As we approach Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we wish you l‘’shanah tovah tikateivu v’teichateimu. We welcome out of town guests and visitors. Please call the Temple office for reservations, 864-582-2001.
Wishing you a happy and kosher Passover
Ideas to Enhance Your Seder by Rabbi Annie Tucker
1. Get Creative – At the start of the Seder have everyone pick a card which has three words on it – two of which are closely related to Pesach and the third of which is a little random. The goal is for participants to ask a question or to say a sentence at some point during the night using all three of their words without getting caught. A person wins if a full minute passes after using the word without being accused of completing the task.
-matzah, noodles, jump
-sea, staff, electricity
-pharaoh, hail, slippers
-freedom, slave, garden
-charoset, haggadah, stairs
-wine, four, radio
-thank, dayenu, maze
-sons, questions, airport
-sandwich, bitter, umbrella
-sing, praise, feather.
2. Get in Character – For the Maggid (telling) part of the seder, select a few designated guests to imagine themselves as a particular character in the Passover story (Miriam, Pharaoh, an Israelite slave, etc.). Other participants can ask questions to learn more about their experience in Egypt such as:
-Do you believe the Israelites will actually make it to freedom?
-If you could say one thing to Moses, what would it be?
-What special things are you bringing with you as leave home?
-What did the Sea of Reeds look like when it parted?
3. Stand with Refugees – Print out a Seder supplement from HIAS and hold in solidarity with current-day immigrants and refugees on this holiday that recalls our own painful experiences in a land not our own: www.hias.org/passover2016.
4. Puzzle It Up – Visit the website edubakery.com/Bingo-Cards/Passover-Bingo-v1-Bingo-Cardsto create a Passover Bingo board to use around the Seder table (participants mark off items on their card when they hear that word mentioned in the Haggadah). Or, if your holiday observance allows for it, use the site to create Passover word-searches, crosswords, and other games to keep younger children occupied.
5. Make Charoset – Create a make your own charoset bar with lots of items to choose from: dates, figs, apples, coconut, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, dried cherries, chocolate chips, mashed banana, craisins, raisins, mango, orange, strawberries, pomegranate, honey, cinnamon, spices, wine, grape juice, etc. Guests mix their own selections in preparation for the seder. Extra points if someone can explain how the items they chose teach us about slavery and freedom!
6. Connect the Dots – Prepare two bags, one which has a bunch of cards with Pesach-identified nouns (Moshe, charoset, liberation, Miriam, parsley, etc.) and the other which has cards with random items listed (the US Supreme Court, Nigeria, an iPhone, bananas, a rainbow flag, ice, etc.). Divide guests into teams of two to four players. Each team picks one card from each bag and then has a minute to come up with Six (or Fewer) Degrees of Sederation that connect the two. (For example: charoset and iPhone– Apple/apple in one!; parsley and Nigeria – Nigeria is in Africa where the Israelites experienced the terrible slavery of which dipping parsley in saltwater reminds us; etc.).
7. Act it Out –Use the following 10-minute Seder script to tell the Passover story rather than reading it word-for-word from the Haggadah: https://www.haggadot.com/clip/passover-play-ten-minute-script-all-ages.
8. Ask Important Questions – Based on the ancient Greek symposium, the seder was originally intended to be a great philosophical meditation on themes of justice and freedom. Spark discussion with some of the big questions listed here or create conversation starters of your own: https://labshul.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/sayder-fold-out.pdf.
9. Split the Sea – Engage young children before Seder night by making creative and topical centerpieces, name-cards, or other decorations including this one: https://www.creativejewishmom.com/2010/03/kids-crafts-for-pesach-krias-yam-suf-the-splitting-of-the-red-sea-diorama.html. You might also consider decorating the room in which seder is taking place in a special way (like an ancient Israelite tent with scarves and pillows on the floor, like the Red Sea with waters to cross through, etc.) and/or having the seder leader dress up for parts of the ritual.
10. Go Out of Order – Before the night begins, copy the tale of the Exodus (from the Haggadah or an online summary or a version you create) and cut the text into enough sections that each Seder guest receives one. Randomly distribute the pieces and then work as a group to put the story back in order – each person reading their text when appropriate – as you arrive at the Maggid (telling) part of the Seder.
11. Dip It Up – While it is traditional to dip a green vegetable like parsley into salt-water at the Karpas (Spring Greens) stage of the Seder, there’s no need to stop there! Getting creative with other kinds of dipped foods (vegetables into guacamole, bananas into chocolate, etc.) can stave off hunger pangs and prompt the very kind of spontaneous questions that are meant to be at the heart of the seder ritual.
