Ekev - 25th August 2016 / 21 Av 5776

In this week’s parasha (Torah portion), Moses reviews the incident of the Golden Calf with the generation waiting to enter the Land of Israel.  He notes that he “gripped two tablets and flung them away with both...hands, smashing them before your eyes.”  (Deut9:17) Commenting on the word “smashing them” (Va’ashabreim) in Hebrew,  the Etz Hayim Torah commentary notes that, in ancient Mesopotamian culture, smashing tablets symbolized the annulment of a contract written thereon.  So, Moses’ smashing moment may have had a legal implication, in addition to rage.  (Etz Hayim p. 1045) In many cultures, the signing of a contract also involved smashing pottery, sometimes in a fire.  Some think that this is why a glass is broken at a Jewish wedding:  the ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) has just been signed.  No one knows for sure the origin of this custom, but we all know that one shouts “Mazal Tov” after the glass is shattered!  Thank you all for your good wishes of Mazal Tov as I take next week to prepare for the breaking of the glass and much more at Abby and Zak’s wedding!

JULY FOOD OF THE MONTH: Canned Tuna  

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