Archive for the 'Judaism' Category

A Kosher Chicken in Every Pot – Part 1

 

Wise Organic Pastures – The Processing Plant

This Article is Cross-Posted on KosherEye.com

Our Bubbie and “grand” Bubbies may have known how to make a famous roast chicken and of course, chicken soup, but certainly did not face the same chicken challenges that the kosher shopper faces today. Most chicken is no longer raised in the back yard! The consumer is now faced with numerous choices in quality, type and price.

Chicken has become a multi-billion dollar industry in America. Kosher chicken is no exception, but is somewhat more complicated. There has been extraordinary growth in kosher poultry sales in the last few decades. Along with observant Jews, many non-Jews and Jews who don’t necessarily adhere to kosher laws now purchase kosher poultry. Why? There is a perception that kosher certification adds a layer of clarity and transparency to poultry purchases. In addition to the FDA and government regulatory agencies, the processing plant must adhere to the specifications of a supervising kosher agency and rabbinical authority. Many consumers welcome this extra layer of inspection.

How My Dog Turned Me into a Vegetarian

Flynn

Due to my son being an only child with little perspective on living with siblings- friendships, fights and loyalty, my husband and I adopted mans “best friend” with the hope it would become Jonah’s “little brother”. The big hope was that our gorgeous red and white cocker spaniel rescue dog was to would teach my son the responsibilities of caring for another dependent being. We had images of my son walking and feeding our new addition to the family.
What actually transpired was far from my vivid imagination. Flynn gravitated to me – I became his world and he, my shadow. Irrespective of my mood, Flynn was always happy to be with me and tail wagging to prove his point.

Chasing the Carrot: Portland Tuv Ha’Aretz’s 2nd annual Jewish edible garden bike tour

Last Sunday, July 25, 15 people gathered at Oregon’s Museum of Science and Industry for Portland Tuv Ha’Aretz’s 2nd annual Jewish edible garden bike tour. Portland is laid out in grids, like Washington, D.C. Last year’s tour covered NE Portland; this year we set off to explore neighborhoods in SE.

Our ride leader, Tuv member Beth Hamon, is an old-school bike geek. Last year she created spoke cards for our ride (when you do something for the first time, it’s an innovation; twice is minhag) So of course she made a new one for this year’s ride. Here’s a picture:

Blessings of Satisfaction

Tuv Ha’aretz Reflections on Parshat Ekev, by Rabbi Marc Soloway

The intuition to make some kind of blessing or prayer before eating, either traditional or spontaneous, transcends religions and cultures.  Jews, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and probably every religion has its version of making a spiritual connection to the food we are about to eat, whether an established formula or a moment of meditation.  The Talmud has a strong statement that anyone enjoying the physical pleasures of this world without first saying a bracha, is like someone who steals from the Temple! (Berachot 35a).

My Interview About Judaism and Vegetarianism on Our Hen House’s Podcast

Cross-posted to heebnvegan

My interview from earlier this month was featured on Our Hen House‘s podcast this weekend. We talked about Torah teachings about compassion for animals, how well Judaism and vegetarianism mesh together, kosher slaughter, the new Jewish food movement, and vegan versions of traditional Jewish foods.

Earth Based Judaism – Reclaiming Our Roots, Reconnecting to Nature

Originally Published by ZEEK.

Humanity’s current alienation from nature is unprecedented. As Wendell Berry explained in his seminal 1977 work The Unsettling of America, we are confronted with a “crisis of culture,” reflected in a “crisis of agriculture,” rooted in the simple fact that modern people have become disconnected from nature and the natural cycles we depend upon for survival. In less than fifty years, modern Western culture – particularly in the United States – has shifted from relying on small family farms that dotted the countryside to relying on an industrial food system run by massive corporate farms.

iMasoret iPhone App


By Samuel Eskenasy

iMasoret is a new all-in-one Jewish tradition application.  It serves as a vast info center that can accompany the user wherever they go.  iMasoret includes all the siddur prayers (in Nussach  Ashkenaz  Sfarad  and Edot Hamizrach) for Israel and for The Diaspora. Also included are The Holy Days, the books of the Torah, Tehillim(Psalms), Lessons, Kabbalah, Blessings, and Songs.  The app even provides locations of Jewish sites of interest including kosher establishments, synagogues and hotels.