12. Keep a List – Prior to the seder, write down the name of the person using each Haggadah in the book’s cover (this can immediately serve as a kind of place-card, with individuals walking around the table to find their designated Haggadah, and ultimately serves as an archive whereby each Haggadah contains a list of everyone who has ever used that book in the past). In years to come, begin the Seder by having everyone share the name of the person who used their Haggadah last year and naming one thing that they love about this person!
13. Fight for Freedom – Dedicate each of the four cups of wine to a different individual or organization working to end oppression and work for justice in our world. Consider having the afikoman “present” be a donation towards one of these important causes or using the Omer period (the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot) to engage in some kind of volunteer work that furthers these values.
14. Make It Personal – The Haggadah tells us that in each generation, every individual should feel as though he or she personally escaped from slavery. Thinking about the escape from Egypt as a personal journey, ask Seder participants what they are hoping to leave behind this year as we gather for Passover and where they hope to go in the coming year.
Prohibition of Chametz
On Pesach it is prohibited to possess chametz (leaven). All chametz that will not be eaten or burned before Pesach must be sold to a non-Jew. All chametz utensils that will not be thoroughly cleaned by then, and are stored away in closets or rooms while preparing for Pesach. The storage area is locked or tape-shut, and leased to a non-Jew at the time of the sale. There are many legal intricacies in this sale, thus, only a competent rabbi should be entrusted with its execution. The rabbi acts as our agent both to sell the chametz to the non-Jew on the morn- ing before Pesach starts and also to buy it back the evening after Pe- sach ends. Locking your chametz away and giving your Rabbi
the Signed Chametz Contract is an easy way of observing one of the most important laws in the Torah. (Contract follows below). Chametz which remains in the possession of a Jew over Pesach may not be used, eaten, bought or sold even after Pesach. It is customary to give tsedaka in the performance of this Mitzvah.
I, the undersigned, fully empower and permit Rabbi Yossi J. Liebowitz to act in my place and stead, and on my behalf to sell all Chametz possessed by me, knowingly or unknowingly as defined by the Torah and Rabbinic Law (e.g. Chametz, possible Chametz, and all kinds of Chametz mixtures). Also Chametz that tends to harden and adhere to inside surfaces of pans, pots, or cooking utensils, the utensils them- selves, and all kinds of live animals and pets that have been eating Chametz and mixtures thereof. Rabbi Yossi J. Liebowitz is also em- powered to lease all places wherein the Chametz owned by me may be found, particularly at the address listed below, and elsewhere.
Rabbi Yossi J. Liebowitz has full right to appoint any agent or substi- tute in his stead and said substitute shall have full right to sell and lease as provided herein. Rabbi Yossi J. Liebowitz also has the full power and right to act as he deems fit and proper in accordance with all the details of the Bill of Sale used in the transaction to sell all my Chametz, Chametz mixtures, etc., as provided herein.
Signed: ______________________________________________ Date: ______________
Name: ________________________________________________ Address/es: __________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ City/ State/ Zip Country: ____________________________
Photo: Marc Hoberman
Toasted sesame seeds, honey and almonds make a deep-golden, chewy treat. Popular at any celebration, this ancient confection is traditionally offered over the Festivals of Purimand Hanukkah (Festival of Lights). These petite treats, not unlike the nut bars that are popular today, are utterly addictive
- Sprinkle 1 cup of sesame seeds with a pinch of flour and toast lightly in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat for 4 minutes or until lightly golden. Shake the pan often and stir with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat this process, 1 cup at a time, with the remaining four cups of sesame seeds.
- Heat the honey, water and sugar in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until it thickens and reaches the soft ball stage*. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a very large, heatproof bowl.
- Add the almonds and 3 cups of sesame seeds and stir together vigorously with a wooden spoon. Spread the hot mixture onto an oiled worktop. Sprinkle in the remaining 2 cups of sesame seeds, working it a little at a time into the mixture. Dampen your hands with cold water and roll into four ropes about 1-inch (2.5cm) in diameter. Cut diagonally into 1-inch (2.5cm) sections using a sharp knife dipped into hot water. Allow to cool at room temperature until hardened.
How I Feel as a Jew During Christmas
We chose to raise our children in a home that celebrated Hanukkah – but sustaining a minority culture in the face of Christmas’s incessant commercial drumbeat was exhausting.
