And the people spread out through all the land of Egypt to scrabble for stubble for straw. (Shmot 5:10-12) Robert Alter’s phrase scrabble for stubble for straw is rich in alliteration. The Hebrew is also rich in alliteration: l’koshesh kash la’teven This is one example of how Alter’s translation transmits the texture of the original Hebrew. The Hebrew word kash he translates as stubble. “KaSh,” say the Hasidic masters, is also reminiscent of Kriat Shema, the recitation of the Shema. In the midst of the daily grind, the scrabble for stubble for straw, one must remember to say the Shema!