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Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach



Tehillim 23

A shepherd is defined as a person who protects sheep from other animals and takes care of a flock by keeping them together. The word shepherd can also refer to a teacher who looks after their students. In Tehillim 23 a psalm of David, verse one starts with,

מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִ֑ד ה’ רֹ֝עִ֗י לֹ֣א אֶחְסָֽר׃

A psalm of David.

The L-rd is my shepherd;
I lack nothing.

Understanding more about what a shepherd does I am reminded of how Hashem takes care of all with protection and togetherness.  The psalm goes on to describe these provided qualities from Hashem,

בִּנְא֣וֹת דֶּ֭שֶׁא יַרְבִּיצֵ֑נִי עַל־מֵ֖י מְנֻח֣וֹת יְנַהֲלֵֽנִי׃

He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me to water in places of repose;-a

נַפְשִׁ֥י יְשׁוֹבֵ֑ב יַֽנְחֵ֥נִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי־צֶ֝֗דֶק לְמַ֣עַן שְׁמֽוֹ׃

He renews my life;
He guides me in right paths
as befits His name.

There are happenings in life that can weaken Emunah but Hashem gives green pasture and a path that will lead us to teshuva and not into the hands of any enemies.  The darkness can represent the constraints of worries or the things we need to be pull out of but even in darkness Hashem reminds us to have no fear for all His works are good. When these moments arise, Hashem hears our prayers and brings comfort.

גַּ֤ם כִּֽי־אֵלֵ֨ךְ בְּגֵ֪יא צַלְמָ֡וֶת לֹא־אִ֘ירָ֤א רָ֗ע כִּי־אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּדִ֑י שִׁבְטְךָ֥ וּ֝מִשְׁעַנְתֶּ֗ךָ הֵ֣מָּה יְנַֽחֲמֻֽנִי׃

Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness,-b
I fear no harm, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me.

תַּעֲרֹ֬ךְ לְפָנַ֨י ׀ שֻׁלְחָ֗ן נֶ֥גֶד צֹרְרָ֑י דִּשַּׁ֥נְתָּ בַשֶּׁ֥מֶן רֹ֝אשִׁ֗י כּוֹסִ֥י רְוָיָֽה׃

You spread a table for me in full view of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my drink is abundant.

אַ֤ךְ ׀ ט֤וֹב וָחֶ֣סֶד יִ֭רְדְּפוּנִי כׇּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיָּ֑י וְשַׁבְתִּ֥י בְּבֵית־ה’ לְאֹ֣רֶךְ יָמִֽים׃ {

Only goodness and steadfast love shall pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the L-rd
for many long years.

An expression of fullness is conveyed in this psalm by King David to remind us how abundantly good Hashem is in all times. Here we also see a table is spread before us an overflow of drink to go with it, but wait………. What’s on the table?

For this I am inspired to think of the shepherd’s pie. A seventh century family dish with its origins in the United Kingdom and France. Original created with minced lamb and vegetables and mashed potatoes it has evolved to welcome a variety of ingredients and the common use of minced beef instead of lamb.

Shepherd’s Pie


1 lb. minced (ground) meat (beef, lamb)

1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 cup sweet peas

1 cup sweet corn

1 cup carrots

(Tip: Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables can be used)

2 garlic cloves; minced

1 tsp. thyme (dried or ground)

1 tsp. rosemary (dried or ground)

1 tsp. parsley (curly or plain)

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. fine ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or Red cooking wine

1 cup broth (vegetable, beef, or chicken)

2 Tbsp. flour (all-purpose wheat or all-purpose gluten free)

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. peeled and cubed potatoes (2 or 3 large potatoes)

1 tsp. Kosher salt

½ tsp. fine ground black pepper

½ tsp. garlic powder

5 Tbsp. butter melted

¼ cup milk (dairy or dairy free)

¼ cup sour cream or cream cheese

(Tips: you may also use 25oz of prepared mashed potatoes)


  1. In a large sauce pan place cubed potatoes in water with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and bring to boil (approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until soft
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C)
  3. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat sauté vegetables till tender (this includes onions, garlic, herbs, carrots, corn, peas)
  4. Transfer sautéed vegetables and herb to a separate dish
  5. In the same large skillet on medium heat add 1tablespoons olive oil and minced (ground) meat season with Kosher salt and pepper stirring frequently (to keep meat from clumping) until fully cooked (approximately 5 to 8 minutes)
  6. Add to the minced meat 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or red cooking wine

1 cup broth, 2 Tbsp. flour, 2 Tbsp. tomato paste, and stir till fully mixed together

  • Remove potatoes that have been boiling and drain, set them aside in sauce pan
  • Add sauteed vegetable mixture to cooked meat and stir, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat
  • Add 1 tsp. Kosher salt, ½ tsp. fine ground black pepper, ½ tsp. garlic powder, 5 Tbsp. butter melted, ¼ cup milk (dairy or dairy free), ¼ cup sour cream or cream cheese to sauce pan with resting potatoes and mash potatoes (or food process) until potatoes and other ingredients are well blended together
  • In a baking dish of your choice, round pie dish or 9×9 inch baking pan place meat mixture at the bottom then evenly spread mashed potatoes over the top creating a smooth layer that covers the meat
  • Bake in 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) oven for 20 to 30 minutes uncovered till the top is slightly golden
  • Let stand to cook for 10 minutes and serve

By Kimberley

Recipes adapted from:

Finks, A. (2019, August 29). The best classic shepherd’s pie. The Wholesome Dish.

Here’s how to take your shepherd’s pie beyond just the meat & potatoes. (2023, March 1). Delish.


Psalms 23. Sefaria: a Living Library of Jewish Texts Online.

McNamee, Gregory Lewis. “shepherd’s pie”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 28 Sep. 2022, Accessed 14 June 2023.

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