When saying kiddush (a blessing), many people use a silver cup or goblet, some use gold or even glass. One can use any cup. I personally own a silver goblet that I treasure (shown in the photograph above). It is only used for kiddush. Reciting kiddush is a mitzvah.
It is a Torah commandment to recite kiddush before the evening meal on Shabbat eve and on Jewish holidays.
For those of you that do not understand the significance of kiddush, why not visit Judaism 101, and read about the Shabbat ritual of kiddush and other traditions regarding Shabbat. The entire kiddush is shown in both Hebrew and English.
I am a collector of prayer books, and am recommending four particular books that I feel are excellent sources for women.
A Jewish Women’s Prayer Book, by Aliza Lavie
Seyder Tkhines, by Devra Kay
Hours of Devotion, by Dinah Berland
Waiting for Rain, by Bryna Jocheved
During this High Holy Day season, one can never have enough to ponder. Quite often books will give one extra inspiration towards their reflections on the past year and the year to come. These book are excellent to have on your nightstand to refer to throughout the year, also.
All of the books offers something positive and affirming for women.
I wish you all a happy New Year, filled with sweetness, love, joy and inner light.
The above photograph was taken of my regular/”leavened” pound cake while it was cooling off on a rack on my counter top. Unfortunately I didn’t capture it when it had powdered sugar sprinkled on it. But, nonetheless, my family and friends gobbled it up last year during our Rosh Hashanah dinner. I put the pound cake on a large circular tray, positioned apples around the pound cake, along with some honey in slender bowls for dipping. I also alternated bowls of orange marmalade for the pound cake. I think it made a nice presentation.
Here are two recipes. One is leavened and one is unleavened:
Regular or “Leavened” pound cake
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar (sugar substitute works quite well)
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp. each: almond and lemon flavoring
2 tsp vanilla (I use two for a sweeter taste, but some might like a less sweetened cake, and one tsp of vanilla will work well)
Mix all ingredients (adding the flour a little at a time) and spoon into greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, depending on ovens. Mine took 50 minutes.
Unleavened pound cake
1 cup butter softened
4 eggs or egg substitute (I used egg substitute)
1 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I used sugar substitute)
1 tsp each of almond flavoring and nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. flour (for Passover use 5 /8 cup of potato starch for each cup of flour)
For the unleavened pound cake, one must remember that it will not rise considerably like the regular or “leavened” pound cake will. It will be a heavier consistency.
-Cream softened butter gradually adding sugar until light and fluffy looking
-Add vanilla flavoring and add eggs one at a time
-Sift together flour, salt and nutmeg. Gradually add dry ingredients to egg, sugar and butter mixture and beat until thoroughly blended
-Turn batter into greased bundt pan. Bake at 325° for 1 hour (or until a toothpick comes out clean. Some ovens need a bit more or a bit less time. Mine baked in 55 minutes.
-Cool cake in pan for ten minutes, then move to a wire rack to completely cool
-Sprinkle with powdered sugar, or serve with your favorite topping, such as orange marmalade.
Venting, is a way of discharging anger, and a way of emanating one’s feelings and/or thoughts.
We are asked to try to vent our feelings and thoughts regarding another person/s during the High Holy Days. We are also asked to forgive those individuals we feel have wronged us in some aspect. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with them, or side with them, but put simply, it means to forgive them.
In my opinion, in order to forgive others, we must first learn to forgive ourselves for what we feel we have done to others, or for what others think we have done to them.
I hope the New Year brings you peace and contentment in ridding yourself of harboring ill will, anger and frustration towards yourself and others.
No, this is not a book about a popular theme park ride, or a book about a series of films originally based on the name of a theme park ride. It is a factual and historical book about pirates of the Caribbean…Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean.
If you are looking for a fascinating book detailing the history of Jewish pirates of the Caribbean, then this is the book for you! Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom–and Revenge, by Edward Kritzler, jumped out at me in the book store, beckoning me with its visual hook.
It was an intriguing and nonstop read for me. To call it fascinating, would be oversimplifying the historically accurate book. The pages are filled with intrigue and compelling content, and intense documentation on the settling of Jews in Jamaica. From sailors and spies, to swashbucklers and rogues on the high seas, to scoundrels and scallywags, to investors and merchants, to ship magnates and buccaneers, bankers and historical figures, the book often reads like an adventure story, when in fact it is based on historical reality. Kritzler has certainly done his research, and his efforts are much more than spectacular!
I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone. It is a must-read! Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, by Edward Kritzler is a book that is in my personal library. It is a book of immense historical importance. I highly recommend it to everyone!
The Skirball Cultural Center in Beverly Hills, CA, is a place I frequently visit. I go there for special events, exhibits, and to just feel surrounded by an atmosphere devoted to Jewish history and cultural arts.
This is the front entrance to the Skirball.
Near the front entrance.
The pathway to the parking lot as you exit the Skirball.
For updates on upcoming exhibits, events, etc., visit their website.
All photography is my copyright and may not be reproduced without my express permission.