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This week’s parsha includes a remarkable exemption from combat for those who either just built a home, planted a vineyard, married, or are afraid. We can easily understand why to exempt a coward. And as any new bride can appreciate, the first year without seeing your husband would be a grave injustice. For the other categories, the Rabbis explain that it would be unfair to deny one who has exerted the extraordinary effort to build a home or plant a vineyard, the chance to enjoy the fruits of his labors. 

 I think these exemptions also reflect the values of creating a sustainable community and sanctifying your labor with the fruit of the vine. Wine is a partnership between those who work the land and Hashem who creates the daily miracle of sun, water and air that makes great wine possible. This week we highlight a Shabbat menu that has an easy main course that is enhanced with wine.

passion fruit sangria

Passion Fruit Sangria

salmon cakes

Salmon Caked with Tropical Fruit Salsa

chicken with apple butter

Chicken With Prunes in Apple Butter Wine Sauce

Three-onion Wild rice

Three-onion Wild rice

Kosher Broccolini in a Creamy Wine Balsamic Sauce Recipe

Broccolini in a Creamy Wine Balsamic Sauce

easy plum tart

Easy Plum Tart 

For other Shabbat Menus for Shoftim click here