“No, Santa isn’t coming to our house.” “Yes, he’s going to your friends’ houses.” “Yes, it’s exciting that Santa brought your friend a tricycle.” “No, Santa still isn’t coming to our house.”
On the bright side, the situation provided an opportunity to teach my children that we live in a great country where people have many different religions and the government doesn’t favor one over another. In other times and places, people attacked us just for being Jews, but in our country today, we are safe and free to celebrate our holidays.
Our children attended a preschool located in the building that houses our state’s Supreme Court. Every morning we walked through the Great Hall, whose exhibits provided more opportunities to teach the children about the values and principles of our country, including the separation of church and state.
Things became more complicated in December. The stately hall erupted in evergreen swag and red bows, trees glittering with tinsel, and piles of gifts.
I explained to my children that even a great country doesn’t always live up to its ideals. It’s up to each of us to keep working to make those ideals real and help our country be the best version of itself. My son made a poster about Hanukkah, and we brought in dreidels and gelt (chocolate coins) to share. His classmates were curious and attentive. It felt good to be introducing the inquisitive preschoolers to Judaism.
When my son was in kindergarten, his teacher decided – to my dismay – to spend two weeks making Christmas crafts. When I gently expressed my discomfort with the plan, explaining that we are Jewish, she excitedly explained how much she loved Christmas and said that, for the first time, her entire class (except for my son) was Christian. It seemed like the perfect time to share her favorite crafts with them.
Sympathetic to my concern, she offered to send my son to the library alone while the other children made reindeer and built gingerbread houses. That isn’t how the separation of church and state is supposed to work! I discreetly brought the matter to the principal’s attention, but to no avail.
So I let my son participate in two weeks of Christmas crafts, and I offered to teach the children about Hanukkah. I fried up enough latkes for the entire class and served them with all the fixings. My son showed them our hanukkiyah (candle holder), and we shared a picture book about Hanukkah around the world.
The children were mesmerized. Everyone wanted to spin the dreidel, and every last latke was consumed. It felt wonderful to share our culture and to demystify Judaism for the children and their teacher.
That was years ago. My children are now old enough to negotiate the holidays without my help, but there is still work to be done.
This year, walking through the towering Christmas trees, festive wreaths, and profusion of poinsettias in the lobby on my way to work, I was reminded that, for all the ideals enshrined in our Constitution and our civil rights laws, the Christian winter holiday still dominates our public spaces to the exclusion of other religions.
As I talked with people about our building’s lobby, it dawned on me that a majority of my Jewish friends feel like outsiders in such spaces. One friend lamented, “It’s the only time of year when I feel like a foreigner in my own country.”
By contrast, my friends of Christian origin have a wide variety of thoughts and feelings about Christmas, but it never challenges their core sense of fully belonging in this country – and until we talked, most of them had never dreamed that Christmas pageantry might cause some Jews to feel estranged.
This situation calls for more than a dreidel poster and a plate of latkes. What’s needed is education – for grownups.
I decided that I wanted our next winter lobby display to be more welcoming, and not merely by adding a token hanukkiyah. I wanted the building managers, display designers, my co-workers, and others to join me in becoming aware that Christmas hegemony makes a significant number of people feel excluded.
That insight opens up a wonderful opportunity to steer closer to our national ideals by crafting our winter decor, from the ground up, to better reflect the religious pluralism we value.
How fortunate that so many religions share the values of hospitality and inclusion!
I wrote a petition to that effect, which my co-workers are circulating throughout the building. Maybe the lobby display will change next year or maybe it won’t, but I like to believe that some people will have started thinking about religious pluralism in a new way.
And perhaps a few will even start standing up for it.
Juliette Hirt lives in San Francisco, CA, and works in Oakland. She practices law, pottery, and parenting.
Rabbi Sacks, community leader and former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, has become known for his sharing of wisdom for Jews around the world. He has written eight short thoughts, one for each night of Chanukah. Print and read one with your family just before you light your own Chanukah lights this year, Share the graphics on social media and spread the light, or send to your community educators and encourage them to utilize these important messages for their learners of all ages.
1. INSPIRED BY FAITH, WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
Twenty-two centuries ago, when Israel was under the rule of the empire of Alexander the Great, one particu- lar leader, Antiochus IV, decided to force the pace of Hellenisation, forbidding Jews to practice their religion and setting up in the Temple in Jerusalem a statue of Zeus Olympus. This was too much to bear, and a group of Jews, the Maccabees, fought for their religious freedom, winning a stunning victory against the most powerful army of the ancient world. After three years they reconquered Jerusalem, rededicated the Temple and relit the menorah with the one cruse of undefiled oil they found among the wreckage.
