A good friend emailed me a link yesterday with some Moroccan Shavuos‘ customs and explanations. I found them fascinating. I believe you will too, gentle reader, especially after master photographer – former Chairman of Fashion Institute of Technology’s Photo Department – Irving Schild, graciously allowed us to use two of his photos, taken during a recent trip to Morocco with the Manhattan Sephardic Congregation:
26 Iyar 5771 – May 30, 2011 – Perashat Naso
Netibot Hama’arab – e”H Ribi Eliyahou Bitton s”t
Traditions of Shabu’ot
20) We have the minhag to save masot from Pesah, and on Shabu’ot they would crush them and mix them with milk and honey and after Shaharit of Shabu’ot they would eat this. We use milk and honey because they are compared to the Tora as Hazal say (Shir haShirim 4:11) “Debash vehalab tahat leshonekh” – “Honey and Milk under your tongue.” So as milk and honey linger in your mouth, so too the Tora should constantly linger on your tongue. See more in Midrash Shir haShirim 11, Noheg beHokhma p.202, Nahagu ha’Am p.106, Yahadut haMaghreb (Shabu’ot), and Shemo Yosef Siman 143 by Ribi Yosef Benoualid zs”l, 1907.
21) On Shabu’ot we make a special dish called in Arabic “lhrabel” made from masa meal, sugar and mint, and they would form this mixture into long ovals to eat after Shaharit (see below for an example and the recipe found on www.dafina.net). This also corresponds to what is written “debash vehalab tahat leshonekh,” – “Honey and milk under your tongue” and this is why we eat more sweet foods than normal on Shabu’ot, in honour of the Tora and its misvot. See Osrot haMaghreb (Shabu’ot).
22) Many have the tradition to prepare a cooked food from the intestines of a cow [T.N. they would use it as casing for a sort of sausage called in Arabic ‘Lkrisa] in honour of Shabu’ot. It was known that this was one of the tastiest meals, so they made it in honour of theHag. Also, Hazal tell us that half of the hag should be dedicated to Hashem (i.e. Tefila and studying Tora) while the other half to ourselves, (i.e. eating and singing) so they ate this dish for ‘oneg – enjoyment of the hag. See Osrot haMaghreb (Shabu’ot).
[On the first day of Shabu’ot some, especially those from Mogador, have the custom of making l’Ada – Lintria (wide pasta, tagliatelle) with pieces of lamb and fried onions with raisins.]
We’d love to hear about your Shavuos minhagim. We also want to remind you about our Shavuos Recipe Contest, you can a nice package of cholov Yisroel cheese selections. Email us at: