Kosher: Jewish Food


"Do not cook meat in milk, even that of its mother." Shmot (Exodus) 23:19


"Do not eat meat cooked in milk, even that of its own mother." Shmot (Exodus) 34:26


"Do not cook meat in milk, even that of its mother." Dvarim (Deuteronomy) 14:21

The prohibition to eat meat and milk together is written 3 times in the Torah. Eating Kosher food constitutes one of the most important principles in Judaism.


"Of all the animals in the world, these are the ones that you may eat: Among mammals, you may eat [any one] that has true hooves that are cloven and that bring up its cud. However, among the cud-chewing, hoofed animals, these are the ones that you may not eat: The camel... The hyrax... The hare... The pig... Do not eat the flesh of any of these animals...

This is what you may eat of all that is in the water: You may eat any creature that lives in the water, whether in seas or rivers, as long as it has fins and scales. All creatures in seas and rivers that do not have fins and scales... must be avoided by you... You must avoid them by not eating their flesh...

These are the flying animals that you must avoid...

Every flying insect... shall be avoided by you...

Every animal that walks on its paws... shall be unclean to you...

These are the smaller animals... which are unclean to you...

Every small animal that breeds on land shall be avoided...

[With this law, you will be able] to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between edible animals and animals which may not be eaten."

Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:1-47


"Do not eat any abomination... You may thus eat every animal that has a true hoof that is cloven into two parts, and which brings up its cud... There are some [animals] that you may not eat. These include the camel, hyrax and hare... Also included is the pig... Do not eat the flesh of these [animals] and do not touch their carcasses.

Among that which is in the water, you may eat anything that has fins and scales. But those which have no fins and scales, you may not eat, since they are unclean to you.

You may eat every kosher bird... Every flying insect that is unclean to you shall not be eaten... You may not eat any [mammal or bird] that has not been properly slaughtered."

Dvarim (Deuteronomy) 14:3-21



How do I know it's Kosher?

The Hebrew word "Kosher" means fit or proper as related to dietary (kosher) laws. It means that a given product is permitted and acceptable. Though hygienic and health benefits have been attributed to the observance of kashrut, their ultimate purpose and rationale is simply to conform to the mitzvot (commandments) as expressed in the Torah.





The Torah lists the characteristics of permitted mammals and fish, and enumerates the forbidden fowl. The only mammals permitted are those which chew their cud (rumiants) and are cloven hoofed.



The Torah enumerates 24 forbidden species of fowl. The Shulchan Aruch states that we may eat only those birds for which there is an established tradition that the bird is kosher.



The Torah establishes two criteria in determining kosher fish. They must have fins and scales (skin of the fish). All shellfish are prohibited. One should not eat fish with meat.



The processing of kosher meats and poultry requires that the animal be slaughtered in the manner prescribed by the Torah.




Only a trained kosher slaughterer (shochet) is qualified to slaughter an animal. The trachea and esaphagus of the animal are severed with a special razor-sharp, perfectly smooth blade causing instantaneous death with no pain to the animal.



After the animal has been properly slaughtered, a trained inspector (bodek) inspects the internal organs for any physiological abnormalities that may render the animal non-kosher (treif). The lungs in particular, must be examined to determine that there are no adhesions (sirchot) which may be indicative of a puncture in the lungs. If an adhesion is found, the bodek must examine it carefully to determine its kashruth status.


Glatt Kosher:

Though not all adhesions will necessarily render an animal treif, some Jewish communities or individuals only eat of an animal that has been found to be free of all adhesions. "Glatt" literally means smooth, indicating that the meat comes from an animal whose lung has been found to be free of all adhesions. Of late "Glatt Kosher" has come to be used more broadly as a consumer phrase meaning kosher without question.



There are special cutting procedures for beef, veal and lamb, called "Nikkur" in Hebrew. Many blood vessels, nerves, and lobes of fat are forbidden and must be removed before, a costly and time-consuming procedure.



The Torah forbids the eating of the blood of an animal. The two methods of extracting blood from meat are salting and broiling. Because of the preponderance of blood in the liver, it can only be koshered through broiling. Meat once ground cannot be made kosher, nor may meat be placed in hot water before it has been "koshered".



