Some Rosh Hashonoh Recipes



Below are recipes for four of the foods we eat on the two nights of Rosh Hashonoh, for
which we say special little prayers. One is mentioned on the Rosh Hashonoh Customs page, and I will list that recipe first. These are not mandatory, and only some communities have the custom to make and eat these extra things, so don’t worry about any of this much. Also, none of these are intended for actual courses in the meal, just small things to eat in a bite or two. (On the other hand, if you like them, you may eat as much as you want.)



I got these recipes from a venerable woman from Jerusalem. Being of the old school of
cooking, she seldom uses real or precise measurements. She plays it by ear, so to speak. So, you may have to experiment to get the best results, but these instructions should be more than adequate nevertheless.



The first item:



This delicious food is called Kara, which technically means pumpkin, but can be made out of pumpkin, yellow squash, calabash (also called calabasa), or any gourd, with a little zucchini added as well.



Cut the squash and zucchini into small squares and place them into a pot.
Cover in sugar.
Cook in their own juices over a small flame, until it becomes compote (dessert-like).



Pretty simple, isn’t it?

The prayer over this is based on the fact that the Hebrew word for pumpkin, or gourd, is «Kara,» a homonym of two Hebrew words: the word for «read» (koro), and also the word for «torn» (kore’ah). So, before eating, we recite:



May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and G-d of our forefathers, that any bad decrees be torn up, and that our merits be read before You.

Okay, now for the second item, called Rubya.



Rubya are Black-eye Peas.

First the peas must be checked carefully. Remove any spoiled peas.
Rinse the peas.
Soak in water for 1 hour.
Check peas for bugs and such. Check also for holes — a hole means a worm has been there, and might still be there. (Jewish Law forbids eating bugs, worms, and such, and therefore we must check any food item that may have any of that.)



Take a dry pot and put in:

1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon sugar



Cook over a low flame until it turns brown.
Don’t let it burn!
When it turns brown, place in the peas.
Add water — a little more than just to cover the peas.
Put in a little salt (amount will vary according to your taste).
Add another tablespoon sugar.
Cook for 1 to 2 hours on low flame until soft.
If the water boils out, add more water until food is ready.

The prayer for this is again based on its name, «Rubya,» which can also mean «increase.» We therefore pray, before eating this:

May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and G-d of our forefathers, that our merits
increase.



The next item is made of spinach, but some either add of just use the leaf of beets.
(Technically, you can use just the beet itself, but then you need some other recipe. That’s fine, the technicalities don’t matter. Food is just food. It’s the prayers that matter.) In this recipe I use an entire head of spinach, and one beet leaf.

Spinach is called Silka in Aramaic. Beets are called «Selek» in Hebrew, so either (or both are fine. Each is a homonym for the Hebrew word «Solek,» which means «remove.»

Rinse the leaves under a strong flow of water.
Check the leaves against the light for bugs.
Boil it in water (to take away the bitter taste).
Pour out the water.
Squeeze the leaves to draw out all the water. We don’t want it to be liquidy.
Alternatively, you can let it stand in a strainer until it is no longer liquidy.
Mash the leaves (like you would mash potatoes).

Add



A little Two spoonfuls flour
One egg

Make into patties and fry in oil.

The prayer for this is based on the fact I mentioned above, that silka and selek are homonyms for the Hebrew word «Solek,» which means «remove.» Therefore, we pray:

May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and G-d of our forefathers, that all our
adversaries be removed.

Next is the Karsi, which is made from leeks

Check the leeks for bugs and wash well.

Cut into small pieces.
Boil in water ten-fifteen minutes.

Alternatively, you can use a food processor to cut it into small pieces after cooking it. (Old Jerusalemite women never used food processors, since they didn’t exist back then, and they’ve never gotten the hang of using them after all those years of doing without.)

Strain out the water.

Mash the leaves (like you would mash potatoes).

Add:

A little salt
Two spoonfuls flour
One egg

Make into patties and fry in oil.

The prayer over this is based on the fact that the Aramaic word for leeks is «karsi,» which sounds like the Hebrew word «koreis,» which means «severed.» We therefore pray:

May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and G-d of our forefathers, that all our enemies cease to be.

Another custom is to eat tzimmis (for which I do not have a recipe right now). Tzimmis is
made out of carrot, which in Yiddish is called «meren,» which is a homonym with the
Yiddish word «merin,» which means «increase.» Once again, we pray

May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and G-d of our forefathers, that our merits
increase.

Some people eat «farfel,» which sounds like the Yiddish word «farfalen,» which means
«thwarted,» so we pray:

May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and G-d of our forefathers, that all our enemies’ be thwarted.

Jewish Custom states that we may take any food whose name can be used in any similar way, and recite an impromptu prayer over it. There is an old joke that some people take some lettuce, half a raisin, and some celery, and pray «Let us have a raise in salary.» When you’ve finished groaning, click on the link below to return to the Rosh Hashanah Gateway, and read more about Rosh Hashanah.

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