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A Sweet Start

Introducing Torah (often beginning with the book of Vayikra/Leviticus) to small children by smearing a book or page (hopefully laminated) with honey and letting them lick it off, thus showing how Jewish learning is sweet, is a well known practice. It’s also one that induces in me an involuntary eye-roll because those kids have got a rude awakening coming when they actually find out what they’re going to be reading.

It’s no secret that Vayikra/Leviticus is not my favorite book in Torah. The least favorite, in fact.

(In my opinion) It lacks the rich storytelling depth of Bereshit/Genesis, the compelling narrative of Shemot/Exodus, the epic adolescent rebelliousness of Bamidbar/Numbers, or the… well, let’s just say that Devarim/Deuteronomy isn’t high on my list either.

But I’m a sucker for baklava. So this this story from ┬áthe Chabad website might help me to re-frame my feelings about the book that focuses on the Priestly Laws. Because they transform the old smear-the-honey tradition into a “dessert holiday” worthy of the sages.