When Avrohom (Abraham) Our Father was traveling in the desert, he would make sure to position his tent at the crossroads and make entrances on all four sides, open to travelers coming from every direction. He would then treat them to a sumptuous feast, making sure every guest was offered food of his preference. After a splendid five star meal, guests would thank him profusely, but Avrohom’s response was, “Thank not me, but Him Who provided the food and blessed us with the ability to enjoy it” (Midrash Rabba).
Here is my husband, whose middle name is Avrohom, building our Sukkah under the rain. Rain is a source of all blessings; in fact, the word Brochoh (blessing) also means “wellspring,” or source.
“Now all the trees of the field were not yet on the earth, and all the herb of the field had not yet sprouted, for God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to work the soil.” (Genesis 2:5)
Nothing, it seems, came to life until the first rainfall! Midrash Haggadah relates that man had to pray for the blessing of the rain so that when the rain fell, he would appreciate every drop and all the plant life that flourished as a result.
None of us sing or dance like Gene Kelly, but tonight we will make all the appropriate blessings in the Sukkah, rain or shine, including blessings for all the people of the world, specific to this holiday. Since some of our guests are of vegan persuasion, I made a plant-based variation of Honey Chicken Bites (click here for recipe), which is only fitting after all this blessed rain. I used extra firm tofu, cut it into bite size cubes – yes, my tofu can bite, too! – made sure to drain, press, bake, and drain again as much liquid as possible out of it, and used the same honey ginger sauce as the one that worked so well with chicken.
Even though our Sukkah has only one entrance, I try to accommodate every guest’s preference and taste, without making anyone feel singled out. Hag Sameach, a Freileche Yontef – happy holiday and blessings to all!
- 1 block Extra Firm tofu (14 oz)
- Remaining ingredients listed here.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly mist baking pan with oil. Cube tofu, press and drain liquid.
- Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Press and drain liquid again. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
- If there is no more liquid, pour sauce over tofu bites, bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot.