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Cheese Blintzes



Batter


1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. oil


Cheez filling

1/2 pound farmer cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
4 Tbsps. honey or
maple syrup
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg yolk

Batter: In a large mixer bowl combine eggs, milk, water and blend well. Gradually add flour, then both sugars, salt and oil. Beat well until there are no lumps in the batter.

Filling: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat well until smooth.

1. Prepare batter and filling. Apply a thin coating of oil to a 7 inch skillet. Place skillet over medium heat until skillet is hot but not smoking.

2. Ladle approximately 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet. Tilt pan to swirl the batter so it covers the bottom of the skillet.

3. Fry on one side until small air bubbles form, and top is set. Bottom should be golden brown. When done, carefully loosen edges of crepe and slip out of skillet onto a plate..

4. Repeat the above procedure until all the batter is used. Grease the skillet as needed..

5. Turn each crepe so that golden brown side is up. Place 3 tablespoons of filling on one edge in a 2 1/2 inch long by 1-inch wide mound..

6. Roll once to cover filling. Fold the sides into the center and continue rolling until completely closed..

7. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet and place each crepe seam side down in the skillet and fry 2 minutes on each side, turning once.


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Sixty Minute Seder - YOU NO LONGER NEED TO PASS OVER PASSOVER

Many of our readers are already considering whether to keep the same old Haggadah for next Passover or try something new. Well we have something for you to consider, something that surprisingly proves it’s possible for a Reform, Progressive, Liberal, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox Rabbi to agree on something: The soon-to-be released Sixty-Minute Seder: Preserving the Essence of the Passover Haggadah by the husband and wife team, Cass and Nellie Foster, of Kauai.

Not only are Rabbis from every denomination turning in favorable reviews, they’re coming from all over the world. So what is it they’re praising? We’ll let them speak for themselves as we start with a Conservative Rabbi in the U.S. and a Reform Rabbi in Spain: Rabbi Jerome Epstein, the Chief Israel Affairs Officer of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism says: “For those who seek a modified Seder that will stimulate discussion, inspire interest and educate Jews with a range of backgrounds will find the Sixty-Minute Seder a perfect script for the Pesach drama.” And then Rabbi Bonnie Cohen in Spain says: “(This) is a wonderful resource that will enable people to create their own Passover Seder in a personal and meaningful way…I highly recommend it.”

A Reform Rabbi in Israel, Rabbi Michael Boyden tells us: “Creating such a Haggadah is no simple undertaking and you are to be congratulated for making the traditional Haggadah more accessible.” And a similar review from the U.K., Rabbi Dr. Andrew Goldstein, President, Liberal Judaism: "You have done a great job in highlighting the main points of the Haggadah and arranging them in an order that allows the Seder to flow and the story it tells to be easily absorbed...I hope the book is a success and helps many to have a meaningful Seder."

Rabbi Judith HaLevy, a Reconstructionist Rabbi at the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue in the U.S. gives us a good sense of the contents: “Cass and Nellie Foster have done an amazing job of sifting the essence of the Passover ritual from the embellishments of time. Each section is explained clearly, with the appropriate blessings in Hebrew and transliteration. The outstanding glossary of terms make it possible for a newcomer to understand the background of the symbols and rituals without adding long readings to the text.”

While Rabbi David Stern, a Conservative Rabbi in Victoria, Australia adds, “Sure to inspire and aid in Seders for years to come!" And an Orthodox Rabbi, Rabbi Leo Fettman, co-author of SHOAH: Journey from the Ashes, gives us a unique perspective with "You have created a Sixty-Minute Seder for seniors! We love your book. It is great and written so warmly and clearly, it’s perfect for our seniors here at the care facility.”

And then we hear from the Liberal Rabbi Dr. Walter Rothschild of Vienna, Austria who is also the State Rabbi of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany with: " 'Dayenu' - yes, one CAN have enough, one can have much more than enough, and it is important to concentrate on the basics so that all present can experience, learn and enjoy the Seder. This is what the Sixty-Minute Haggadah sets out to do and it succeeds!"

And we conclude our worldwide praise by returning to the U.S. with Conservative Rabbi Jack Moline of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia: “…you now hold an opportunity to discover a truth about this long-standing ritual that is often obscured by the focus on form over substance. The order of the Seder is a framework for building your own story of liberation. Cass and Nellie Foster have distilled it to its essence.”