The Torah forbids cooking meat and milk together in any form, eating such cooked products, or deriving benefit from them. As a safeguard, the Rabbis extended this prohibition to disallow the eating of meat and dairy products at the same meal or preparing them on the same utensils. One must wait up to six hours after eating meat products before any dairy products may be eaten. However, meat may be eaten following dairy products with the one exception of hard cheese (6 months old or more), which also requires up to a six hour interval. Prior to eating meat after dairy, the mouth must be rinsed.




The Kosher kitchen must have two separate sets of utensils, one for meat and poultry and the other for dairy foods. There must be separate, distinct sets of pots, pans, plates and silverware.


Washing Dishes:

In a sink used for both meat and milk dishes and products, dishes and utensils must be placed or washed on a rack. Separate racks are to be used for meat and dairy use.



The eggs or animal by-product of non-kosher birds or fish are not kosher. Caviar, therefore, must come from a kosher fish. Eggs of kosher fowl which contain a bloodspot must be discarded, and therefore eggs should be checked before use.





The "Taking" of Challah:

The Torah requires that a portion of every batter of dough prepared for baking be set aside as "Challah". The Challah portion taken may be of any size and is to be burned. This ritual is obligated only when the dough is of Jewish ownership and is made from the flour of five grains: wheat, oats, rye, spelt, and barley. When the flour used is a blend with other types of flour, such as corn or rice, a Rabbinic authority is to be consulted.

If this Mitzvah has not been performed in the bakery, it may be performed in the home by placing all the baked goods in one room, breaking open all sealed packages material, and removing and burning a small piece from one of the loaves. When some of the loaves are of wheat flour and some of the loaves are of rye (or one of the five previously listed grains). Challah must then be taken from a loaf of each type.



Emulsifiers, Shortenings, Oils, Flavors, Fillings, Cremes, and Fudges:

The Kosher status of a product containing any of these ingredients can only be verified by reliable Kosher certification.


Cake, Pastries, Doughnuts, & Dairy Breads:

These products should be considered non-kosher unless certified Kosher.




Chalav Israel:

A Rabbinic law requires that there be supervision during the milking process to ensure that the source of the milk is from a kosher animal.


Cheeses, Sour Cream, Buttermilk, Yogurt, & Desserts:

All these products require Kashruth certification. Rennet is used in their production as a curdling and coagulating ingredient. The use of non-kosher rennet, renders the product non-kosher.



Margarine usually contains glycerides and therefore requires rabbinic certification. Also, unless the margarine is marked Pareve, it should be considered dairy.



Even if a product is sold in a natural or health food store, it requires supervision.




All grape wines or brandies must be prepared under strict Orthodox Rabbinic supervision. Once the wine has been cooked, no restrictions are attached to its handling. Grape Jam, Grape Jelly, Natural and "Artificial" Grape Flavors, can be used only when produced under proper kosher supervision. Liqueurs, even though not possessing a wine base, nevertheless require supervision because of the flavorings used in these products.




When traveling by plane, train, or ship, kosher meals should be ordered in advance. These meals are heated in non-kosher ovens. The traveler can ascertain by the intact kashrut certification seals that the dinners have not been tempered with. Any dinner which is not so sealed should not be eaten.


Treif: Non-Kosher


Biblically prohibited foods - primary prohibitions

Beheimah Temeiah - non-kosher animals:

The Torah forbids us to eat any land animal (or the milk of that animal) that does not have two distinctive simanim (signs, indications) that attest to its kashrut. The animal must both chew its cud (ruminate) and have completely cloven hooves. Cows, goats, sheep, deer, bison, gazelle, antelope, ibex, addax and giraffe are animals that have both of these characteristics and are considered beheimah tehorah (kosher animals) and need not be inspected individually. A pig does not chew its cud although it has split hooves. A camel chews its cud but has no split hooves. Both of these animals (and certainly an animal possessing neither of the simanim, like a donkey or horse) are therefore considered beheimah temeiah - ("unclean") non-kosher animals.

