Archive for the 'Rosh Hashana' Category

25
Sep
12

Reflexions on Erev Yom Kippur…


Often, the most mundane occurrences, even small (or major) annoyances, can trigger a moment of introspection, can bring on a time for thought on how we interact with others, on how we truly relate to Hakadosh Baruch Hu

Granted, timing could have been better, but tight scheduling compelled me to shop mid-morning Erev Shabbat (before Rosh Hashana) for essentials I needed for the Chag. I found parking close to the discount supermarket, a minor miracle in post summer Brooklyn. I hadn’t been there since their recent renovations; surrounded by cases of merchandise and vegetable stands, I had to ask for guidance to the new entryway. The store looked bigger, but as chaotic as ever. I hope that they still plan to reorganize the space, but were just too busy getting ready for the holiday crowds to implement a more shopper friendly environment.

There were more workers than usual, mostly busy restocking shelves. The nearly empty meat department, I carted to first, was a big disappointment. Prices were definitely higher; no more family packs of chicken breasts for $3.99 per pound, and none of the usual sales I used to count on. Chaval!  I bought what I needed and headed to check out. I had a case of 7oz cups, a case of baking tins and about a dozen other items.

Every aisle was packed with anxious ‘got to get home to cook’ shoppers lined with overloaded carts (May Hashem miraculously continue to provide!) all the way down to the fridge section waiting to check-out.  With not nearly enough check-out stations and a poor configuration afoot, tempers were a little testy. I went to the back of the long express checkout – 12 items or less – line with my 2 cases and close to 12 items, and was assaulted with variations on a theme chorusing:  “This is the ‘express’ line, you’re on the wrong line!!!!” With a smile and a promise of checking out no more than the allowed twelve items and finally got a consensus that a case, though internally many, constitutes no more than1 big item and I was graciously permitted to stay.

Every new person arriving to stand on line however, began a fresh verbal barrage on my apparently over- filled cart. One petite fire-brand of a woman arrived with two items declaring that she would not go to the back of the line, because no one was following the rules and she was justifiably going to cut the line before her turn with her two puny little items in tow.  I said nothing, but the chorus certainly did, and the woman became more passionately entrenched in her position to cut the line of food carting transgressors  justifying her position of entitlement with the sins of others and the general theory that when mayhem abounds counter-bedlam is sanctioned.

Meanwhile, feeling the burning heat of guilt for the three extra items,  I laid them quietly to rest in an abandoned cart. I was planning to not include them at check-out, but felt the preemptive move wise under the circumstances. The diminutive, now ferocious, harridan pitched herself before the crowd demanding a supervisor, and the volley of accusations began anew. A woman in the next check-out aisle felt sorry for me, and started putting my items on the belt.  I’ve had this idea floating in my head as a precursor to Rosh Hashana and the Asseret Yimey Tshuvah; how some of us have gone beyond rationalizing to ourselves and others about our behaviors and actions and have moved toward the more intransigent reasoning that resembles Jean Paul Sartre’s existentialist notion of bad faith.

We have convinced ourselves so thoroughly of our own righteousness, that we not only believe the lie, but will fight to the death to protect its integrity; leaving little room for change or subsequent good action. The most difficult people I know are so clear that their positions are ‘right’ even heroic, it would take an act of G-d to move them from their prideful entrenchment.

How can we claim to worship, to honor the Bore Olam when we are so disdainful of His betzelem Elokim? How can an individual believe to be a betzelem Elokim if one doesn’t honor and respect his/her fellow humans first? Thank G-d for Rosh Hashana, for the Asseret yimey tshuvah, for Yom Kippur, and the opportunities to right the real wrongs we have done to ourselves and to others.  As we face a world bent on our demise, may we conquer the sinat chinam extant within our midst, may we learn more tolerance, may we recognize our own bad faith and find ways to love and embrace Klal Yisroel blev echad. Should one resolve to and actually make this changes in one’s heart, inone’s attitudes, inone’s behavior, then next year – as the individual clinically examines the past year’s deeds, he/she will realize that – for a change – one did not have overspetd on the good will from fellow humans and that individual will truly merit a healthy portion of Hashem‘s endless bounty.

SYR

G’mar Chatima Tova!!!

