When we first encounter Jacob at the beginning of this parsha, he is a fugitive. Jacob is fleeing the wrath of Esau following the theft of his brother's birthright and seeks comfort and peace in Haran. When he leaves the land of his fathers, Jacob is a wealthy man, changed by time and circumstances to become the father of a great nation.
What is his secret? It starts with faith and it ends with lamb. Inspired by the vision of the ladder and angels, Jacob sees a future of great hope and promise. He meets Laban and learns the ways of the shepherd. It is his success that merits the marriage to Leah and Rachel. When Laban continues his pattern of doublecross and doublespeak, Jacob doubles down, too. Jacob bargains for his share of the flock and his household and livestock multiply exceedingly. It seems fitting to celebrate this Shabbat with lamb. I love the simplicity of the presentation and how the layered skewers evoke the steps of Jacob's ladder to heaven.
For last year's Shabbat Menu Vayeitzei click here.