Avraham Avinu Served Tounge in Mustard
Avraham Avinu is the model host.
In Parshat Vayerah we learn that Avraham Avinu is the model host.
Our Perasha starts with Avraham Avinu sitting at the entrance to his tent.
Three men appeared on the horizon. According to our rabbis these men were
angels. Avraham ran to them. They prostrated. He invited them to drink a
little, to wash their weary feet and to eat a morsel of bread.
Our Rabbis of Blessed Memory have taught us that from here we learn that
one should say little and to do much. Avraham quickly asked Sarah Imenu to
knead twelve kilograms of flour and to make them in to rolls for the
honored guests. He then ran to the barn. According to the Midrash he
slaughtered three cows.
These “men” seemed to be in a rush and had no time to wait for Avraham
Avinu to skin and cook the meat. Avraham Avinu removed the tongues from
the cows and served them Tongue in mustard.
There are differing opinions as to why Sarah needed to knead so much
dough. Some say that it was to give the guests some food to take with them
for their journey. Others say that half of the flour was sifted into fine
flour which was used for the rolls. The remaining flour was used to bake
“baker’s bread” used at the top of a stew pot to absorb the froth.
In my youth about fifty of us would visit my Saintly Grandma every Shabbat
for what is called mazah in Arabic. Mazah is an abundance of tasty
appetizer morsels. This little woman who taught herself to read Hebrew at
70 possessed some of Avraham’s soul. I have since met many chefs and many
rabbis. Grandma could outcook them all. The food was spiced with Shabbat
and imbibed with a respect for Torah and all Human beings. I inherited
both a love of Torah and of good food from her. I first went to cooking
school and then to Yeshiva.
See rashi, Bereshit 18-7, Baba Metzia 87a