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Who Will Live, Who Will Die

18
Oct
11

Hoshana Rabbah and Shemini Atzeres


[Reposted from last year. CS]

On Hoshana Rabbah the chazan or the sheliach tzibbur dons a white kitl as he does on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur… The Zohar on Vayehi 120a and Terumah 142a tells us that that while we are all judged on Yom Kippur the verdict is not handed down until Shemini Atzeret, but our last chance to do tshuvah is on Hoshana Rabboh

At the end of each of the seven rounds of circling the bet haknesset we stop to hear the blowing of the shofar… This is not one of the Days of Awe yet there are tremendous similarities in the ritual. CHaZa”L never referred to this day as being a Day of Judgment, yet there is a strong hint to back up the Zohar‘s assertion in the fact that in the days of the Temple the sacrifices corresponding to the Days of Judgment and Shmini Atzeret were the same. Some Mahzorim attested to the special status of Hoshana Rabbah in the High Holy Days prayer U-netaneh Tokef, having the following version: “On Rosh ha-Shanah judgment is made, and on Yom Kippur it is written, and on Hoshanah Rabbah it is sealed.” In Romania it was customary to add some other Yamim Nora’im prayers as well to the Amidah for Shemini Atzeret.

Photo by: Yuval Nadav

Professor Yosef Tabori from Bar-Ilan University’s Talmud Department tells us:

Perhaps the closest connection drawn between the Yamim Noraim and Sukkot is found in the motif of the lulav. In antiquity, waving a branch on high was considered a sign of victory. The Sages interpreted our waving of the lulav on Sukkot as signifying the victory of the Jews over Satan on the Days of Judgment that precede the festival. They interpreted the words “delights are ever in Your right hand” (Ps. 16:11) as indicating that a person holding the Four Kinds in his right hand is showing that he emerged victorious on the Day of Judgment (Vayyiqra Rabbah 30.2). One of the earlier sources describing the special status of Hoshanah Rabbah in the synagogue uses this victory imagery:

When Hoshanah Rabbah comes they take willows, and make seven circuits around the synagogue, while the Hazzan of the synagogue stands like an angel of G-d, holding a Torah scroll in his arms as the people march around him as around the altar. For thus our Rabbis taught: every day it was customary to circle the altar reciting, “Please, O Lord, deliver us; please, O Lord, bring success,” and on the seventh day they would march around seven times, as King David said explicitly, as it is written, “I wash my hands in innocence, and walk around Your altar” (Ps. 26:6). Immediately the ministering angels rejoice and proclaim, “the people of Israel are victorious.” (Midrash Tehillim, Buber ed., 17.5)

[..]Thus, the entire period between Rosh ha-Shanah and the last day of Sukkot is a period during which one can still affect the verdict on rain for the better. According to a tradition ascribed to Rabbenu Tam, those who insist on reading the haftarah of Shuvah Yisrael on the Sabbath between Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur are making a mistake, since this haftarah was set for the Sabbath before Sukkot. The reason is that “Shuvah (Hosea 14:2-10) is directed towards praying for rain, since we conclude [the haftara] with a passage from Joel [the reading, Joel 2:15-27, sounds like an assemblage for prayers for rain and includes the verse "For He has given you the early rain in kindness"] and on Sukkot judgment is passed for the rain, and they are proclaimed before the judges[mentioned in Joel 2:16]” (Mahzor Vitri, p. 224).

In conclusion, even though we are especially enjoined to rejoice during the festival of Sukkot, we must not forget that we are in the process of being judged concerning the rain.

I pray that each one of us has indeed emerged victorious, may this year be one blessed with everything each of us truly needs. May it be a year of health, prosperity, and happiness; may it be a year with no tears, except for tears of joy. May this be the year when peace breaks out triumphant both on a global as well as on each individual’s level!

CS

07
Oct
11

Who will Live, Who will Die


On October 8, 2008, I posted the following on my political blog:

Fasting and praying at the Kotel on Yom Kippur. Photo from: http://www.independent.co.uk/

Who Will Live, Who Will Die

This evening starts the holiest, most solemn day in the Jewish calendar – Yom Kippur. Ten days earlier, the first of the two days of Rosh Hashana – the Hebrew New Year – marked the day, when according to the Jewish tradition everyone’s fate for the coming year is inscribed in the Heavenly ledgers. Yom Kippur is the day when whatever was written stays as is or is changed, but in either case fate becomes sealed.

