Passover Seder, Easy Charosets Recipe

Charosets and desserts are usually my contribution to our extended family’s Passover seder. But, due to the pandemic and worry over COVID, this is the second year we aren’t all gathering. I always thought Charosets on the seder plate was a representation of mortar enslaved Jews used to when they were forced to build those gorgeous pyramids in Egypt. Little did I know there this dish’s significance was up for discussion!

Meaning 

Charoset (חֲרֽוֹסֶת, pronounced ha-row-sit) is a sticky, sweet symbolic food that Jews eat during the Passover seder every year. The word chariest derives from the Hebrew word cheres (חרס), which means “clay.” 

In some Middle Eastern Jewish cultures, the sweet condiment is known as halegh.

Origins 

Charoset represents the mortar that the Israelites used to make bricks while they were slaves in Egypt. The idea originates in Exodus 1:13–14, which says,

‘The Egyptians enslaved the children of Israel with back-breaking labor, and they embittered their lives with hard labor, with clay and with bricks and with all kinds of labor in the fields—all their work that they worked with them with back-breaking labor.’

The concept of charoset as a symbolic food first appears in the Mishnah (Pesachim 114a) in a disagreement between the sages about the reason forcharosetand whether it is a mitzvah (commandment) to eat it at Passover.

According to one opinion, the sweet paste is meant to remind people of the mortar used by the Israelites when they were slaves in Egypt, while another says that the charoset is meant to remind the modern Jewish people of the apple trees in Egypt. This second opinion is tied to the fact that, supposedly, the Israelite women would quietly, painlessly give birth beneath apple trees so that the Egyptians would never know that a baby boy was born. Although both opinions add to the Passover experience, most agree that the first opinion reigns supreme (Maimonides, The Book of Seasons 7:11).

by Ariela Pelaia, Learn Religions, June 25, 2019

Charosets

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups walnut pieces (or finely ground walnuts)
  • 3 large apples
  • 4 Tablespoons sweet red wine, or to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons honey, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon, or to taste
  • dash nutmeg

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, process walnuts until finely ground, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. Peel apples, core and cut into quarters. Process in food processor until finely chopped. Place in mixing bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Combine well and taste to correct seasonings.

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Top Ten Places to Travel Virtually

Stonehenge

Hon, hope you had a nice July 4th weekend!

This year, though our friends’ holiday bbq was nixed, we still got together, socially distancing of course. Since our school district doesn’t let out until late June, July 4th feels like the official start of summer. But what does this summer hold? Will I return to work or not? Will Elegant Lifestyles publish a September issue? Is it safe to visit family in different states? Will one of my daughters have to quarantine when she returns home after four months away? Will my younger daughter’s college hold classes? The questions go on and on. One thing we can do is travel…virtually. This is a list of places I’d love to go one day. Where would you like to go?

Top Ten Places to Travel Virtually

1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

David Attenborough leads you on an interactive tour underwater to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Through interactive time-lapses, videos, and weather maps, the tour shows you the Earth’s most bio-diverse ecosystem.

All the while, a tracker notes miles traveled, total sailing time, and the effects of climate change during your “exhibition,” making this a great educational tour for adults and kids alike!

2. The Great Wall of China

China’s most famous attraction offers virtual tours of some of the most visited sections of the wall, 3,000 miles of which are walkable. With much of the country under quarantine measures, the virtual tour offers a reprieve from the crowds who normally come from all over the world to see the 2,000-year-old marvel.

3. Iceland

Welcome to Iceland 360 VR!Select one of hundreds of locations around Iceland in the search field, panorama location list or location map or try out our location basedand themed virtual tours!

4. Taj Mahal, India

Our online virtual tour enables visitors to interactively explore the “UNESCO World Heritage Site”, the Taj Mahal at Agra in India. Visitors may tour 22 different areas of the monument and gardens through 360° panoramas, maps, narrated mini-movies, music and text.

5. Alaska

Experience virtual tours and in-depth educational videos of Kenai Fjords National Park. Journey into the beautiful landscape of Alaska to discover the wonders of the glaciers, local wildlife, geology and so much more!

6. Ireland–25 Virtual Tours

In an attempt to bring those of you that want to be here a little closer to Ireland, we’ve created a guide that’s packed with virtual tours (and 360 photos) for some of Ireland’s best-known attractions.