When we asked the Fosters how they went about reducing a typically two-to-five hour long Seder to sixty minutes Cass tells us he did do some reduction with a few of the
steps but “Primarily eliminated commentary. We’re hoping our readers will be satisfied with going through the steps in the proper order as we provide an opportunity to explore their own point of view.” And Nellie adds, “We spend a fair amount of time explaining how to prepare the home and conduct the Seder and I provide plenty of meal suggestions but the bottom line is our readers will be able to host a Seder regardless of how familiar they are with Passover or Judaism in general. We kept the unaffiliated and Interfaith families very much in mind when we put this together.”

According to Linda F. Radke, the president of Five Star Publications, Inc., the publisher of the Sixty-Minute Seder: Preserving the Essence of the Passover Haggadah, “With more than 3,500 Haggadahs in print and no two having the same content, revisiting the Haggadah is not unheard of. Though pared down to only sixty minutes, this Haggadah still has it all, from planning to preparation to the actual presentation of the Seder.”

And what makes their Haggadah even more different is the opportunity for readers to provide input on their experience with the Haggadah. Cass and Nellie have already implemented improvements for their next edition thanks to reader feedback.

For information about ordering please contact Five Star Publications, Inc. by
phoning (480) 940-8182, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by visiting their website at www.SixtyMinuteSeder.com - where you can also learn more about the Rabbis mentioned in this article in their REVIEW section. Just tell them you learned about them from the New York Jewish Guide.
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A Great Miracle Happened

Miriam Spitz Kahan , Every year as a child when Chanukah was approaching, my teachers brought out the Chanukah materials so that we could learn about the resistance and the triumph of the Maccabees. Trying to explain to children that one small vial of oil lasted 8 glorious days instead of just 1, seemed a miracle in itself!
But as kids, we just looked forward to the dreidel game that somehow, always had me landing on the Shin.
נ (Nun) – Take Nothing
ג (Gimel) – Take All
ה (Hey) – Take Half
ש (Shin) – Add 1 to the pot
When I complained to my mother about the Shin, my mother always responded with optimism. "Look at the greater picture. You could have landed on the Nun."
A few years later, I learned the important and historical meaning of these letters and the phrase:
Nes Gadol Haya Sham, A Great Miracle Happened There.
There, of course was the Land of Israel, the land of Yehuda HaMakabi, ‘Judah the Hammer’, the homeland of the Jewish people, my people, the land of miracles
My teacher then explained that kids in Israel also play with dreidels ( in Hebrew Sivivon, סביבון). Only, their dreidels do not have a Shin (ש), but a Peh (פ).
Instead of what we know in the Diaspora, that ‘A Great Miracle Happened There - Nes Gadol Haya Sham', in Israel the phrase is, ‘A Great Miracle Happened Here - Nes Gadol Haya Poh’.
Many years later after making Aliyah, I was ecstatic to throw my first Chanukah party as an Israeli citizen. In keeping with the Chanukah spirit, my friend brought Chanukah gelt, latkes and of course a dreidel.

We were just about to start spinning the dreidel so I could feel like a kid again and win some of the delicious chocolate gelt, when I looked down at the dreidel and I saw the Hebrew letter Peh (פ).
The difference of one letter, one word – it strengthened the entire meaning of Chanukah for me. It was something so small, but so very meaningful.
I, Miriam, was finally living HERE in the Land of Israel, the land of Yehuda HaMakabi, ‘Judah the Hammer’, the homeland of the Jewish people, my people, the land of miracles. I have always felt connected, but this was something different.
Something powerful. Something beautiful.
I continuously think about our 2,000 year old history with the many challenges and triumphs. This is yet another triumph that we honor every year.
It has become almost too easy to forget that the place where this 'Great Miracle Happened’ still exists.
It is and should be a part of every candle that we light, and the message we teach to our children, both Here and There.
Happy Chanukah and Chag Sameach!
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Sukkot

Following the Exodus from Egypt, Israel traversed the Sinai Desert for forty years. Ever since, we remember the miracales by dwelling in a sukkah, a hut of temporary construction with a roof covering of branches, for seven days and nights, we eat all our meals in the sukkah and otherwise regard it as our home.

Another Sukkot observance is the taking of the Four Kinds: a Lulav(palm frond), an etrog (citron), three hadassim (myrtle twigs) and two aravot (willow twigs). On each day of Sukkut (excepting Shabbat), we take the Four Kinds, recite a blessing over them, bring them together in our hands and wave them in all six directions. The Four Kinds represent the various types and personalities that comprise the Jewish community, whose intrinsic unity we emphasize on Sukkot.