In one of the most awe inspiring prayers of the day, Jews intone theses words: …mi ychie umi yamut (who will live and who will die)… mi bamayim umi ba’esh (who by water and who by fire… who will become impoverished and who will be rich… Many take these words literally and, as you can imagine, after hours of praying the tears often flow freely as these sentences are reached. But there is also an alternate interpretation. Based on what? At the end of this specific prayer, everyone announces at the top of their voice: uTshuvah, uTfilah, uTzdakah ma’avirin et ro’a hagzerah! (And Repentance, and Prayer, and Charity remove the negative Judgment!). The question then becomes, how is it possible that the Infinite, Almighty God allows Himself to be swayed by a mere mortal? If He is the beginning and the end (in other words, time in our human terms does not apply to Him as what we perceive as past, present and future all unfold simultaneously before Him), if He is the All-Knowing and understands that in spite of broken hearts and full sincere repentance, the next morning we find ourselves again doing the same deeds, having the same thoughts, feeling the same lusts and jealousies, how can He possibly allow our temporary repentance to change His mind?

The answer was given by the Sages of the Talmud when they taught that even with the sword at one’s throat, a person should not give up hope. It means that in these Days of Awe we are assigned a specific fate which, as a mark of Cain, shows what may become of us. It means that by truly mending our ways we become worthy of a different fate because we are longer the same person, it means that only our actions, our thoughts and the effort we expend to overcome our negative passions will remove the specific mark.

As we look around the world, between the current economic meltdown and the forces that wish to destroy the West… the horizon looks rather bleak. Evil seems to be ascendant, the western nations are plagued by the cancer within, wittingly or unwittingly, working for their destruction. Western politicians of every political stripe, are guilty of the current situation whether for personal gain, for personal glory or merely because of absolutely naive misguidance. The world, as we know it, is marked for a major conflagration, but we may not despair, we can not relax our stand against those who would destroy us. As we westerners bear the mark, so do our enemies! If we just sit back with folded arms groping our way in the shadows, confused by the darkness surrounding us, the mark will surely become our fate. If we rise above our confusion, if we recover our lost spiritual values and shed the cynicism, the dark shadows will dissipate. That new light will bring hope, hope will translate into resolve, resolve will become strength and raise us from this stupor. We will then, with renewed vigor, as new different people, rise up against the enemy within and without. The mark of Cain will dissipate and a new era of health, prosperity and general wellbeing will replace it. Is the West up to the task or will the mark of Cain become final?

 

G’mar Chatima Tova!

 

CS

28
Sep
11

Some Thoughts for Rosh Hashana


Rosh Hashana starts this evening, and as I look at the news, as I tremble over my personal flaws, shortcomings and misdeeds of the past year I can only hope that my repentance will hold and shield me from repeating the same things, from having the same thoughts again, and that the world will change for the better starting with each one of us…

On September 29th, 2008, I posted the following on my political blog:

The world is embroiled in war, tyrants walk around arrogant and defiant, massacres in almost every continent are mostly ignored by the world community. The UN Human Rights Council, seems to concern itself with anything except the trampling of human rights around the globe. Women’s rights are of little concern to a world that prides itself of its extreme liberalness and unheard of freedoms, while rape is used as a political weapon in the Congo, in Sudan, etc… and women are merely chattel to husbands, fathers, sons and brothers in a major portion of this planet. To say the least, it is obvious that in spite of an enlightened 21st century we have never really evolved from the atrocities of the Barbarian Age even as our weapons and rhetoric are more sophisticated, more intellectual, ostensibly more enlightened in our attitudes

While the situation in Sudan has changed for the better, while the Arab Spring has brought about the downfall of various Arab despots, the aftermath has so far not seen any of the sought after freedoms but merely replaced old dictators with a new set… Yet, the UN Human Rights Council has not found the time to condemn repression, the denial of human rights, or to defend freedom of religion anywhere where it may be ignored in the world…

Frankly, the world – at this moment – with all its freedoms and all its horrors is far from ideal. Political ideologies, masquerading as religion, pose new threats to the free world as they aim to destroy all the hard fought for rights and freedoms of the Western world. Meanwhile the West seems to have lost its soul and wonders around like a drunkard in its search for meaning, coexistence and peace…

Tonight, gentle reader, Jews around the world begin the celebration of Rosh Hashana – the Jewish New Year. No, it is not a time filled with drunken parties and silly noise-making but rather a time when one searches in the most recondite crevices, the most hidden places of one’s existence and asks oneself why, how, when, what? Why did I fail to do all that I set out to do? How could I be so lazy, so complacent and not try harder… or at least just try? When will I rise from this lethargy and do my duty as a human, to my Lord, to my fellow humans, to myself? What will it take for me to wake up, while I still am capable of waking up?

