easier.