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Saints Feast Family
~Exploring Catholic Patron Saints of the Day & their Feasts (Catholic Cuisine)
(Find food, recipes, traditions, locations, relics, prayers, songs, book, movies, art, products, crafts & more!)

September 20-22 (Moveable Dates)

Rosh Hashanah ראש השנה‬

Jewish New Year

Anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.

Also the anniversary of the Akeidah or 'binding of Isaac'

A Public holiday in Israel

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah , the Jewish new year, is a fall holiday, taking place at the beginning of the month of Tishrei , which is actually the seventh month of the Jewish year (counting from Nisan in the spring). It is both a time of rejoicing and of serious introspection, a time to celebrate the completion of another year while also taking stock of one’s life.

The High Holiday Period

The two days of Rosh Hashanah usher in the Ten Days of Repentance (Aseret Yemei Teshuvah), also known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim), which culminate in the major fast day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The Days of Awe represent the climax of a longer process. Starting at the beginning of the previous month, called Elul, the shofar is traditionally sounded at the conclusion of the morning service. A ram’s horn that makes a trumpet-like sound, the shofar is intended as a wake-up call to prepare for the Tishrei holidays. One week before Rosh Hashanah, special petitionary prayers called Selichot are added to the ritual. Rosh Hashanah itself is also known as Yom Hadin or the Day of Judgment, on which God opens the Books of Life and Death, which are then sealed on Yom Kippur.

Rosh Hashanah History

The origins of Rosh Hashanah may be sought in a royal enthronement ritual from biblical times, though the Bible itself never mentions the “New Year” or “Day of Judgment” aspects of the holiday. Even though Rosh Hashanah falls in the seventh month, later rabbinic tradition decided to designate it the beginning of the year. Although the origin of this tradition may have been adopted from the Babylonians, the rabbis imbued it with Jewish significance as the anniversary of the day on which the world was created, or of the day on which humanity was created. Another explanation can be found in the significance of Tishrei as the seventh month, hence the Sabbath of the year.

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah At Home

The challah (traditional bread) that is eaten for the Rosh Hashanah season is round, symbolizing the eternal cycle of life. The challah is traditionally dipped in honey, symbolizing the hopes for a sweet New Year. The same is done with apples, which are made even sweeter with the addition of honey. Some people avoid eating nuts at this time, since according to a somewhat convoluted gematria (mystical numerical interpretation) the Hebrew words for nut (egoz) and sin (het) have the same numerical value.
 

Rosh Hashanah Liturgy

The prayer book for the High Holidays is called the Mahzor. Three unique sets of prayers are added to the morning service during Rosh Hashanah. These are known as Malkhuyot, which address the sovereignty of God, Zikhronot, which present God as the one who remembers past deeds, and Shofarot, in which we stand in nervous anticipation of the future.

Each of these sections culminates in the blasts of the shofar, the most potent symbol of the holiday. The shofar is alluded to in the most memorable Torah reading for the holiday, the Akedah or Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22). The story and the shofar serve as reminders of the covenant between God and the people of Israel, carrying with them the message of sacrifice, hope, and continuity. Among the popular traditions associated with the holiday is a ceremony performed on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah called Tashlich, when people throw crumbs or pieces of bread, symbolizing their sins, into flowing water.
 

Rosh Hashanah’s Theology and Themes

This is the time of year during which we are to atone for both our individual — and on Yom Kippur, our communal — sins committed over the course of the previous year, before God literally closes the books on us and inscribes our fates for the coming year. God’s rule over humanity and our need to serve God are stressed time and again over the course of the 

 

Blessing:

 

Recipe:

 

Rosh Hashanah Apple-Filled Star Challah

Ingredients: 

DOUGH:

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour

  • 6 cups white bread flour

  • 2 packages rapid rise yeast

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 cup corn oil plus 1 tablespoon for greasing bowl

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 1/2 cups unfiltered apple juice or apple cider

  • 3/4 cup sugar


EGG WASH:

  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water


FILLING:

  • 4 large Honeycrisp or Fuji apples, about 1 1/4 pounds

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil or unsalted butter

  • 1/3 cup wildflower or clover honey, as needed


Directions: 

Dough

  1. In a large mixer bowl combine 2 cups whole-wheat flour with 5 cups of
    the bread flour, yeast, cinnamon, and salt.

  2. Turn machine to low (#1) for 10 seconds to combine.

  3. Measure 1 cup oil in a one-cup liquid measuring cup. Set aside.

  4. Lightly beat eggs and vanilla with a fork in a 1-quart bowl until combined. Set aside.

  5. Measure the apple juice or cider in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Add the sugar and stir once or twice. Microwave juice/sugar mixture on high for exactly 1 minute 20 seconds.

  6. Turn mixer to low (#1). Immediately add the hot juice/sugar mixture straight from the microwave, and then add the eggs and then the oil.

  7. Turn mixer to medium (#2) and continue mixing with dough hook for six minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary to incorporate all of the flour before adding any additional flour. If dough is too sticky add as much as 1 cup more flour or until a floured finger poked into the dough comes out clean.

  8. Grease a 4-quart bowl with the tablespoon of oil. Add the dough to the bowl, turning the dough over to coat it on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour (I like to use an out-of-the-way corner in my kitchen or a warming drawer set on low.) Dough can also be put in the refrigerator to rise overnight.


Apple filling  (make the apple filling while dough is rising )

  1. Peel, core and cut apples into 1/4-inch dice.

  2. Heat a 10-inch non-stick pan over medium-high heat for 10 seconds and then add the diced apples and brown sugar. Stir the apple mixture until the apples begin to give up their juices (about 3-4 minutes). Turn down heat if apples look like they are browning.

  3. Add the spices to the apples and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender but not mushy and some of the liquid has evaporated (about another 4 minutes).

  4. Stir the cornstarch and water together to dissolve and then add to the apples, stirring constantly. Mixture will be shiny and no liquid will be visible.

  5. Turn off the heat and add the coconut oil or butter. Stir to combine and set aside to cool while dough is rising.


Assemble Bread

  1. Punch down the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces.

  2. Roll the first piece of dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured board. Spread a thin layer of honey over the dough and then 1/3 of the apple mixture over that.

  3. Repeat the previous step with the remaining pieces of dough ending with the fourth circle of dough. Gently pull the top layer over and tuck in all the edges underneath.

  4. Place a 3 inch glass bowl or cup face down in the center of the bread and lightly trace around it with a knife to mark a circle. Remove the glass. Make 12 cuts from the line of the circle to the end of the dough (I find it easiest to imagine a clock making my first cuts at 12,6,3 and 9 and then filling in the other cuts evenly. Make sure to cut through all layers of the dough.

  5. Working in pairs around the dough (clock!), take a wedge of dough in each hand and twist them over once, away from each other. Pinch the middle bottom of the pair together. Repeat with the remaining 5 pairs and then pinch the ends of each dough pair together to form a circle that has the design of a Jewish Star of David in the middle and little stripes of spiced apple peeking through.

  6. Carefully transfer the dough to a parchment lined cookie sheet and allow it to rise for 30-45 minutes.


Bake

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a pastry brush to coat the top of the loaf with the egg wash and place the cookie sheet in the lower third of your oven.

  2. Bake for 30-35 minutes depending on the size of the round and the heat of your oven. When the bread is done, it will be golden brown and have a hollow sound when tapped. You can also insert an instant read-thermometer into the center and the bread is done at about 195-205°F.

  3. Allow the bread to cool for at least 20-30 minutes before cutting.