The answers are often shameful, sometimes gut wrenching. Nevertheless they afford every Jew a chance to reach out of his/her comfortable shell and do that which he or she is capable of doing, of reaching one’s potential if the individual truly wants it. But sometimes, even if in our prayers we take firm resolve to make a difference, even when the tears of repentance stream from the deepest recesses of the heart, in a few days we settle back in the comfort of emptiness and inaction. More often than not, the answers are too hard, too strenuous on our pampered selves, for us to truly rise above the comfort of merely being discomforted by the world around us or take any action to change it.

In the Rosh Hashama prayers, there is one I must particularly single out as I pronounce it with heavy trepidation in my heart as the clarion call of the Shofar is sounded:

Attah ZocherYou remember – the deeds done in the Universe and You recall all the creatures fashioned since the earliest times. Before You all hidden things are revealed and the multitude of mysteries since the beginning of Creation, for there is no forgetfulness before Your Throne of Glory and nothing is hidden before Your eyes. You remember everything ever done and not a single creature is hidden from you. Everything is revealed and known before You, Lord our God, Who keeps watch and sees to the very end of all generations, when You bring about a decreed time of remembrance for every spirit and soul to be recalled, for abundant deeds and a multitude of creatures withoutt limit to be remembered….

[...] Regarding countries, it is said on this day which is destined for the sword and which for peace, which for hunger and which for abundance; and creatures are recalled on it to remember them for life or death. Who is not recalled on this day? For the remembrance of everything fashioned comes before You: everyone’s deed and mission, the accomplishments of man’s activity, man’s thoughts and schemes, and the motives behind man’s deeds.

May this coming year, 5769 in the Jewish calendar, bring about that very elusive, very prayed for, long hoped for, universally expected peace. May each one of us walking this earth, know no more strife, no more hunger, no more pain. KTIVAH VECHATIMA TOVAH – MAY [WE ALL] BE INSCRIBED AND SEALED FOR GOODNESS, may abundance and health break rampant, may universal peace bathe this earth and the realization of one’s fondest dreams bring sweetness and the total banishment of sorrow to every one on this lowly plane of existence.

Chicken Marinated with pomegranate molasses, honey and spices, stuffed with brown rice, on a bed of rice. Photo from: Los Angeles Times

The year is now 5772 and hardly anything of substance has changed, tramplers of human rights are afforded what once an honored pulpit at the United Nations, a place where they freely spew their lies, where they proudly show off the perversion of their minds, their utter disregard for any human values and yet are applauded for such. The United Nations, founded on the noble principles of safeguarding human rights and ensuring peace around the world, has degenerated into what Bibi Netanyahu just described as “theater of the absurd,” as it shows itself totally unwilling, totally unable to live up to its mandate.

Hakadosh baruch Hu is warning us, urging us to return to Him and yet in spite of the warnings, in spite of all the evidence in front of our eyes, we refuse to heed the call, as we’ve been seduced by a seemingly liberal world plunging head on into a global tyranny where lies are the new truth, where falsehoods replace true values… May it be His will, that we wake up this coming year and with renewed vigor we embark in an era filled with goodness and wholesome values, an era where evil will be defeated and war will disappear…

May we all be inscribed in the Sefer Hachaim – the Book of Life and may we only know health, prosperity and happiness and at peace within and without.

KTIVA VECHATIMA TOVA!!!!