Ouf Tamey - non-kosher fowl:

The Torah similarly differentiates between kosher and non-kosher fowl. Unlike animals, the Torah gives no signs to differentiate between kosher and non-kosher fowl. The Torah merely lists twenty-four types of forbidden fowl; all other fowl are assumed to be kosher. The Talmud does provide signs to identify non-kosher fowl. However, since we lack the experience to apply these rules, we are permitted to eat only those fowl traditionally accepted as kosher. All variations of the common chicken are accepted as kosher. Similarly, common domestic ducks, geeses and doves are considered kosher. Some communities have a tradition that the quail is a kosher fowl. With the appearance of turkeys, Rabbis questioned whether a reliable tradition exists about their kashrut. Common custom today accepts turkeys as kosher fowl. There is no definitive tradition about the status of a pheasant, peacock, guinea hen, partridge, swan, or certain species of wild ducks, geese, pigeons and doves; therefore, they should not be eaten. The eggs of any non-Kosher fowl are also forbidden to be eaten.


Neveilah - carrion:

Even a kosher animal or fowl (the laws of neveilah do not apply to fish) may not be eaten unless it is slaughtered in the prescribed manner. An animal slaughtered improperly or an animal that died in any other manner is a neveilah and may not be eaten. The laws of shechita (ritual slaughtering) are complex and are discussed in Jewish Law at length.


Treifah - mortally injured:

Any animal or fowl which, as a result of a birth defect, disease or inflicted wound, suffers from a mortally defective organ or limb (or an animal close to death) may be considered a Treifah. These defects are enumerated in the Talmud. A defect not listed in the Talmud does not render the animal a Treifah even if according to current medical knowledge the animal is certain to die shortly. Conversely, a defect that is listed by the Talmud renders the animal Treifah regardless of current medical opinion. For example: an animal lacking certain organs, an animal with certain organ walls perforated or certain bones fractured is considered a Treifah. Thus, even if one slaughters a kosher animal properly, it may nevertheless be un-Kosher to eat if it is afflicted by any of these injuries. Although every animal and fowl is assumed to be free of any of these injuries and need not be examined, the lung of an animals must be examined after slaughtering to ascertain that the animal suffers no abnormality that renders it a Treifah. This examination is called "bedikah". The rules of Treifah are of great relevance in the slaughtering house but rarely affect the Jewish home since most meats are delivered prepared and packaged. However, if one notices a broken wing or leg or a discolored drumstick, one should consult a Rabbi.


Sheretz - swarming insects and rodents:

The Torah prohibits us from eating any rodents, worms, amphibians or creeping, swimming or flying insects. One who eats fruits or vegetables in which worms, ants or mites are commonly found must examine the fruit carefully before eating.


Dag Tamey - non-kosher fish:

The Torah permits only those fish that have fins and scales; any other fish is prohibited. Some fish have very small scales and still others lose their scales upon being removed from the water; they are, nevertheless, permitted. Swimming creatures that are not fish (like sea horse or squid) are included in the prohibition.


Dam - blood:

The Torah forbids eating the blood of even a kosher animal or fowl. Thus, after slaughtering, all meat to be cooked must be salted beforehand. Certain organs require special treatment to rid them of their blood. The liver is so permeated with blood that only broiling can remove that blood. Fish blood is permitted unless it is recognizable as fish blood (that is, it contains fish scales).


Cheilev - non-kosher fats:

The fats on certain internal organs must be removed from a kosher slaughtered cattle, sheep or goat before the meat may be eaten. This prohibition applies to commonly domesticated animals only (like cattle, sheep and goats), not to fowl or wild forest animals. Removal of the forbidden fats is a difficult task and must be done by a skilled expert. This process is called nikur and is usually done in the slaughtering house. At times, butchers themselves must do nikur. Thus, it is not sufficient to merely obtain meat with a proper slaughtering supervision; one must also determine that the butcher is a skilled, knowledgeable and G-d-fearing individual who does nikur under proper Rabbinical supervision.


Gid Hanasheh - the sciatic nerve:

The Torah prohibits eating the gid hanasheh - the sciatic nerve in both hind thighs of any kosher land animal (domesticated or wild). The difficult process of the removal of the nerve and the fat surrounding it is also called "nikur" and must be done with great care by a G-d-fearing skilled expert. In most countries, the hind part of an animal is not eaten at all thereby avoiding entirely the difficult process of removing the prohibited fats and nerves.


