Tag archive for "Rosh HaShana"

How to Seed a Pomegranate for Rosh Hashanah: Two Techniques

kosher recipes, rosh hashanah and sukkot recipes, rosh hashanah simanim

How to Seed a Pomegranate for Rosh Hashanah: Two Techniques

5 Comments 26 January 2013

Pomegranate fruit.

There are two techniques  to scooping out 613 of those pomegranate seeds!

The first one was sent in by Linda Dayan in Israel-:

Technique #1:

1-When my children were little, we wanted them to be a part of the preparing for Rosh HaShana. We used to put giant bibs on them and let them remove the seeds from the pomegranates. The reason that we eat this fruit on Rosh haShana is the symbolism of its many seeds; that we should have a new year filled with many mitzvot. It is even said that the pomegranate contains 613 seeds, the number of mitzvot in the Torah. I don’t know if this is true, but the counting was another way to keep our kids busy, while I was cooking!

Now that my children have B’H,  grown and we are both (hopefully) smarter… I have discovered easier ways to seed this delicious, healthy fruit. Here goes:

Put on an apron!

Roll the pomegranate on your counter, pressing gently around all sides.

Cut the pomegranate in half (like you would slice a grapefruit). Slice off the little crown on the top.

Place the two halves of the fruit face down on a cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and then a dish towel.

Get your poultry hammer or heavy wooden spoon and hit around all the sides – and top of the fruit.

Carefully, lift off the coverings and the rind. Those beautiful, bright red seeds will be yours for the taking.

Technique #2:

2– Watch the video now:

and/or read on….

First cut off the top of the pomegranate. With a spoon, gently take out some of the center core. Be careful not to squeeze or disturb the seeds. Next, use your knife to score the outer rind around the fruit. Put your thumbs in the center and gently pull apart the sections. Peel away some of the white skin. You may be able to remove pieces from the rind.

To easily remove the seeds, place the pieces of pomegranate into a large bowl of cold water. Now when you go to remove the seeds, they’ll come right out. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl. With the sieve, remove the skin floating on top. When the skin is gone, take out the seeds. Don’t freeze the seeds as they lose their color when frozen.

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How to Check The Simanim for Insects

kosher recipes, rosh hashanah and sukkot recipes, rosh hashanah simanim

How to Check The Simanim for Insects

No Comments 24 August 2012



by : Linda Dayan

Most of us are familiar with the minhag (custom) of eating the different fruits and vegetables (simanim/signs) on Rosh HaShana, which are meant to represent what kind of year we really desire. For example: we dip the apple in the honey to symbolize a sweet year. There is the old joke of a Jew who put raisins on a stalk of celery… he was hoping that H-Shem would bless him with a “raise in salary…”

Yes, it is important for us to keep our minhagim, but would it be right to do something that is not permitted from the Torah – so we can eat that symbolic date or leek?

(The following info is reprinted from

The Torah prohibits us from  eating worms or any other bug. As Jewish women its our responsibility to make sure our family doesn’t ingest those miniscule critters, so therefore, as a service to our readers, we are providing information on how to check some of the simanim which we will serve on our tables in few days. Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Kosher Year!

Given the strict Torah prohibitions against eating insects – there are five Torah commandments against eating crawling insects and six against consuming flying insects – and the tendency of bugs to find fruits and vegetables as much a part of their lifestyle as people do, it has become extremely important to check veggies and fruits for insect infestation to be certain they are kosher.

As with any agricultural product, dried fruits are subject to insect infestation concerns. The consumer should look carefully at the fruit for signs of damage, webbing, or other indicators of insect presence. Certain fruits – notably whole dried figs and dates – sometimes harbor insects in their cavities and it is advisable to split these open and scan for insects prior to eating.

Leek (Carti):

Leek must be cut at the bottom, in the area of the root, and then sliced the length of the green, separating each layer. Each layer should be held under a strong stream of running water while rubbing with one’s fingers. Alternatively, one may soak in soapy water for 2-3 minutes and rinse well.

Dry Dates (Tamar Yasvesh):

One cuts open the date lengthwise, removes the pit, and holds the date against a light source, like a window or lamp and inspects it from both sides, looking for a dark insect. A dry date may exhibit white clusters, formed from sugar and these are not bug related and not problematic.