CS

29
Sep
10

Hoshana Rabbah and Shemini Atzeres


On Hoshana Rabbah the chazan or the sheliach tzibbur dons a white kitl as he does on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur… The Zohar on Vayehi 120a and Terumah 142a tells us that that while we are all judged on Yom Kippur the verdict is not handed down until Shemini Atzeret, but our last chance to do tshuvah is on Hoshana Rabboh

At the end of each of the seven rounds of circling the bet haknesset we stop to hear the blowing of the shofar… This is not one of the Days of Awe yet there are tremendous similarities in the ritual. CHaZa”L never referred to this day as being a Day of Judgment, yet there is a strong hint to back up the Zohar‘s assertion in the fact that in the days of the Temple the sacrifices corresponding to the Days of Judgment and Shmini Atzeret were the same. Some Mahzorim attested to the special status of Hoshana Rabbah in the High Holy Days prayer U-netaneh Tokef, having the following version: “On Rosh ha-Shanah judgment is made, and on Yom Kippur it is written, and on Hoshanah Rabbah it is sealed.” In Romania it was customary to add some other Yamim Nora’im prayers as well to the Amidah for Shemini Atzeret.

Photo by: Yuval Nadav

Professor Yosef Tabori from Bar-Ilan University’s Talmud Department tells us:

Perhaps the closest connection drawn between the Yamim Noraim and Sukkot is found in the motif of the lulav. In antiquity, waving a branch on high was considered a sign of victory. The Sages interpreted our waving of the lulav on Sukkot as signifying the victory of the Jews over Satan on the Days of Judgment that precede the festival. They interpreted the words “delights are ever in Your right hand” (Ps. 16:11) as indicating that a person holding the Four Kinds in his right hand is showing that he emerged victorious on the Day of Judgment (Vayyiqra Rabbah 30.2). One of the earlier sources describing the special status of Hoshanah Rabbah in the synagogue uses this victory imagery:

When Hoshanah Rabbah comes they take willows, and make seven circuits around the synagogue, while the Hazzan of the synagogue stands like an angel of G-d, holding a Torah scroll in his arms as the people march around him as around the altar. For thus our Rabbis taught: every day it was customary to circle the altar reciting, “Please, O Lord, deliver us; please, O Lord, bring success,” and on the seventh day they would march around seven times, as King David said explicitly, as it is written, “I wash my hands in innocence, and walk around Your altar” (Ps. 26:6). Immediately the ministering angels rejoice and proclaim, “the people of Israel are victorious.” (Midrash Tehillim, Buber ed., 17.5)

[..]Thus, the entire period between Rosh ha-Shanah and the last day of Sukkot is a period during which one can still affect the verdict on rain for the better. According to a tradition ascribed to Rabbenu Tam, those who insist on reading the haftarah of Shuvah Yisrael on the Sabbath between Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur are making a mistake, since this haftarah was set for the Sabbath before Sukkot. The reason is that “Shuvah (Hosea 14:2-10) is directed towards praying for rain, since we conclude [the haftara] with a passage from Joel [the reading, Joel 2:15-27, sounds like an assemblage for prayers for rain and includes the verse "For He has given you the early rain in kindness"] and on Sukkot judgment is passed for the rain, and they are proclaimed before the judges[mentioned in Joel 2:16]” (Mahzor Vitri, p. 224).

In conclusion, even though we are especially enjoined to rejoice during the festival of Sukkot, we must not forget that we are in the process of being judged concerning the rain.

I pray that each one of us has indeed emerged victorious, may this year be one blessed with everything each of us truly needs. May it be a year of health, prosperity, and happiness; may it be a year with no tears, except for tears of joy. May this be the year when peace breaks out triumphant both on a global as well as on each individual’s level!

CS

08
Sep
10

Yom Tov Recipes – Personal Honeyed Chocolate Lava Cake


Pastry Chef Ehud Ezra, gave us this delicious recipe for yom tov. SYR and I got to taste it yesterday, thus, we can attest to it being  truly scrumptious without being overly sweet. One of the joys of this type of post is being in the company of such gifted chefs and bakers. Udi, as his friends and coworkers lovingly nicknamed him, is a warm hearted chemist and chocolate alchemist.  He’s got such a mastery of ingredients and technique mixed with a sensitive spirituality that reflects his soul in everything he bakes. His Rosh HaShana recipe for Honeyed Chocolate Lava Cake certainly demonstrates his unique talents as a master pastry chef.