It was one of the most stunning military achievements of the ancient world. It was, as we say in our prayers, a victory of the few over the many, the weak over the strong. It’s summed up in wonderful line from the prophet Zechariah: not by might nor by strength but by my spirit says the Lord. The Maccabees had neither might nor strength, neither weapons nor numbers. But they had a double portion of the Jewish spirit that longs for freedom and is prepared to fight for it.
Never believe that a handful of dedicated people can’t change the world. Inspired by faith, they can. The Maccabees did then. So can we, today.
2. THE LIGHT OF THE SPIRIT NEVER DIES
23 Kislev—23 Tevet 5779
There’s an interesting question the commentators ask about Chanukah. For eight days we light lights, and each night we make the blessing over miracles: she-asah nissim la-avotenu. But what was the miracle of the first night? The light that should have lasted one day lasted eight. But that means there was something mi- raculous about days 2 to 8; but nothing miraculous about the first day.
2. THE LIGHT OF THE SPIRIT NEVER DIES
Perhaps the miracle was this, that the Maccabees found one cruse of oil with its seal intact, undefiled. There was no reason to suppose that anything would have survived the systematic desecration the Greeks and their supporters did to the Temple. Yet the Maccabees searched and found that one jar. Why did they search? Because they had faith that from the worst tragedy something would survive. The miracle of the first night was that of faith itself, the faith that something would remain with which to begin again.
So it has always been in Jewish history. There were times when any other people would have given up in despair: after the destruction of the Temple, or the massacres of the crusades, or the Spanish Expul- sion, or the pogroms, or the Shoa. But somehow Jews did not only sit and weep. They gathered what remained, rebuilt our people, and lit a light like no other in history, a light that tells us and the world of the power of the human spirit to overcome every tragedy and refuse to accept defeat.
From the days of Moses and the bush that burned and was not consumed to the days of the Macca- bees and the single cruse of oil, Judaism has been humanity’s ner tamid, the everlasting light that no power on earth can extinguish.
3. CHANUKAH IN TIMES OF GOOD & BAD
Back in 1991 I lit Chanukah candles with Mikhail Gorbachev, who had, until earlier that year, been president of the Soviet Union. For seventy years the practice of Judaism had been effectively banned in communist Russia. It was one of the two great assaults on our people and faith in the twentieth century. The Germans sought to kill Jews; the Russians tried to kill Judaism.
Under Stalin the assault became brutal. Then in 1967, after Israel’s victory in the Six Day War, many Soviet Jews sought to leave Russia and go to Israel. Not only was permission refused, but often the Jews concerned lost their jobs and were imprisoned.
Around the world Jews campaigned for the prisoners, Refuseniks they were called, to be released and allowed to leave. Eventually, Mikhail Gorbachev realized that the whole Soviet system was unworkable. Communism had brought, not freedom and equality, but repression, a police state, and a new hierarchy of power. In the end, it collapsed, and Jews regained the freedom to practice Judaism and to go to Israel.
That day in 1991 after we had lit candles together, Mr. Gorbachev asked me, through his interpreter, what we had just done. I told him that twenty-two centuries ago in Israel after the public practice of Judaism had been banned, Jews fought for and won their freedom, and these lights were the symbol of that victory. And I continued: Seventy years ago, Jews suffered the same loss of freedom in Russia, and you have now helped them to regain it. So you have become part of the Chanukah story. And as the interpreter translated those words into Russian, Mikhail Gorbachev blushed.
The Chanukah story still lives, still inspires, telling not just us but the world that though tyranny exists, freedom, with God’s help, will always win the final battle.
4. THE FIRST CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS
One of the key phrases of our time is the clash of civilisations. And Chanukah is about one of the first great clashes of civilisation, between the Greeks and Jews of antiquity, Athens and Jerusalem.
The ancient Greeks produced one of the most remarkable civilisations of all time: philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, historians like Herodotus and Thucydides, dramatists like Sophocles and Aeschylus. They produced art and architecture of a beauty that has never been surpassed. Yet in the second century before the common era they were defeated by the group of Jewish fighters known as the Maccabees, and from then on Greece as a world power went into rapid decline, while the tiny Jewish people survived every exile and persecution and are still alive and well today.