Eiver Min HaChai - a limb from a living creature:

One may not eat a limb of an animal or fowl that was removed while the animal was alive. Although this prohibition does not apply to fish, one should nevertheless not eat part of a fish while the fish is alive. Incidentally, the law of eiver min hachai is the only law of kashrut that applies to non-Jews as well. Thus, a Jew may not provide a non-Jew with eiver min hachai meat since, by doing so, he assists him in transgressing a Torah law.


Tevel - produce from which the tithes were not removed:

One may not eat fruits and vegetables grown in The Land of Israel unless the required tithes - called terumot and maasers, were set aside. It is common today that fresh fruits and vegetables (or even orange juice concentrate) are imported from the Holy Land. These fruits may not be eaten without setting aside these tithes beforehand. One should consult a Rabbi who knows as to the proper procedure for tithing.


Orlah - fruits of the first three years:

One who plants a fruit tree, whether in The Land of Israel or not, may not eat any produce of the first three years growth. One who replants a tree may also be required to wait three years before eating any of the fruits. One should also consult a Rabbi to determine when the three years have elapsed. In addition, one should inquire about the particular laws of a grape vine.


Chadash - new (fresh) grain:

The Torah prohibits eating any of the five types of grain (wheat, barley oats, spelt and rye) that took root after the sixteenth of the Hebrew month of Nissan until the following sixteenth of Nissan. There is a difference of opinion whether this Biblical prohibition applies to grains grown outside of The Land of Israel.


Yayin Nesech - wine of libation:

One may not drink or derive any benefit from wine that has been poured in a sacrificial manner to an avodah zarah - idolatry. In addition, this prohibition applies to anything served to an idol in a sacrificial mannered. Other non-Jewish wines are forbidden through Rabbinic injunction and will be discussed below.



Biblically prohibited foods - prohibited combinations

Basar BeChalav - combined meat and milk:

Although meat or milk of kosher animals is permitted, a cooked combination of meat and milk is prohibited. One may not even derive benefit from such a combination.

Kilayim - different species grown together:

One may not plant vegetables or grains near one another this is called kilaei zeraim. One also may not plant any vegetable or grain near a grape vine: this is called kilaei hakerem. Two distinctions between the two are the former is forbidden only in The Land of Israel and does not cause the produce to become prohibited. The latter applies in any country and causes the produce to become prohibited to be eaten or derive benefit (hana'ah) thereof.



Foods prohibited because of a Rabbinic injunction

As noted above, some Rabbinic prohibitions are based on Biblical laws while some are independent of any Biblical source. Of the former, some are Rabbinical extensions of Biblical prohibitions and some are Rabbinically prohibited out of concern lest one transgress a Biblical prohibition. The Rabbis extended the Biblical prohibition on many foods to include foods not covered by the Biblical law itself.

a) The Torah prohibition of mixing meat and milk includes only meat and milk of a kosher domestic animal (such as cow, sheep and goat). Rabbis extended the prohibition to include meat and milk from a chayah - a non-domestic animal (such as deer) and fowl.


b) Rabbis broadened the prohibition of eating the siatic nerve to include parts of the nerve and the fats surrounding it which are not included in the Biblical prohibition.



Foods prohibited lest one transgress a Biblical prohibition

According to Torah law, one may not eat any food if the likelihood exists that one may thereby come to transgress a Torah prohibition. If, however, that likelihood is not apparent or seems very far-fetched, the food may be Biblically permitted. Rabbis, however, prohibited certain foods out of concern that eating them may cause one, even in a remote instance, to violate a Biblical law. Thus, while Biblical law does not forbid that food, Rabbinic law does. Examples of these foods are:

Chalav Akum - non-Jewish milk:

Milk that was not milked in the presence of a Jew is forbidden by Rabbinic injunction. Rabbis feared that the non-Jew may have mixed non-kosher milk (like milk from a non-kosher animal) into the milk.


Gevinat Akum - non-Jewish cheese:

Rabbis prohibited cheese made by non-Jews since their cheese is, with all probability, produced with non-kosher rennet.


Yayin Akum - wine touched by a non-Jew:

Rabbis prohibited (even to derive benefit from) the wine of a Jew if it was touched and moved (or even if it may have been touched) by a non-Jew. Rabbis were concerned that the non-Jew may have poured some of the wine as an offering to his avodah zarah. These laws are complex and of importance to anyone who has non-Jewish cleaning help.



