Season 1: Episode 9

The Missing Ingredient

Isaac has everything - a sprawling mansion, a private chef, a sweet car... but he can't figure out how his friend Ruthie, who lives in a small one-room home, makes the best food he's ever eaten. Isaac sets out to discover the missing ingredient and in the end finds so much more

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Jewish life is full of delicious dishes, especially on Shabbat. Lovingly prepared food can help make the soul feel even more at home on this holy day. There is rich wine or grape juice to say the kiddush blessing over, and warm fragrant challah, the braided bread traditionally eaten at each Shabbat meal. As Isaac learns during this story, sometimes the most special – and important – ingredient in a Shabbat dish, is the magic of cooking and coming together with friends.


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Episode Notes

Every December, PJ Library sends a special gift to families – this year it’s a book version of this same story as well as an apron so that you can cook with your family!

Long ago, rabbis had conversations about all sorts of laws and ideas from the Bible.  Those conversations were written down in a book we call the Talmud, which is Hebrew for "learning." Ruthie and Isaac’s story is actually based on a tale from that very book. In the Talmudic version of the story, a wealthy emperor wonders about the delicious smells coming from the houses in the poorer part of town. When he asks a resident, a modest local rabbi, the emperor learns that food made for Shabbat has a “special sort of seasoning.”


Episode Credits

Have I Got a Story For You is a production of PJ Library
Executive producers: Meredith Lewis, Alli Thresher
Director: Alli Thresher
Additional production: Craig Rossein
Website design: Christina Rizer
Audio editing, mixing and mastering: Peter Moore
Theme music: Penelope Alizarin Conley
Score: Peter Moore
Recorded at Palace of Purpose Studios in Malden, MA.
Cover art: Barb Bastian
Story editor: Alli Thresher

This episode was written by Naomi Shulman

Narrator, Rita Toomey: Madelaine Ripley
Isaac: Rich Wentworth
Ruthie: Deirdre Wade
Chef: Rich Wentworth
Special thanks to Pat Bordenave and Johnny Blazes