The seventh day of Sukkot is called Hoshaana Rabbah ("Great Salvation") and closes the period of Judgment days that begun on Rosh Hashanah.

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Lag Baomer

 

The 33rd day of the Omer count is a festivel day on the Jewish calendar-Lag Baomer. We celebrate the holiday outdoors: The children traditionally play with bow and arrows and bonfires. Many visit the resting place of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (in Miron in Northern Israel.) who lived in the 2nd century of the Common Era, was the first to publicly teach the mystical dimension of the Torah known as the "Kabbalah,"

On the day of his passing, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai instructed his disciples to mark the date as "the day of my joy". So each Lag BaOmer we celebrate Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's 's life.

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Purim

Purim is one of the most favorite holidays. On Purim we celebrate how Queen Esther saved the Jews of Persia from annihilation: The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen—though she refused to divulge the identity of her nationality.

Meanwhile, the anti-Semitic Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther's cousin) defied the king's orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar—a date chosen by a lottery Haman made.

Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to G?d. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast. At the feast, Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity. Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister in his stead, and a new decree was issued—granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.

On the 13th of Adar the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar they rested and celebrated.

On Purim we read the Ester Megillah twice, when Haman's name is mentioned is is customary to make noise with noisemakers (Raashanim). We also send food baskets to friends, we eat Hamantashen cookies (oznay haman) we have a festive meal (seudat purim) and we wear customs.

 

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Passover

 

Passover on the 15th of Nissan we celebrate our freedom as Jews. God redeemed our ancestors from bitter slavery in Egypt.

After 210 years of slavery in Egypt, Moses told Pharaoh that he must "Let My People Go." Each time Pharaoh refused to release the Israelites, God brought another plague upon the Egyptians. The tenth and final plague was the death of firstborn children. In executing this plague, God passed through the land of Egypt, but "passed over" Jewish homes.

Every Passover, we are commanded to read the "Hagada" – (a special book with the Passover story) during the Passover Seder.

Seder means organization and the Passover Seder means the organized way to perform the Passover commandments. The Torah commands Jews on Passover to tell the story of the Exodus and to eat matzah. We also must eat bitter herbs (to remind us of the suffering in Egypt), eat extra matzah called afikoman (to remind us of the Passover sacrifice), sing and praise God, drink four cups of wine.

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Passover - Seder plate

Preparing the Seder plate requires several hours of work. It is advisable to get other members of the house to help so that the work will be completed before the Seder begins. It is best to prepare all the seder foods before the onset of the Holiday in order to avoid halachic questions.

Three Matzot are placed on top of each other on a plate or napkin and then covered.

The Matzot are symbolic of the three castes of Jews: Priests, Levites and Israelites. They also commemorate the three measures of fine flour that Abraham told Sarah to bake into Matzah when they were visited by the three angels.

On a practical level, three Matzot are needed so that when we break the middle Matzah, we are still left with two whole ones to pronounce the Hamotzi (as required on Shabbat and Holidays).

On a cloth or plate placed above the three Matzot we place the following items:

§ The Shankbone

§ The Egg

§ The Bitter Herbs

§ The Mixture

§ The Vegetable

§ The Bitter Herbs

The special foods we eat on Passover are also food for thought. Every item on the Seder plate abounds in meaning and allusion. Following are a description of each of the Seder plate foods listed above with the reason each is included, the method of preparing it, and its role in the Seder meal

The Shank Bone

 

A piece of roasted meat represents the lamb that was the special Paschal Sacrifice on the eve of the exodus from Egypt. The Paschal Sacrifice was brought in the afternoon before Passover in the time of the Holy Temple.

Preparation: Roast neck on all sides over an open fire on the stove. Afterwards, some have the custom to remove for the majority of the meat of the neck.

Role in the Seder: The shank bone is not eaten. After the meal it is refrigerated and used a second

time on the Seder plate the following night.

 

The Egg


A hard boiled egg represents the Holiday Offering in the days of the Holy Temple. The meat of this animal constituted the main part of the Passover meal.

Preparation: Boil one egg per Seder plate and possibly more for use during the meal.

Role in the Seder: Place one egg on each plate. As soon as the actual meal is about to begin, remove the egg from the Seder plate and use during the meal.

A popular way of eating these eggs is to chop and mix them with the salt water which was set on the table. The eggs prepared this way are then served as an appetizer before the fish.

 

The Bitter Herbs


Bitter herbs remind us of the bitterness of the slavery of our forefathers in Egypt. Fresh horseradish, romaine lettuce and endive are the most common choices.

