Shabbat Chayay Sarah (Gen. 23:1-25:18)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and

The trope (chanting of the Torah) for the portion this week includes the “shalshelet” – a musical sequence that only appears four times in all of Torah (Gen. 19:16, 24:12, 39:8; Lev. 8:23).

It always appears at the beginning of a verse and in each case, it indicates indecision or wavering. The most famous of these comes later on, when Potiphar’s wife asks Joseph to lie with her and he says no but the trope – which is shalshelet – indicates that Joseph may have been sorely tempted by her invitation.

Shalshelet appears this week as Eliezar prays to God asking for guidance to find the right girl to marry Isaac. The Shalshelet hints that his heart may not be in it. The Rabbis speculate that Eliezar had a daughter himself, and wanted Isaac to marry her instead.

You can hear the shalshelet trope in this weeks’ portion here:

SO… limited only by your creativity and the category of food which you will be assigned (when you tell us you are joining us) please bring something which is like shalshelet – indecisive, wavering, or conflicted.

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”.

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