Thursday, 14 March 2013

Vayikra with a Pinch of Salt

Welcome to Vayikra, a detailed account of korbanot, the sacrifices brought in the Mishkan. Maybe it is because I am a former vegetarian or because we cannot bring korbanot today but this topic does not excite me. It was not a week where I had an abundance of information to share with the girls. I have always found it surprising that in many communities Sefer Vayikra is the first topic taught to school children.

Obviously, I was not going to try any actual korbanot for the project of the week. And that is all there is in the parasha- except for chapter 2 verse 13.

13. And you shall salt every one of your meal offering sacrifices with salt, and you shall not omit the salt of your God's covenant from [being placed] upon your meal offerings. You shall offer salt on all your sacrifices.יג. וְכָל קָרְבַּן מִנְחָתְךָ בַּמֶּלַח תִּמְלָח וְלֹא תַשְׁבִּית מֶלַח בְּרִית אֱלֹקיךָ מֵעַל מִנְחָתֶךָ עַל כָּל קָרְבָּנְךָ תַּקְרִיב מֶלַח:

There are many beautiful commentaries on this passuk. There is a midrash that on the second day of creation, when Hashem moved half the water into the Heavens, the waters of the ocean became jealous. They wanted to reach these lofty heights. Hashem promised them that they would also achieve a great stature, that is when their salt is used for sacrifices. 

Ramban explains that salt has two diametrically opposed properties. It destroys, as it prevents plants from growing, and it saves, as it preserves food. The salt used on sacrifices is symbolic of our relationship with God. When we serve Him appropriately, it preserves us. When we don't, our own destruction is imminent. 

The salt used in sacrifices is the primary source for the salt used on Challot on Shabbat. Sorry Lot's wife.

If you haven't guessed already, we made salt holders for our project. 

We already have a plethora of salt shakers, so I thought we would make salt bowls. From what I have inferred, salt bowls are preferable for challah because 1) salt shakers are a relatively new invention 2) the challah should be dipped in salt. 

My husband also follows the Moroccan minhag of declaring "Hashem Melech, Hashem Malach, Hashem Yimloch le'olam va'ed" after his first bite of challah. I always assumed this was reminiscent of saying the passuk before Shacharit - a way to inspire the right mood for the meal. Or a pun on 'melach', the Hebrew word for salt. Apparently the meaning is much deeper.

So the project:

I typed the aforementioned passuk and made the text go in a circle.

I printed the circles, let the girls cut them out, and they got to work colouring them.

 When the circles were finished, I laminated them while the girls decorated the cups. The cups were just disposable hot/cold cups, which I cut in half.
 For cup decorating, they used permanent markers.

Meanwhile, Ruti worked on her own project.


When the girls were finished the cups, I hot glue gunned the two parts together.

When the girls were asleep I discovered they misunderstood the purpose of the cups, and thought they were salt shaker holders. I will clarify it before Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom!

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