Honeyed Chocolate Lava Cake

Yields 10 mini 5 ozs. portions made in 4″ muffin molds

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lbs. butter/margarine/Earth Balance
  • 1 1/2 lbs. semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 tspns. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 7 whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • Confectioners sugar

Directions

  1. Melt butter, 1 1/2 minutes in microwave, add chopped chocolate, mix until incorporated but not too hot add vanilla extract and honey.
  2. In mixer whip eggs until they form high peaks, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Fold with chocolate mix.
  4. Spray pans with canola oil. Scoop in batter until the top of pans (batter rises and then deflates).
  5. Put in oven at 400 F, for 12 to 15 minutes, until top is crusted.
  6. Sprinkle tops with confectioners sugar. Serve with 4 scoops of Rich’s whipped cream or vanilla ice cream w/honey on top.

Easy to make and fast to bake, if you make you’ll shine whether with your guests or even with your family.

Enjoy it, gentle reader, we certainly did!

CS

Honeyed Chocolate Lava Cake

x———)o0O0o(———x

KTIVAH VECHATIMA TOVAH!!!
SHANA TOVAH UMETUKA!!!
A GUT GEBENTSHT YOHR!!!

07
Sep
10

“May it be Your Will…” – Symbolic Foods


It is customary to eat symbolic foods on Rosh Hashana, these symbols represent the individual’s requests for a better life for one self, for one’s family, etc… How did the custom begin?  The Talmud in Tractate Krisus states on page 6a: “Now that you say that an omen means something, each person should accustom himself to eat gourds, fenugreek, leeks, beets and dates…” As a result, we partake of these and other foods, all representing good things and the individual’s hopes for more and better. The foods mentioned are of types that grow fast and/or are very sweet.

Why do we eat them on Rosh Hashana, specifically, as opposed to any other time of the year? When we ask the Almighty to grant us something, just as when we would ask a king to give us something, we must invoke some merit or reason why we feel we deserve it. Therefore, these foods serve as a reminder that we must do tshuvah – repentance. Rosh Hashana being the time when the Almighty looks at the past year’s deeds and when we ask to be inscribed in the Book of Life, it is – of course – a time of self examination and repentance. Thus, these foods serve to remind us of our pressing need to repent, to resolve to be better and stronger Jews for the coming New Year.

These symbols blend in with the spirit of Rosh Hashana, as as Rabbi Yehuda Prero says on torah.org:

…If one looks over the prayers on Rosh HaShana, one will find that the basic theme is one of proclaiming the kingship and greatness of Hashem. Although Rosh HaShana is the day on which we are being judged, we do not make requests for sustenance, health, long life, etc.. We instead demonstrate how we have accepted Hashem as our king, and that we will listen to Him and follow His dictates.

By asking Hashem for our needs we obviously acknowledge Him as our King, upon whom we depend as the source of life, as the source of everything on this plane (and every other) plane of existence. The omens are a way of covertly asking the Boreh Olam – Creator of the Universe for our needs without being too blatant about it.

Immediately preceding each of these  foods we say a “Yehi ratzon – may it be Your will…” Each food, whether through a pun on its name, or through its very nature, alludes to our request.

A holiday plate with traditional symbolic foods

The Yehi ratzons are as follows:

“Yehi Ratzon Milfanecha, Ad-noi El-heinu Vei’l-hai Avosainu…”

“May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers…”

For fenugreek (most Ashkenazim use carrots, in yiddish Mehren – which can also mean “to increase,”):

“…Sheiyirbu zechuyosainu.”

“…that our merits increase.”

For leek or cabbage:

“…Sheiyikarsu sonainu.”

“…that our enemies be decimated.”

For beets:

“…Sheiyistalku oyvainu.”

“…that our adversaries disappear”

For dates:

“…Sheyitamu sonainu.”

“…that our enemies be consumed.”

For gourd:

“…Sheyikora gzar dinainu vyikaru lefanecha zechuyosainu.”

“…that the decree of our sentance be torn up and may our merits be proclaimed before you.”

For the apple in the honey:

“…shetichadesh aleinu shana tova umtuka.”

“…that you renew us for a good and sweet year.”

For pomegranate:

“…shenirbeh zechuyos kerimon”

“…that our merits increase like (the seeds of) a pomegranate.”

For fish:

“…Shenifreh vnirbeh kedagim.”

“…that we be fruitful and multiply like fish.”

For the head of a fish or sheep:

“…Shenihiyeh lerosh velo lezanav.”

