Saturday, February 11, 2017

Shabbat Shalom! Tu B`Shevat Challah and Seven Fruits and Grains

                                                             Today`s Shabbat was also the holiday called Tu B`Shevat.  It is the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat (see two posts below!).

  On this day it is tradition to eat foods that are from the seven types of fruits and grains--barley, wheat, grapes, figs, pomegranates, dates/honey, and olives ---which are mentioned throughout the Torah as the main produce of Israel.

This recipe for a Biblical Challah and date butter combines these tastes.

 I made the challah using a variation of the Biblical foods that I was able to find locally in Japan.  I couldn`t find a pomegranate, but did have one ingredient that came from Israel, the famous Israeli grapefruit that I wrote about in this post below!!

God is so good.  As we are reading about the manna in this weeks Parsha, we know that He provides what we need, and everything comes from Him.  Little did I know earlier this week when I saw the Israeli grapefruit --from Jaffa --in the local supermarket,  that it would be one of the indgredients* that was called for in the recipe for this week`s Challah!! His ways are so much greater than ours!!

The grapefruit from Israel became the center of this week`s Challah and celebration of fruits!

                     Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, 
so is my lover among the sons.
In his shadow I delighted to sit,
and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He has brought me to the banquet house
and his banner over me is love.
Sustain me with raisin cakes,
refresh me with apples---
for I am weak with love.             ---Song of Songs 2: 3~5

There are so many references to the spices and fruits of Israel in the Song of Songs, one of the scriptures that is read to welcome the Shabbat.  There is choice fruit, pomegranates, all the finest spices, honey from the honeycomb, and all the trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes.  These passages can touch our souls as our senses are filled with the fruits and sweetness of Shabbat.  May we prepare a Shabbat table to welcome the God of Israel into our hearts and deeper into our lives.  May we taste and see that He is good and know that His Love endures forever.

Delight in the Shabbat, Shabbat Shalom!

Shalom be upon Israel!  --Psalm 125, 128

I went down into the garden of nut trees
to look at the fruit of the valley,
to see if the vine had budded, 
or the pomegranates had bloomed.
Before I was aware, my soul sent me
among the chariots 
of my princely people.

---Song of Songs  6:11~12 

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