Why Tasting Torah?

Whetting Your Appetite:
An Introduction to Tasting Torah by Rabbi Alexander Davis

rabbi alexander davis tasting torahOne Shabbat, Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin was sitting with his disciples around a Shabbat table. He held up a piece of bread in his hand and proclaimed: “it is written in the Torah, ‘man does not live by bread alone but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of God does man live.’”

Even as he satisfied his hunger, Rabbi Moshe taught his students that humans need more than physical nutrients. We need rest for our bodies, learning for our mind and love for our heart. Appropriately, Shabbat provides the ingredients for a well-balanced life. It is a time for, sleep, study and for family and friends. Shabbat itself, therefore, testifies that humans do not live on bread alone.

Admittedly, sometimes it is all we can do to pick up a challah from the grocery store and get a healthy meal on the table. After rushing around all week from work to school to activities, who has the energy to host a weekly dinner party? And even if we have the energy, how does one serve Torah at the table when it is not necessarily everyone’s taste?

Taam Torah was created to respond to those very questions. Developed during a year-long exploration of food and Jewish tradition called, “Beth El Eats,” Taam Torah began as a weekly Shabbat handout. It quickly garnered a following among cooks and scholars and eaters as an accessible, fun way to enrich Shabbat meals.

During the week, we gobble down food between shuttling kids to soccer practice and catching a show at the theater. With Ta’am Torah and the peace of Shabbat, the meal itself becomes the spring board for a rich discussion. Leaving behind banter around politics and business, grades and sports, we add our voices to a conversation that has continued uninterrupted for 3000 years. Questions yield answers which spark additional questions. And in the process of sharing our insights and our beliefs, our faith and our doubts, we grow together as family and friends. And sometimes, just sometimes, we find that God has joined us at the table.

Thank you to Meryll Page for enriching our meals with delicious new recipes and delicious taste of Torah.

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