7. Scotland

“Immerse yourself in the amazing history, cities and landscapes of Scotland from the comfort of your own home…virtual tours of Scotland, including fascinating documentaries and Scottish museums that offer online tours. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your virtual journey through Scotland.

8. Safaris, Africa

Get up close with some of the world’s most amazing animals from the safety of your sofa.

9. Israel

Coronavirus messing up your plans? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Join us for a virtual tour of the most beautiful places in Israel with our popular series, Postcards from Israel.

10. Redwoods, California

Join an interpretive ranger in series of VR episodes about some of the natural and cultural history of the park. Move your mouse, handheld device, or wear VR glasses to experience this in 360 degrees.

 

 

Stunning Short Film–Terror and Resilience

Dome of the Rock, also know as Al-Haram al Sharif, Jerusalem, Israel
Dome of the Rock, also know as Al-Haram al Sharif, Jerusalem, Israel

Arab souk (market), Jerusalem, Israel
Arab souk (market), Jerusalem, Israel

The two times I toured Israel were intense, emotional, amazing experiences. The Dome of the Rock, or Al-Haram al-Sharif, stands head and shoulders above Jerusalem while the Arab market’s sellers, locals and tourists scurry like mice under the watchful eyes of Israeli soldiers.

Although I usually add upbeat lifestyle posts to Bmore Energy , on occasion I add serious ones.

After I viewed Vitals, a 5-minute documentary filmed in Jerusalem, about Hananel David, an Israeli who survived a knife attack, I knew I wanted to share it. The film, directed by friend Jake Oleson, a talented filmmaker whose work I’ve featured before, is stunning.

I hope you’ll watch it.

Wishing you–and our world–peace in 2016.

Naomi

Directed by Jake Oleson, Cinematography by Todd Martin, Produced by Alon Simcha, Animation by Casey Drogin, Original Music by Matthew Kidd, Commissioned by Magen David Adom.

 

Aqua Lustre

Chesapeake Hyatt Infinity Pool and Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
Chesapeake Hyatt Infinity Pool and Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

Water is in the news.

I planned on posting photographs of water before predictions that Hurricane Joaquin was headed our way. Luckily, it didn’t reach our town and we avoided another Hurricane Sandy situation.

Along with patterns created by the juxtaposition of sky and man-made objects, I love taking pictures of water. Its’ color, translucency or opaqueness, movement and mystery are eternally fascinating.

Aqua water is especially alluring, which is why I love the Aqua Lustre Raku glaze offered at my summer Raku class.

There’s more to come in this Series of Blue (Serene Sky and Metal and Blues).

Hon, thanks for visiting Bmore Energy.

Ceramic plates I glazed with Aqua Lustre.
Raku ceramic plates I glazed with Aqua Lustre.

Ceramic vase and tea box.
Raku ceramic vase and tea box I glazed with Aqua Lustre.

Grotto in Israel
Grotto, Israel

Sandpiper Bay Infinity Pool, Florida
Sandpiper Bay Infinity Pool, Florida

Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor, Maine.  Check out the hammock.  WHO was planning on sleeping there?

Antidote to Evil–Faith

A view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel.
A view of the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel.

The Abuhav Synagogue, Tzfat, Israel.
The Abuhav Synagogue, Tzfat, Israel.

As “antidotes to evil,” sweetness and family started Bmore’s week of inspirational words and images.

I hope the places and symbols of faith in this post are a salve for the psychic wounds we all share. I am inspired in many different places of worship.  Sitting in a hallowed hall, I feel faith envelope me.  I concentrate on absorbing the aura of holiness created by the religious symbols, the people and the prayer.  But, I don’t have to be in a place of worship to pray.  The edge of the ocean and the blue sky invite me to look inward and then upward.

Where does faith find you?

Native American Indian, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Native American Indian, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Buddha, Port St. Lucie, Florida
Buddha, Port St. Lucie, Florida

Saint-Chapelle, Paris, France
Saint-Chapelle, Paris, France

Doors

The saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens.”  As a writer, I am used to knocking on that proverbial door and and having it shut in my face.  Hon, it never gets easier.  As a testament to my desire to kick the door down, here are some of my photos of doors that I found intriguing.  I hope that one day when I knock, someone will read and appreciate my work and invite me in.

Marais, Paris, France

Marais, Paris, France 

Elfreth Alley, Philadelphia, PA

 
Tzfat, Israel

Tzfat, Israel