The greens must be washed extremely well before the Holiday begins and care must be taken to check for insects. Afterwards, they are dried very well.

Preparation: This must be done before the Holiday begins. Peel the raw horseradish roots and rinse them off well.

Note: Dry the roots very carefully, since they will be eaten with the matzah later on for the "matzah and maror sandwich" and not even a drop of water should be left on the horseradish, to avoid gebrokts.

Next, grate the horseradish with a hand grater or electric grinder.

NOTE: Whoever will be grating the horseradish will begin to shed copious tears or cough a lot. Covering the face with a cloth from the eyes downwards helps prevent inhalation of the strong, bitter odor.

The marror is placed on the Seder plate on top of a few cleaned, dried leaves of romaine lettuce (which is also maror).

Role in the Seder: After the recital of most of the Haggadah comes the ritual hand washing. Then matzah is eaten followed by some marror folded in one or two romaine lettuce leaves, followed in turn by a sandwich of matzah, marror, and romaine lettuce leaves.

 

The Paste


A mixture of apples, nuts and wine which resembles the mortar and brick made by the Jews when they toiled for Pharaoh.

Preparation: Peel walnuts and apples and chop finely. Mix together and add a small amount of wine.

Role in the Seder: This is used as a type of relish into which the marror is dipped (and then shaken off) before eating


The Vegetable


A non-bitter root vegetable alludes to the back-breaking work of the Jews as slaves. The Hebrew letters of karpas can be arranged to spell "Perach Samech".

Perach means backbreaking work and Samech is numerically equivalent to 60, referring to the 60 myriads (10,000), equaling 600,000, which was the number of Jewish males over 20 years of age who were enslaved in Egypt.

Preparation: Peel an onion or boiled potato. Cut off a slice and place on Seder plate. On the table, next to the Seder plate, place a small bowl of salted water.

Role in the Seder: After recital of Kiddush, the family goes to the sink and ritually washes hands, but without saying the usual blessing.

Then the head of the household cuts a small piece of the root vegetable used, dips it in salt water, and gives each person at the table a very small piece over which they say the appropriate blessing. Care should be taken that each person eats less than 17 grams ( 1/2 ounce).

The Lettuce


The lettuce symbolizes the bitter enslavement of our fathers in Egypt. The leaves of Romaine lettuce are not bitter, but the stem, when left to grow in the ground, turns hard and bitter.

So it was with our enslavement in Egypt. At first the deceitful approach of Pharoah was soft and sensible and the work was done voluntarily and even for pay. Gradually, it evolved into forced and cruel labor.

Preparation: Romaine lettuce is often very sandy. Wash each of the leaves separately, checking very carefully for insects. (Pat gently with a towel and let sit until completely dry, so that there will be no moisture to come in contact with the matzah.)

Depending on how much romaine lettuce is needed, it can take several hours to prepare. This task should be completed before candle lighting time on the first night. Prepare enough leaves for both nights and store in the refrigerator. Soaking of the Romaine leaves may not be done on the Holiday.

Role in the Seder: the Lettuce is used in conjunction with horseradish. It is used when eating the marror and when eating the matzoh and maror sandwich.

Place the leaves in two piles on the Seder plate, one under the maror and one separately at the bottom.

Keep a stack of extra cleaned leaves handy in the refrigerator in case additional leaves are needed.

The content in this page is produced by Chabad.

 

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Shavuot

 
In the Bible, there is no fixed calendar date for celebrating Shavuot. Shavuot is defined as the day of celebration after the completion of the Omer Count: Seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot. During the seven weeks we prepare ourselves for the giving of the Torah. 

Shavuot is a celebration of our acceptance of the Torah at Mount Sinai over 3,300 years ago. The word Shavuot means "weeks", It took the people of Israel seven weeks to reach Mount Sinai when they departed Egypt, they departed Egypt on the 15th of Nissan the first day of Passover.

Customs:

Decorating the Home with Greenery & Flowers

It is customary to eat dairy foods on the first day of Shavuot

In many synagogues the Book of Ruth is read on the second day of Shavuot

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Tu B'Shevat

Tu B'Shevat the " New Year of Trees" on the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar, This is the season in which earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.

Legally, the "New Year for Trees" relates to the various tithes that must be separated from produce grown in the Holy Land. These tithes differ from year to year in the seven-year Shemittah cycle; the point at which a budding fruit is considered to belong to the next year of the cycle is the 15th of Shevat.

On Tu B'Shevat we eat fruits, particularly from the "Seven Kinds" that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

 

 

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