Biblical Botany: A Torah Flora Tour

In his blog Torah Flora, Dr. Jon Greenberg shares his unique insights and vast knowledge on Judaism and plants (or as he more articulately puts it, “biblical ethnobotany”). Some of us had the chance to witness that knowledge first hand today at the New York Botanical Garden, where Dr. Greenberg gave an enthusiastic group a “Torah Flora Tour.”

The goal of the tour (and blog), according to Dr. Greenberg, is to “use knowledge of plants and nature to better understand Torah and Halacha.” He cites a long-lost relationship during the biblical era between Judaism and nature, and a wish to reconstruct it.

Brachot – From Kayam Farm Kollel

Crossposted to Kayam Farm Kollel Blog Photo from Kayam Farm

Shalom!

My name is Joel Mosbacher, and I was the “Brachot captain” for week one of the Kollel here at Kayam Farm. I am a rabbi at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, New Jersey, and I’m spending six weeks of my first-ever sabbatical sweating and studying here at this incredible place. I love it here, and would recommend to all of my colleagues to spend a week, a month, a summer, or whatever time you possibly can here at Kayam when you get a vacation or a sabbatical!

Birkat HaMazon iPhone App – iBirkat

By David Sigal, from appstudio

This app came about from my realization that when people go to Shul to daven, they almost never pull out an electronic device. Back 8-9 years ago I remember seeing people trying to daven in a shul from their Palm Pilots and that looked very unnatural. Pocket PC screens were dim, not multitouch, low resolution and one had to tap on a button almost every second to scroll the text. Besides, there are ample amounts of siddurim in a shul, and most people still prefer to read from a physical siddur.

County Fair Season!

See those blue ribbons? My challah (and my husband’s bagels) won those at the county fair last year. Both recipes always turn out reliably scrumptious, which should be enough for any baker, but there is something undeniably, down-home country-satisfying about serving your family and friends “blue-ribbon” baked goods.

Folks looking for Jewish food and culture might not head for the county fair; as Jewish pig farmers, pole benders and log-rolling lumberjacks are rarities in most parts, yet the lure of competition, fancy ribbons and yearlong bragging rights might make you wish to consider participating. That’s right, I suggest you get your apron on and whip, bake, pickle or jar up your Jewish delicacies and head to your county fair. Trust me, your homemade kosher dills will taste even better adorned with a Best of Show ribbon. All you need is a copy of your local fair’s open-class entry form to start planning your submissions.

The Price of Fish: Parshat Beha’alotcha

In this week’s parasha, Beha’alotcha, Bnei Yisrael continue their journey from Egypt to the promised land. They are provisioned during their desert wanderings by manna, a mysterious food which appears on the ground with the nightly dew, and, according to midrashim,[1] exhibited a variety of tastes. It is against this background that we read the Israelites’ astounding complaint:

If only we had meat to eat. We remember the fish we ate in Egypt for free, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions and the garlic. [2]

The Israelites had only just been redeemed from tortuous oppression, so it is most perplexing that they would now long for the ‘free’ foods of slavery. Commentators have offered a number of explanations, claiming that perhaps the fish were so cheap or easy to catch such as to be considered free.[3] The Sifrei, however, provides a more profound interpretation.

A Tale of Two Covenants: Rainbow Day, Shmita, and the Gulf

The iridescent colors reflected off an oil slick are like a twisted and distorted rainbow.

This coming Monday, May 10th, is also the 27th of Iyyarthe date when Noahs family and the animals left the ark and received the rainbow covenant.

There is a special correlation between this weeks Torah portion and the rainbow covenant of Noahs time. And there is a foreboding contrast between the rainbow covenant and whats happened in the Gulf of Mexico. The tension between these dynamic relationships in many ways defines the predicament of our time.

Maimonides meets Christ: Portland Tuv Ha’Aretz visits St. Andrew Lutheran Church

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On April 18, my co-steering committee member Sylvia Frankel and I were invited to speak to the congregation of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Beaverton, Oregon, a nearby city most famous for being the home of Nike. It was an opportunity to address the congregation for one of a series of learning and study sessions; this one was called Food and Spirituality from a Jewish Perspective.

About 25 people attended, including Lead Pastor Mark Brocker and Associate Pastor Robyn Hartwig, and members of the St. Andrew Green Team, a group of congregants who work on sustainability issues within the St. Andrew community.