“…that we be as the head and not as the tail.”

There are also many personal symbols that some people add, for example among some of my relatives it’s long been customary to have a lettuce leave, half a raisin and a piece of celery stalk… What is the pun and its meaning? “May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers, to let us have a raise in salary.

Do you have any personal or family symbols you add on Rosh Hashana? Please share them with the rest of us, we’d like to see them!

May this be the year, when everyone of us is granted all of his/her needs, as we acknowledge Hashem’s kingship!

CS

05
Sep
10

Yom Tov Recipes – From Prime Grill’s Chef David Kolotkin


[Chef David Kolotkin, Executive Chef at The Prime Grill (60 East 49th Street; New York, NY 10017; Telephone: 212.692.9292) has appeared before on these pages (here, here, herehere, and here). Once again he graciously acceded to share three yom tov recipes with our readers. CS]

Rosh Hashana Duck Meatballs with Sweet Sauce

Ingredients

2 1/2 lbs ground duck meat
3/4 cup chicken or duck fat
2/3 cup soy milk
1 3/4 cup-2 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme

-Combine all ingredients.
-Roll into 1 1/2 oz meatballs
-bake in 350 degree oven 8-10 minutes or until cooked through

Sweet Sauce

3 cups Pineapple juice
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/5 cup white Vinegar
1/4 cup Dark brown sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch
6 tbsp cold water

-combine the first 4 ingredients and bring to a simmer.
-combine the last 2 ingredients and whisk in to the simmering 4 ingredients. Bring back to a simmer.
-toss the meatballs into the sauce and serve.

Dry Rubbed Double Cut Veal Chop for Two

Ingredients

½ Tblspn Black Pepper
2 Tblspn Sugar
2 Tblspn Salt
5 Tblspn Porcini Pepper (dried porcini ground in spice/coffee grinder)

Mix all of the Above

1 Double Cut Veal Chop
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil

Sprinkle the dry rub generously on the veal chop before searing. In a hot sauté pan, using the oil, sear the veal chop on all sides. Put onto an oven-ready tray. Roast in a 350 degrees oven for approximately 10-15 minutes. Medium is my preferred temperature.

Red Pepper Jam

2 Red Bell Peppers—seeded, ribs out, julienned
¼ cup Sugar
1/3 cup Rice Vinegar (White Vinegar can be substituted)

Combine all ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a simmer. Slowly cook down until a jam like consistency (almost dry).

Sweet Potato Soufflé

Ingredients

3 cups Sweet Potato Puree
1/3 cup Sugar
Pinch of Salt
3 Eggs
1 Vanilla Bean
½ cup Pineapple Juice
½ cup Flour

Combine the first 6 ingredients. Fold in the flour. Pour into a greased pyrex baking
dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 40-45 minutes.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

Sweet Potato Soufflé

02
Sep
10

Yom Tov Recipes – Carrot Kugel


[Chef Ben Fleischman, Kosher Personal Chef, is a Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate; he has over 25 years cooking experience. Trained in Classical and Country French, European and American Continental cuisines, his cooking knowledge also extends to Asian, Vegetarian, Vegan and Southern cooking. Worked as a sous chef and executive chef in hotels and restaurants in the Philadelphia and the Washington, DC, Metro areas. CS]

As we all are busy making our Jewish New Year preparations, Chef Ben has graciously agreed to share with us one of his delicious, very easy to prepare, Yom Tov recipes. His Carrot Kugel is very well received and makes a delightful and colorful addition to any yom tov meal. What a delectable way, this Rosh Hashana, to truly enjoy one of the various simmanim we customarily consume.

Carrot Kugel

Ingredients

  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Preparation

  1. Cook 1 pound of baby carrots in water on stove until carrots are soft with a fork.
  2. Drain water.
  3. Mash carrots in medium bowl.
  4. Add 1 stick margarine melted, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon baking powder.
  5. Mix well, pour into a greased 8X8 pan.
  6. Bake at 350 F, for 45 minutes.
  7. Serve warm.  Makes one kugel.

Don’t let the easy preparation fool you, this dish offers ample proof that making good food need not take hours of sweating and subsequent heavy cleaning, nor does a recipe need fancy, or exotic ingredients to please the palate.

Enjoy it!

Ben Fleischman




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