Shabbat

 

Shabbat Recipe: Balak

 

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In this week’s parsha, we read the story of Balaam, who is asked by Balak to curse the Israelis.  Despite his intentions to vilify them, Balaam’s words become blessings. Balaam’s story makes clear that God gave us free will and we have the choice to give blessings or curses in the world.

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, in his book, The Everyday Torah, summarizes God speaking with Balaam as “’The choice is yours, human. You are free to decide for yourself. ‘ In the words of the Talmud, ‘A person is led the way s/he wishes to go.’” (p. 263).


 

Healthy Summer Slow Cooker Cholent Recipes

 

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I am told there are many people out there that serve the same cholent every week, every shabbat!!  There is no regard to outside temperate and there is no interest for something different.  Is it really true?

I understand the desire for an easy to prepare meal that fills everyone up and can stay warm all of Shabbat without overheating the kitchen, but I can’t understand two things.


 

How To Make a Shlissel Key Shaped Challah

 

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Shlissel Challah, or Key Challah is customarily made the Shabbos after passover. It is said to be a Segula for livelihood and Parnasa (income). A key is placed into the Challah dough while being braided and some even shape their Challah like a key. Here is a step by step tutorial on how to shape your challah dough into a key using our favorite Challah Recipe (Jamie’s Geller’s famous dough).

Now, how to shape the key, check out our step by step instructions (using play dough for illustration purposes, but it is also fun to play with):


 

Shabbat Recipe: Shemini

 

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In this week’s parsha, Shemini, Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu offer a sacrifice to God, but bring “alien fire.” “Fire came forth from the Lord and consumed them: thus they died at the instance of the Lord” (Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz, Jewish Theological Seminary). After their deaths, Aaron was instructed by Moses, “you must distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the impure and pure; and you must teach the Israelites all the laws which the Lord has imparted to them through Moses” (Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz. Jewish Theological Seminary).

Commentary about the episode, notes, “Aaron is the gentle man of peace who never reprocess but only tries to bring people to God through love and kindness.’” (Reuven Hammer in The Classic Midrash, p. 189).  Being a disciple of Aaron is a daily challenge for each of us. Through our humble behaviors and speech, we can live in relationship with God as his vessels spreading the light of Torah to the darkest corners of the world.  Rabbi Brad Artson notes, “Our minds cannot master God, but the quest is essential nonetheless. . . . But to seek God, to yearn for holiness and to strive for righteousness, these orient our lives as a magnet positions the needle of a compass, providing us purpose, direction, and hope” (Rabbi Bradley Shavit ArtsonZiegler School of Rabbinic Studies).


 

Shabbat Menu – The Last Day Of Passover

 

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I just realized that those living in Israel will have to keep the same 8 days of Pesach that we have here in the US.  The last day is on Shabbat and it is preceded by Yom Tov.  So everyone needs a really good, use up all my Passover ingredients Shabbat dinner this year.  So let’s join together for a Passover Shabbat dinner like no other.

Whole Wheat Spinach Matzo Balls


 

Jewish Comfort Food: Chulent Re-Make

 

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Hubby is a shy guy.  Actually, let me restate: Hubby is not a spotlight/limelight kinda dude, more the behind-the-scenes type.  He calls himself the idea man.  And we all laugh about it.  Cause most things that I end up doing are his idea – like writing my first cookbook, making Aliyah and most everything in between.

But he is really really, really, really, funny.  Like crazy funny.  The kids always comment about how much we laugh together and how much fun we have.  We cook together, we clean together (although he would argue he does much of that on his own), we shop together, (except, again, when he is doing that all by his lonesome with a crazy long list from me) and we generally travel as a pair.


 

A Healthier Take on Jewish Classics

 

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There are only a few things more confusing than advice on healthful eating: Paleoists, vegans, carb cyclers, ketone diet adepts, fructarians, vegetarians, flexitarians, doctors, dietitians, trainers, scientists, celebrities, coaches, chefs–and the list keeps going– all state that they’ve found the perfect way to eat, but many of them give opposite recommendations. And then, if we were already confused, there’s kashrut…However, if you look closely, there’s something everyone–including kosher laws–agrees upon: plants are great for us, and they should be the core of our diets.

We don’t normally think of Jewish dietary laws being plant based, however, they do give us plenty of freedom when it comes to the plant world. They also promote moderation with products from the animal kingdom; restricting us on how to obtain, combine and eat them. We do obsess with meat and dairy, however, maybe our eyes should be on the plants, which are pretty much free for all (except for checking them for insects, which are not plants!).


