About fifteen years ago, my husband and I had an out-of-town student living with our family for a year. She was an American whose parents were of Persian descent. As most Iranians in this country, her parents had worked to retain their family tradition and foods. The new school year was settling in and the High holiday preparations were well underway. Yocheved approached me about incorporating her family’s “seder” into our Rosh Hashanah meal.
I had heard of this practice among Sephardim as a food writer. I loved the idea of exposing our children to new cultural traditions. Yocheved busied herself in the kitchen, preparing the items for the ‘seder’ plate.
Here is how the evening proceeded. Yocheved placed the foods in separate dishes. As we focused on each of these symbolic foods, we made the accompanying blessings for success, protection, forgiveness… Back then, I never knew there was an item called a Rosh Hashanah seder plate, similar to a Passover seder plate with graphics that reflect the symbolic foods of Rosh Hashanah. Think about whether you can add a tradition to your New Year table this year whether your roots date back to Spain, Morocco, Iran, or not. Here are two Rosh Hashanah seder plate options from judaica.com.
Rosh Hashanah Ceramic Plate by Green Glass – Regular price $130, on sale for $117!
After chanting kiddush, washing, and breaking bread, the concise seder begins. Check out this article on Chabad.org for the full array of symbolic foods and their blessings.
In Chana’s kitchen, you’ll find a plaque that says "This is an Equal Opportunity Kitchen." Her grandchildren love to help her prepare and present wholesome dishes. Her favorite Jewish holiday is Passover when the family gathers around the large island in her kitchen, sipping wine and preparing great, creative foods without processed ingredients.
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