This was passed around at dinner for everyone to place in their mini-Moses' view.
And now, my favorite part, I present you with mini-Moses! All I did was save this coloring page onto my hard drive from this link: Moses Coloring Page
Then, I shrunk it in Microsoft Word after inserting it into a word document as a picture file and printed them out on 4x6 index cards (2 per sheet). Afterward, I just cut them out and taped them onto toothpicks! Now we each had a personal mini-Moses for our meal!
While prepping for dinner, we played the movie "Moses" featuring Ben Kingsley in the background. (I'm starting to add little bits to Friday night prep to psych us up for the dinner and parsha discussion. Music would've been great too.)
As for the food, I served up a healthy fare of food. We had sweet potato Mountain Mash where I baked sweet potatoes and served them in mini mountain forms for each plate, with just a sprinkling of cinnamon. We stuck our Moses figures first atop the sweet potato pile nicknamed the "Mock Mount Nebo." Next we had falafel salads and eventually we moved to dessert!
It was super simple, which was a blessing because this all kinda came together during naptime (2pm) and Shabbat was creeping up on me too fast for where the Holy Spirit was leading me. Originally I was going to make watermelon mountains, like I have previously blogged about, but my husband was pulling for canteloupe and the produce sale proved to be in his favor, as the watermelons were $9 a piece and canteloupe was 2 for $4. But when I got home, I saw that canteloupes were the better option. I was going to cut out the melon and try to shape it and be all artistic, but in my spirit I knew that that was way more work than what I had time for in this Torah cycle. I was not left to worry. It suddenly came to me to just cut the melon in half and use the rough exterior of the melon as the base for the mountain terrain! I just cut the melon in half and slapped it on plates and let everyone poke their Moses toothpick in our mountain. And then we added trees made from toothpicks as well. All you'd need is some construction paper and cut out a few mini trees and tape them to toothpicks the same way you did the mini Moses ones. If you have children, they would probably love to contribute to the table with their own artistic input while all the last Shabbat preparations are happening. Or, do them ahead of time as a school project!
I can honestly say we all, adults and children alike, really enjoyed learning about the blessings Moses gave to the twelve tribes and being buried by our Creator Himself. Little fact to remember: Moses was not buried on Mount Nebo, but was buried "in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beyth Pe'or, and no one knows his burial place to this day." (Deut. 34:6) So take the two halves and bury Moses in the middle of the two canteloupes if you want to be Scripturally sound throughout the meal.
If you Google where Moses was buried you will not get the Scriptural answer. It is generally taught he died on Mount Nebo but he DID NOT. A mountain and a valley are opposites, last I checked. The Holy Spirit gently rebuked me because at first I told the kids he was buried on the mountain! So be careful and study your Scriptures. And don't forget to have fun. My prayer is that these experiences will plant seeds of joy of Shabbat observance in my wee ones and so far, praise Yah, it is working! May your family be touched too! Shalom!