Parshat Vayikra Sweets and Treats
In this week’s Torah Portion, Parshat Vayikra, we learn about the many korbanot (sacrifices) that would be offered by the Kohanim (priests) in the newly completed Mishkan (Tabernacle). Sacrifices could consist of cattle, sheep, goats, fowl or cooked or raw wheat and spices. Some were completely burnt and others were eaten by the Kohanim and/or the person giving the sacrifice. All voluntary meal offerings also contained olive oil and frankincense. Salt is to be added to every animal sacrifice or meal offering, a symbol of our everlasting “salt covenant” with Hashem. We are also commanded not to include any leavened items (with two exceptions) or anything which contains honey in any korban. We are prohibited from eating blood and specific fats that were offered on the altar, even of animals not used for korbanot.
This week is also Parshat HaChodesh – as we celebrate Rosh Chodesh Nissan on Shabbat. In this special reading, we recall the commandment of the first mitzvah given to the Jewish People – the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh, the new moon. Candy moons (which could be bananas from mixed fruit shape candies or white nonpareils) are a great representative treat this week!
There are may symbolic treats that can correspond with the themes of this week’s parsha! Animal crackers represent the animal sacrifices that are discussed in detail as well as the prohibition to eat blood and fats brought on the altar. Atomic Fire Balls symbolize the sacrifices that were burnt in the Mishkan. Yellow rock candy can symbolize the olive oil and spices used in some korbanot. White rock candy can represent the salt added to all animal and meal sacrifices. Honey candy represents the prohibition against sacrifices which contain honey.
If you would like to make an extra special dessert this week, I would recommend a family favorite – Smores Pie. Simply fill a graham cracker crust with your favorite brownie or chocolate cake recipe. After about 20 minutes of baking, add marshamallows on top and continue baking until the marshmallows are golden brown. This treat could represent the burnt offerings brought in the Mishkan!
Do you have other ideas? Please share them in the comments section below!