Swiss Chard:


When grown regularly, the leaves are simply infested. Small worms are imbedded deep in the leaves and they are not removed by washing the leaves. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that one only use the bug-free type leaves, of course only those with a reliable hechsher (kashrut supervision). They too should be washed, in soapy water and then thoroughly rinsed.

When not using the bug-free:

Soak in cold water; add several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent or vegetable wash; agitate leaves in water to wash their surface; use a heavy stream of water to remove all foreign matter and soap from surface of the leaf; check leaves under direct light.

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Glamour with a Twist of Tradition on Rosh Hashanah

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Glamour with a Twist of Tradition on Rosh Hashanah

No Comments 07 September 2010

Today I helped my grandmother set the table for Rosh Hashanah. Apparently, I have been setting the table wrong for all these years… (napkin DOESNT go under the silverware?), but she let me infiltrate with some of my ideas this year.

I was trying to get a more modern look out of her super traditional dinnerware.

My first step was to lose the table cloth. Handmade lace tablecloths are grand as grand can be, but I think the bare table is so beautiful that I wanted to showcase it. Plus, I love the contrast of the white plates and the dark wood. It makes the table seem fresh.

Next was the choice of dishes. I chose these from all of her most ornate sets because it looks crisp, and its easy to match with other white dishes. The gold scalloped edge is glamourous but also simple.

I chose a glass with a bit of color to it, and I used her brass wine cup and bronze pitcher, proving once again that you can mix metals as freely as you dare!

Sterling silver flatware is always a good thing, and on the bare glossy wood the silver really sparkles.

Handmade napkins and mother of pearl dishes to hold the symbolic foods complete the look.

The finishing touch were the vintage glass apples that we used on each plate. Cheeky, apropos and playful, while the table remains elegant and refined.

I hope you all have a lovely holiday! Check out my blog Sketch 42!

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Rosh Hashanah This Year-Is it Early or On Time?

healthy mind

Rosh Hashanah This Year-Is it Early or On Time?

No Comments 01 September 2010

by Linda Dayan

Most of us are still enjoying the summer vacation. We are away from the daily routine, which keeps us busy during the year at home. The kids may be in camp and few parents have any thoughts about school supplies!

However, I’m sure that you have heard (even if you claim to have forgotten every now and then)… the Holidays are “early this year!”

As I once heard from Rabbi David Orlovsky: “Did you ever notice that the High Holidays are either early or late? How come they are never ON TIME?”

We have entered the Jewish month of Elul, which tells us that Rosh HaShana is less than a month away. This statement is not meant to pressure anyone. It is your friendly reminder that we have some work to do; not only for our freezer, but also for ourselves.

The days of Elul are imbued with H-Shem coming closer to the Jewish people. During this period, He is more intensely accessible, with His good will and forgiving “disposition.” We don’t want to miss this opportunity!


Yetzer HaRa (the evil inclination) knows just how to trap us, especially when we are trying to improve. We have to be conscious of how to send him packing. Here are some of his tactics that he may throw your way (so watch out!):

“So what if you talk some lashon hara now and then? It’s not so bad; besides you have to be sociable.”

“You were born with lots of anger; that’s how you’ve always been and no one expects you to change – especially at your age!”

“I know it’s important for you to dress more modestly, but come on… you’re not that religious. Besides, if you can’t do it perfectly, then why try at all?”

So let’s use these days of Elul to make baby steps in the right direction.

No, your speech will not change overnight. But you can learn 2 halachot a day with a friend (not more, or you may give up). It can take about five minutes on the phone and make a difference in your day.

Anger, or any mida (personality trait) can take years to work on. NOW is the best time to start. No one said you have to finish! Perfection is another one of the Yetzer HaRa’s tricks to get you to despair. How about aiming to keep your voice down for a specific one or two hours a day.

If you want to be more modest, pick some area that is not too difficult for you. If you have a friend for support, that always helps. But don’t think that a baby step in the right direction is not considered growth. No matter how tiny, YOU have made a STEP. And H-Shem values that!

So know that H-Shem loves us and is closer this time of year. Take advantage of His kindness to us by looking for small meaningful steps to enter this New Year as a person who is trying.

Do your best and let H-Shem do the rest.

Wishing all the Jewish Hostess readers a healthy, happy and sweet year; one in which we feel fulfilled, accomplished and having more self-respect because of our efforts to progress.

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