Foods prohibited by Rabbinic law independent of any direct Biblical basis

Certain foods were prohibited because Rabbis, as the spiritual guardians of the Jewish Community, felt that eating these foods may be harmful or affect the spiritual purity of the Jewish people, not because of any direct problem with eating that food. Among these foods are:

Bishul Akum - non-Jewish cooking:

One may not eat food cooked by a non-Jew. Rabbis feared that this may precipitate an inappropriately close personal relationship between Jew and non-Jew.


Pas Akum - non-Jewish bread:

Similarly, Rabbis prohibited eating bread baked by a non-Jew.


Stam Yoinom - non-Jewish wine:

One may not drink wine of a non-Jew, even if the wine was not poured to avodah zarah. This prohibition is also based on the concern that drinking his wine may cause a personal relationship between Jew and non-Jew.


Sakanah - dangerous foods:

Certain foods were prohibited by Rabbis out of concern for safety. Indeed, Rabbis were more stringent regarding a sakanah (danger), than a prohibition. Among these prohibitions is the prohibition of eating fish with meat.



50 grams instant yeast (1 pkg "Shimrit")

3/4 kg white flour

3/4 kg. Whole wheat flour

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup honey or demerara sugar

3 large eggs

2 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups warm water

1 teaspoon Cold water

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons poppy or sesame seeds

Place the yeast and half of the whole wheat and white flours in a mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook and mix briefly. In a separate bowl mix the oil, honey or sugar, eggs salt and warm water.


Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the contents of the second bowl, using a spatula to scrape out the last traces of the honey and other liquids that stick to the bottom of the bowl.


On slow speed, mix the flours and the liquids together to form a wet dough, stopping the mixer periodically to wipe down the sides with a spatula.


Gradually add more whole wheat and white flours to form a ball. Be careful not to add too much flour or the dough will be too dry.


Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead, gradually adding more flour until the dough is the consistency of an ear lobe (!) It can be slightly sticky.


Put the dough into an oiled bowl and turn it so that all of the surfaces are slightly coated with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.


Punch down the dough in the middle and let rest for 5 minutes.


Grease a 26 cm springform pan (I used a bundt pan). Form the dough into a series of balls, slightly larger than pingpong balls. Place a ring around the outer rim of the pan, and then form an inner ring if there is room. Form three or four balls into the size of tennis balls and fit them into the center. This will give your baked challa a crown like shape. Some like to fill each ball with a date for good luck (I did this, but afterwards wondered why shouldn't we add raisins as well?)


Brush with an egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water and sprinkle with seeds. Bake in the middle of a preheated oven for 25 minutes at 180 degrees Centigrade or until a knock on the top produces a hollow sound. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and cool thoroughly.






2 packages Dry yeast

1/8 teaspoon Saffron threads

2/3 cup Warm water

5 Egg yolks, lighty beaten

7 tablespoons Veg. or canola oil

1/4 cup Sugar

2 teaspoons Salt

4 1/2 cups All-purpose flour or up to

5 cups

1 1/2 cups Raisins

1 Egg yolk. beaten

In large bowl, soak yeast and saffron and water about 5 minutes. Stir in egg yolks, eggs, oil, sugar and salt. Add enough flour to form a stiff but sticky dough, (about 4-1/2 cups.) Turn dough out on floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes, working raisins into dough while kneading. Form in a ball and place in greased bowl, turning to coat surface with grease.


Cover with plastic wrap and put in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Punch down dough and knead briefly. Roll dough into a rope about 24" long. Coil rope into a spiral round loaf. Place on greased cooking sheet. Brush with beaten egg yolk and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.


Heat oven to 375. Bake until dark golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool thoroughly before slicing.




Yield: one enormous challah or two medium ones


2 cups warm water

1 tablespoon dry yeast

10 cups white bread flour

1 1/2 cups sugar (You can use an addition 1/4 cup to make it VERY sweet.)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 sticks unsalted parve margarine

5 eggs

1 tsp almond extract

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup Cointreau (or other orange liqueur, or orange flower water)

1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds

*NOTE: this challah takes a Long Time to make, with all the rising. Plan to start early in the morning.


