How does food get to our shulchan (table)?

Confession: We’ve been keeping a surprise in Beit Shorashim v’Shteelim. After two weeks of practicing the ברכות (brakhot-blessings) we say when we’re about to eat food and when we see amazing things in nature, we have started learning about and practicing 5 of the main steps it takes for food to get to our שׁוּלְחָן (shulchan-table). And this week, we were able to go through all of them to create a special meal for everyone in our קְבוּצָה.

1. First, we harvest the food on our farm.



2. Second, we pack our produce into bins.



3. Third, we transport our food all the way to the store. Sometimes we can take our food to a store that’s close to our farm (usually a short trip around Beit Shorashim), but sometimes we have to take our food to a store FAR away, requiring a trip around the whole building. Sometimes we are trains, sometimes we are bicycles, and sometimes we are cars safely traveling a local route suggested by one of our Shteelim (“Let’s go on Lake Shore Drive!”).


One big Shorashim רַכֶּבֶת (rakevet-train).


4. Fourth, we sell and buy our food at the store. We know a lot about what stores might need- refrigeration systems, prices for food, and ways to pay for the food to name a few!


“This keeps the food wet- every time the food gets dry the water comes down from the ceiling, and you can open the top like this.”


“One of these is $1,000.”


“I’m making a credit card.”

When money and credit cards weren’t available, though, we found other ways to barter our different skills and trades to help everyone get what they needed. First one Shorashimer traded the storekeepers a chocolate-covered pretzel they had baked in the מִטְבָּח (mitbach-kitchen) for fresh store produce they wanted for dinner later.


Then, another Shteelimer came up with the idea of giving the store’s produce to the people working in the מִטְבָּח in exchange for some of the meal they were cooking.


“We will give you all the food, and you will invite us to dinner, okay?”


5. Finally, we prepare our food- another step about which we know a lot- and our שׁוּלְחָן for a delicious שַׁבָּת (Shabbat-Sabbath) feast. Two Shorashimers decide to call everyone in Beit Shorashim to make sure they know it’s happening.


Peeling carrots for a “juicy” vegetable stew.


Calling our חברים (chaverim-friends) to invite them to our meal

Before we dig in, we each say something we did to make our meal possible- knowing we all pitched in makes one of Shteelimer feel “happy!”. We all agree we’re having a שַׁבָּת meal and even remember a special בְּרָכָה (berakhah-blessing) for wine and grape juice that some Jewish people say at שַׁבָּתץ


“I know it’s שַׁבָּת [and not a regular meal] because the cloth on the challah says it.” “And because there are candles!”

It takes SO much work for food to get to us- the meals we make together and the ones we have with our families. And when we all work together, we can make something amazing- and discover even more reasons to feel happy and say a בְּרָכָה along the way.


1 comment

    • Stacie Dennis on November 7, 2015 at 7:54 AM
    • Reply

    Beautiful lesson and the kids are so engaged. Love the creativity!

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