L’Chaim! Parshat Shlach
The primary topic in Parshat Shlach is the sin of the Spies. In this blog, however, I try to highlight positive outlook, growth and potential, which is why I’m choosing to spotlight a single statement in this week’s portion, as declared by Yehoshua bin Nun and Kalev ben Yefuneh: “The Land is very, very good” (Bamidbar 14:7).
I noticed that of all the points indicated by the Spies in this parshah, special emphasis is given to grapes. Even as receive instructions regarding their mission, the Torah mentions, “And the season was the days of grape harvest.” Later, as well, in the description of their travels, the verse relates, “And they came until the Eshkol River, and they cut from a vine a single grape cluster, and they carried it on a stick…” (13:23). The designers for Israel’s Ministry of Tourism thought it appropriate to market the beauty of our country with the image of the Spies heaving the giant grape cluster, which eventually became its logo and defining symbol.
Choice Israeli vineyards extend from the Golan Heights until the Judean coastal planes, and Israeli wine has long since made the grade and today competes with gourmet wines on an international scale. Due to the superlative quality and high consumption of wine in this country, wine-lovers are ever seeking aesthetic and innovative means to store their collections and display goblets, shot glasses, and accessories key to this hobby.
At my engagement (about a million years ago!), I remember the guests singing a rousing rendition of “Invei hagefen b’invei hagefen,” although I admit that when it became official, our choice o f l’chaim—both my husband’s and mine was—instead of the real thing, was the other “real thing”—Coke. Neither one of us is a wine lover, although I can never resist a fine bottle of wine and crystal goblets as a motif in design. Wine sets add elegance to any table and class into every meal. So even if I don’t enjoy the taste, maybe the guests will…
I’m pleased to present you with the following table inspirations, dedicated with love to all my wine-loving readers!
This week, which describes Eretz Yisrael as “very, very good,” we celebrated the bar mitzvah of our dear son Noam. This coming Shabbat, he will ascend to the Torah to read Parshat Shlach! Mazal tov to you, Noam, and lots of luck! We’re all raising our glasses high in your honor!