 

A Recipe Inspired By Parshat Bo

 

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At Rosh Hashana, I started a blog, Neesh Noosh: A Jewish Woman’s Year Long Journey to Find Faith in Food. Each week, I create a recipe inspired by the weekly Torah portion and what’s in season at my farmers market.  This week, in Bo, the remaining three plagues—locusts, darkness and the death of first-born sons–are inflicted upon the Egyptians. While Egypt was shrouded in darkness, “all Israelites enjoyed light in their dwellings” (Bo, 10: 23).  How, despite the plagues and the continuing hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, did the Israelites live at the precipice of freedom and eventually gain freedom?

The Sefat Emet teaches that “God had already placed in Egypt hidden treasures that Israel had to take out. . . . When they clarified the lights that came out of such a place, they would go on to live [and shine] throughout the generations.” (The Language of Truth, Translated by Arthur Green, pgs 93-94).


 

A Shabbat Project Breakfast Idea

 

 

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Looking for inspiration for a Shabbos Breakfast? – look no further than these Israeli Breakfast ideas.

Rushed off our feet during the week sometimes makes it impossible to sit down as a family and eat a healthy breakfast together. Let’s really get into the spice and spirit of the promised land, leaving the macon and eggs behind, to enjoy the land of milk and honey in the form of an Israeli breakfast.


 

Caviar For Shabbat

 

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This article is dedicated to my father, who with out fail, reminds me every three day yom tov to do eruv tavshilin.  Eruv Tavshilin refers to the prepared food that is set aside with a prayer before a yom tov, that allows us to cook and prepare foods on a yom tov for Shabbat when Shabbat is the following day.  This is most often necessary when two days of holiday lead into Shabbat as we have been enjoying this year.  Get all the details of Ervu Tavshilin here and don’t worry if you have forgotten or didn’t know about it before, there are many that allow you to rely on the eruv of the Rabbi in the community who will have everyone in mind.

In my family as I am sure in many it is customary to use a hard boiled egg and challah or matzah for the Eruv.  It is easy to eat the bread at any meal, but no one in my family really likes to sit down to a hard boiled egg, that is how I started to serve Caviar on Shabbat.


 

5 Menus for Shemini Atzeres, Simchas Torah, &...

 

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Ok, I admit it, I am guilty of calling every holiday “my favorite holdiay”.  Another confession, I don’t feel all that guilty– I really love everything about the holidays (minus the limits on showering, but let’s not discuss that).  Sukkos is this incredibly festive, yet humbling holiday.   Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah fall right at the end of Sukkos, after Hoshana Rabbah, and are literally, truly, just straight up days of rejoicing.  In gashmius, materialistic, terms: bring on the food!  These 5 menus will leave you full, feeling festive (you may also need a nap) and will motivate you to dance all night (and work off all those calories…sort of kidding!) by Simchas Torah.

 


 

Join Us For The Shabbos Project

 

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Last year The Shabbos Project took South Africa by storm with a weekend dedicated to getting as many people as they could to keep Shabbat from sundown to stars out.  The weekend kicked off with a mass challah baking lead by our dear friend and regular contributor, The Kosher Butcher’s Wife, Sharon Lurie.

The Great Challah Bake


 

10 All-Time Favorite, Healthy, and Fancy Kugel...

 

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Kugel seems like a minhag, a tradition, for many families, although it’s not actually compulsory for the holiday celebration!  This is because kugels are such a treat 1) to eat  and 2) to make in advance and freeze.  If you haven’t yet experimented with making some of kugels below, now is a great time to experiment before the height of holiday cooking season is underway.  Below are just a few of the many  kugel recipes on the site (we have almost 100!); for more great ideas check out all of the great new recipes in the latest issue of Joy of Kosher Magazine.  What’s your favorite kugel recipe to serve at the holidays? Please share below!

 


 

The Great Shabbat Menu

 

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This week is Shabbat Hagadol (translated as the great Shabbat), it is the Shabbat that precedes Passover and is connected to the miracles that happened in Egypt.  Since this Shabbat falls so close to Passover, many homes are already kashered and we are tasked to create a fabulous meal without any bread or any matzo.  Hopefully you will be able to get some Challah to enjoy and then try this menu that can be made before, during and after Passover and still be considered great.

Salad with Pastrami Croutons

Spring Salad with Pastrami Croutons and Balsamic Reduction


 

Shabbat Menu – A Clean New Year

 

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This week in parsha Tazria we continue reading about the laws purity, but it also happens to be Shabbat Hachodesh.  The Shabbat before the first of Nissan, which is considered the first month of the Jewish calendar.  At the same time Spring is in the air and we are cleaning our homes and preparing for the holiday of Passover.  Let’s start the new year off with clean and homes and clean bodies.  This week’s menu features clean healthy foods that have no processed ingredients.

Indian Inspired Salmon Cakes