Mix water and yeast in a BIG bowl. Add 3 cups flour and 1 cup sugar. Stir with a fork; let rise 1/2 hour in a warm place. Meanwhile, put the raisins in a small bowl and add the Cointreau. Let them soak.


In another bowl, measure 5 cups of flour, the salt, and the remaining sugar. Cut in the margarine with a pastry blender or knife until the mixture resembles coarse meal.


After the yeast mixture has sat for 1/2 hour, beat four eggs and add them in. (The mixture will deflate.) Add flour-margarine mixture to yeast mixture and work until combined. Drain the raisins and add them to the dough along with 2 tsp of the soaking liquid. Add up to 2 cups flour if the dough is sticky. Turn onto a floured counter or board and knead well. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise about two hours, until doubled.


Punch down, knead for a minute or two, then let rest five minutes. Shape the dough into a round challah (or two smaller round challot, or a bird, or whatever Rosh Hashanah shape you prefer) on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Cover, put in a warm place and let rise at least 3 hours. (Depending on how warm your rising place is, you can let it go up to 5 hours.)


Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Beat the remaining egg, add a tablespoon of warm water, and mix to make egg wash. Brush the bread with the wash and sprinkle the top liberally with the almonds. Bake for about 45 minutes.




Yield: 16 servings


1 cup Raisins

1 cup Boiling water

1 cup Cool water for machine making *SEE NOTE

1 3/8 teaspoons Salt

1 tablespoon Sugar

2 Whole eggs

2 Egg yolks, beaten

1/4 cup Honey

1/4 cup Vegetable oil

3 teaspoons Instant, rapid-rise or quick-rise yeast

3 1/2 (to 4 c) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon Oil for coating bag in refrigerator

2 teaspoons Corn flour



1 Egg

1 Egg yolk

2 tablespoons Sesame seeds, if desired

*NOTE: for conventional method use 100-105 degree water


Place raisins in medium bowl and pour boiling water over. Let plump 2 minutes. Drain, blot dry and allow to cool.


BREAD MACHINE METHOD: Place cool water, salt, sugar, eggs, yolks, honey, oil, yeast and 3 c flour into the machine's pan, or in order stipulated by manufacturer.


Put on dough mode or program. Dust in additional flour as dough forms a ball and seems wet enough to call for remaining flour. (Holding some flour back, as the dough matures through kneading, results in a better dough. On humid days, it is normal for the recipe to take a larger amount of flour.) Before the second knead, add raisins. They should be added once the dough is formed, but with some kneading time left to incorporate them. If your machine will not allow you to do this, let it complete its dough cycle. Remove to a floured board & simply press the raisins in. Proceed to directions for forming loaves.


CONVENTIONAL METHOD: In large bowl, mix together warm water, salt, sugar & honey, and sprinkle with instant, rapid rise or quick-rise yeast. Beat in eggs, yolks and vegetable oil. Beat in 3 c of flour. If using an electric mixer, attach dough hook and knead with mixer or by hand for 8 - 10 minutes till dough is soft and elastic and leaves the side of the bowl. If dough is sticky, add small amounts of flour till dough is soft and no longer sticks. Sprinkle work surface with remaining 1/4 c flour. Let dough rest for 10 minutes on surface. Knead or press in raisins as evenly as possible, folding dough over raisins to tuck them in.


Cover the dough with a damp clean towel. Let dough rest 20 minutes. Or, if allowing to finish rising overnight, place in large, oiled plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. If you see the bread rising, open bag, deflate dough and reseal. Next day punch down the bread and proceed as follows.


TO FORM LOAVES: Work on baking sheet covered with foil or parchment and sprinkled with corn flour. For a traditional braid, divide dough into 3- 15" long logs; for wreath, 3- 18" logs; for turban, 2- 18" logs 20% thicker at one end than at the other. For a braid, braid the 3 logs, pinch ends together and tuck under. For round wreath, braid and shape in a circle. Pinch ends together and tuck inside the round so they don't show. For turbans, starting at thicker end, coil bread into a round. At the end, pinch the tip and tuck under. In small bowl, mix together egg an yolk for egg wash. Generously brush bread with egg wash. Allow to rise 30-40 minutes. Brush again and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.


BAKING: Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat to 375. Bake 30-35 minutes, till crust is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped.






