Shabbat Vayikra (Lev. 1:1-5:26)
The book of Exodus was completed and that of Leviticus opened under a blanket of silent white purity. Hope, faith and trust in the world and God lead me to believe that by the time Leviticus is done, the world will be renewed with life and color.
Metaphorically speaking, Exodus created the external structure for Judaism – creating a people out of a few ragtag tribes, giving them an identity first as “the slaves brought out of Egypt” and soon after as “the people who Chose”. It’s a pretty thin and shaky way to describe a nation. They built a Mishkan, a tent – itself a fragile structure with enormous space inside – not for dwelling or storage.
Against that backdrop, Leviticus is thick with detail. Sometimes tedious detail, but detail none the less. Gone are the heroic stories and narratives. Even the poetry is absent. We strip the flourish flashy glitz away and get down to business. The framework, the structure, the skeleton (or perhaps exoskeleton) is complete. Now something has to go inside.
Since this is the start of a new book, all food assignments will be either appetizers or desserts – beginnings and endings only. Which makes this week all the more interesting. We’ll be starting the “meatiest” book of Torah with a meal completely devoid of a main course.
Vayikra means “And [God] called”. We need to ask “Called to whom? Told them what?”
SO… limited only by your creativity and the category of food which you will be assigned (once you tell us you are coming), please bring something which “calls”.
Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.