Can we, or do we, see past the labels to create an inclusive community where those born in the margins need not remain there? The story of Ruth raises issues that are atypical from much of our biblical narrative, and Gleanings: Reflections on Ruth, a new anthology of modern commentaries on Ruth, edited by Stuart Halpern (Yeshiva University Press/Koren Publishers 2019), seeks to answer some of those questions.
Because I primarily ate rice pudding at these diners, the dish always felt more connected to my Midwestern roots rather than my Jewish heritage. But while researching dishes to include in The Jewish Cookbook—my forthcoming collection of global Jewish recipes—I discovered that rice pudding has a definitive place in the Jewish kitchen, particularly within Sephardi cuisine.
Sephardic memory and tradition at Shavuot.
The journey to Judaism was not easy. After about two and half years of regularly attending services, on January 1, 2006 both my son and I went to the mikvah and took on Jewish life on a higher level.
On Shavuot , we celebrate the giving of Torah at Mount Sinai with customs that celebrate the gift of Torah, and show the same diverse presentation of a few unifying core ideas. Each Jewish culture is unique, and at the same time, integrated with the worldwide Jewish community.
Although everyone agrees that the food of choice for Shavuot is cheese, most typically blintzes, or a Sephardic equivalent such as bourekas, there are differences of opinion (some quite charming) as to why it is a custom.
In our Sephardic community, our roots being Ottoman Rhodes, we make a few special dairy foods for the occasion; sutlach, a creamy rice pudding is one, and burekas, a community and family favorite, is another.
One of the things I like to emphasize about my KosherSoul side is that both the Jewish and African diasporas have been absorbed and have absorbed all of the places we have been.
Around the world, Jews celebrate Shavuot in a variety of ways—but at their root, they come back to the same sources and the same ideas.