Yield: 4 servings


1 lemon

1 roasting chicken, (about 5 pounds)

Grated zest of 1 lemon, (then quarter lemon)

Grated zest of 1 orange, (then quarter orang)

3 tablespoons peeled grated fresh ginger root

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 tablespoons margarine, melted (or olive oil)

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons honey

Orange sections, for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


Cut the lemon into quarters. Rub the outside of the chicken with one of the lemon quarters, then discard.


In a small bowl, stir together the lemon and orange zests and 1 tablespoon of the grated ginger. Rub this mixture evenly in the cavity of the chicken. Put the lemon and orange quarters inside the bird. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.


In the now- empty small bowl, combine the melted margarine or olive oil, lemon and orange juices, honey and the remaining 2 tablespoons ginger. Mix well.


Place the chicken in the oven and roast, basting with the citrus juice mixture at least four times during cooking, until the juice run clear when the thigh is pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.


Transfer to a serving platter and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve the chicken. Garnish with orange sections.


Variation: you can use 4 tablespoons pomegranate juice in place of the lemon juice.




1 cup margarine

1/2 cup sugar

4 Tablespoons honey

2 1/2 cups flour

Cream margarine, sugar and honey. Add flour, mix well.


Chill in refrigerator 2 hours at least. Roll out.


Cut with cookie cutter. Sprinkle with additional sugar.


Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 300 for 25 minutes.


Makes 4 dozen.



Yield: 6 servings


6 cups chicken stock or water

6 carrots (2 1/2 cups) - cut into chunks

3 onions - quartered

2 turnips (3 cups) - peeled and quartered

2 stalks celery - sliced

2 sticks cinnamon or 1 tsp ground cinnamon - (3 inch sticks)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, up to 1

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon salt


1 butternut squash or small pumpkin prepared and cut into 2 inch pieces

3 medium, sliced (6 cups)

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (5 cups)

2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas or fava beans

1 tablespoon chopped coriander or parsley

Couscous, (see below)

1 cup chicken stock, warmed, up to 2

Bring 6 cups stock to a boil. Add carrots, onions, turnips, celery, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Add squash, cabbage, chickpeas and coriander. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes.


To produce a thicker sauce, use a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon to mash some of the chickpeas or squash against the bottom of the pot.


Spoon cooked couscous onto a large deep-sided platter or individual serving plates. Make a well in the centre and fill it with vegetables. Pour 1 to 2 cups stock over couscous. Serve warm. Yields 6 servings.


Chicken Couscous: Before adding vegetables, simmer 3 lb chicken pieces in 6 cups water for 30 minutes. Remove chicken; debone, then shred meat. Return meat to pot; add vegetables as above.


Lamb Couscous: Before adding vegetables, simmer 1 lb lamb shoulder cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes in 6 cups water for 1 hour; add vegetables as above.


Note: Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian Jews serve couscous every Friday night, on festivals and for all special occasions. For Rosh Hashanah, Moroccans serve a stew of seven symbolic vegetables, seven being an auspicious number.



Yield: 20 servings


4 cups Rice Krispies

3/4 cup honey

6 ounce bag chocolate chips

6 ounce bag butterscotch chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

Heat cereal in a shallow pan in 350* oven for 10 minutes. While this is heating, bring hooney to simmer over low heat, or (microwave) in a buttered dish. Remove from heat add chips and cereal. Stir until well coated. Pat into an 8 x 10 inch pan (or similar) and refrigerate. Cut into squares when well chilled. Makes 20 - 2 -inch squares.






Yield: 12 servings


1 pound broccoli

2 cups chick-peas (1- 12 ounce can)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

1/4 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove, mashed

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups lentils

2 red peppers

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, mashed

1 dash sugar

1 teaspoon french mustard

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh mint

Fresh lettuce, for garnish

1. Cut the broccoli into florets, cook briefly in boiling salted water, and plunge into iced water.


2. Drain the chick-peas and mix with the lemon juice, parsley, 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic clove, and salt and pepper. Set aside.


3. Clean the lentils and cook in boiling salted water for about 20 minutes or until al dente. Drain.


4. Place the red peppers in a preheated 450 degrees F oven for 20 minutes. When charred, place immediately in a brown paper bag to cool down for about 30 minutes. Peel, remove seeds and remove membranes, and slice into thin strips about 1/2- inch wide.


5. To make the vinaigrette, mix the balsamic vinegar, garlic clove, sugar, and mustard in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, pour in 1/4 cup of oil. Add the salt and pepper to taste and garnish with diced fresh mint. Set aside in an attractive small bowl.


6. Using a large platter, place all the vegetables and grains in individual sections, using lettuce as a garnish. Serve as a salad or first course, with the vinaigrette in a bowl with a spoon on the side.







Yield: 2 cakes


1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/4 cup rum

2 large eggs

1 cup clover honey

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Grated rind and juice of 1 orange

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup apricot jam

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour

1/4 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Peheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-by-5-inch) loaf pans. Soak apricots in rum in small bowl.


Beat eggs in mixing bowl. Stir in honey, oil, grated lemon and orange rinds and juices, sugar, salt and apricot jam.


In separate bowl, combine flours and baking soda.


Strain apricots, reserving rum.


Add flour mixture alternately with rum to honey mixture. Fold in apricots and almonds. Spoon batter into pans.


Bake for 40 minutes or until center is firm when pressed.


"When baker Ben Moskovitz was a little boy growing up in Apsha, Czechoslovakia, his mother made a sweet cake for Rosh Hashana out of burnt sugar. It was so delicious," said Moskovitz, the owner of Star Bakery in Oak Park, Mich. "Honey was too expensive for us. Here I use pure honey, and I still think my mother's cake was better, and I know I am [right]. The taste of hers is still in my mouth." Joan Nathan





250 gm (1/2lb) dates, chopped

125 gm (1/4lb) butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ginger powder

1 packet Marie biscuits

1 egg, beaten


Boil cut-up dates, butter, ginger and sugar for 3 minutes, stirring all the time on a slow heat. Take off stove and add beaten egg slowly. Now put it back and continue cooking for another 3 minutes, still stirring and on a slow again.


Take off and stir in the roughly crushed Maries (or substitute). After it's cooled slightly, roll into little balls and then roll in the coconut.


Put in fridge for about 2 hours.


NOTE: Most recipes just stir in the raw beaten egg and leave to set - this recipe cooks the eggs







4 eggs

3 tbl oil (as needed)

1 tbl sugar

4 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder (it really shouldn't be a FULL teaspoon)

1/2 pound filberts (more or less)

1/2 pound pecans or walnuts (more or less)



1 1/2 pounds honey

4 tbl sugar

1/4 cup water

1 tsp ground ginger (more if you like the taste)



Sift sugar, flour and baking powder together. Add eggs, and enough oil to make a soft dough. Take pieces and roll into a rope about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into small pieces as long as it is thick. Roll to make them little balls. Place on a jelly roll sheet and bake in 375F oven about 10 minutes, until lightly brown.


When dough balls are ready, heat the honey, sugar, water and ginger until it comes to a boil. Drop in the nuts and dough balls, cover, let simmer about 10 minutes and then uncover. Let it simmer slowly; keep stirring until all the honey is absorbed; then turn out onto a wet board. Form into a cone, or whatever shape you wish, and let cool.





Yield: 6 servings


12 small zucchini

1 onion, minced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 slice white bread

1/2 cup chicken broth

2/3 pound lamb, ground

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon Italian parsley, minced

Salt and pepper

Cayenne pepper


1/2 teaspoon sugar

Wash the zucchini and scrub well to remove any dirt.


Using an apple corer, core each zucchini, taking care not to pierce the skin (reserve the cores for the following simple and delicious side dish). Saute the onion in half of the olive oil until wilted; cool.


Soak the bread in the broth for 10 minutes, squeeze dry, and combine with the lamb, onion, egg, parsley, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne, and a little freshly grated nutmeg in a bowl; knead well with your fingers until well combined. Stuff each zucchini with a little of the lamb filling.


Heat the remaining olive oil in a deep, wide pan (at least 12" deep). Add the zucchini, 1/2 cup of water, the sugar, salt and pepper; cover with an upside-down plate. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil, then simmer 40 minutes. Remove the lid and the plate, and reduce the liquid in the pan. Serve hot.


This dish is excellent with a little lemon juice added at the end, but for Rosh Hashanah, sour flavors are typically avoided since it is a sweet holiday.



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