What was the difference? The Greeks, who did not believe in a single, loving God, gave the world the con- cept of tragedy. We strive, we struggle, at times we achieve greatness, but life has no ultimate purpose. The universe neither knows nor cares that we are here.
Ancient Israel gave the world the idea of hope. We are here because God created us in love, and through love we discover the meaning and purpose of life.
Tragic cultures eventually disintegrate and die. Lacking any sense of ultimate meaning, they lose the moral be- liefs and habits on which continuity depends. They sacrifice happiness for pleasure. They sell the future for the present. They lose the passion and energy that brought them greatness in the first place. That’s what happened to Ancient Greece.
Judaism and its culture of hope survived, and the Chanukah lights are the symbol of that survival, of Ju- daism’s refusal to jettison its values for the glamour and prestige of a secular culture, then or now.
A candle of hope may seem a small thing, but on it the very survival of a civilisation may depend.
5. THE LIGHT OF WAR & THE LIGHT OF PEACE
There is a law about Chanukah I find moving and profound. Maimonides writes that ‘the command of Cha- nukah lights is very precious. One who lacks the money to buy lights should sell something, or if necessary, borrow, so as to be able to fulfill the mitzvah.’
The question then arises, What if, on Friday afternoon, you find yourself with only one candle? What do you light it as — a Shabbat candle or a Chanukah one? It can’t be both. Logic suggests that you should light it as a Chanukah candle. After all, there is no law that you have to sell or borrow to light lights for Shabbat. Yet the law is that, if faced with such a choice, you light it as a Shabbat light. Why? continued on page 26…
continued from page 25…
5. THE LIGHT OF WAR & THE LIGHT OF PEACE
Listen to Maimonides: ‘The Shabbat light takes priority because it symbolises shalom bayit, domestic peace. And great is peace because the entire Torah was given in order to make peace in the world.’
Consider: Chanukah commemorates one of the greatest military victories in Jewish history. Yet Jewish law rules that if we can only light one candle — the Shabbat light takes precedence, because in Judaism the great- est military victory takes second place to peace in the home.
Why did Judaism, alone among the civilizations of the ancient world, survive? Because it valued the home more than the battlefield, marriage more than military grandeur, and children more than gener- als. Peace in the home mattered to our ancestors more than the greatest military victory.
So as we celebrate Chanukah, spare a thought for the real victory, which was not military but spiritual. Jews were the people who valued marriage, the home, and peace between husband and wife, above the highest glory on the battlefield. In Judaism, the light of peace takes precedence over the light of war.
6. THE THIRD MIRACLE
We all know the miracles of Chanukah, the military victory of the Maccabees against the Greeks, and the miracle of the oil that should have lasted one day but stayed burning for eight. But there was a third miracle not many people know about. It took place several centuries later. After the destruction of the second Tem- ple, many rabbis were convinced that Chanukah should be abolished. After all, it celebrated the rededication of the Temple. And the Temple was no more. It had been destroyed by the Romans under Titus. Without a Temple, what was there left to celebrate?
The Talmud tells us that in at least one town, Lod, Chanukah was abolished. Yet eventually the other view prevailed, which is why we celebrate Chanukah to this day.
Why? Because though the Temple was destroyed, Jewish hope was not destroyed. We may have lost the building but we still had the story, and the memory, and the light. And what had happened once in the days of the Maccabees could happen again. And it was those words, od lo avdah tikvatenu, “our hope is not destroyed,” became part of the song, Hatikvah, that inspired Jews to return to Israel and rebuild their ancient state. So as you light the Chanukah candles remember this. The Jewish people kept hope alive, and hope kept the Jewish people alive. We are the voice of hope in the conversation of hu- mankind.
7. INSIDE / OUTSIDE
23 Kislev—23 Tevet 5779
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Temple Topics Page 27
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7. INSIDE / OUTSIDE
There is more than one command in Judaism to light lights. There are three. There are the Shabbat candles. There is the havdalah candle. And there are the Chanukah candles. The difference between them is that Shab- bat candles represent shalom bayit, peace in the home. They are lit indoors. They are, if you like, Judaism’s inner light, the light of the sanctity of marriage and the holiness of home.
The Chanukah candles used to be lit outside — outside the front door. It was only fear of persecution that took the Chanukah candles back inside, and in recent times the Lubavitcher Rebbe introduced the custom of light- ing giant menorahs in public places to bring back the original spirit of the day.
Chanukah candles are the light Judaism brings to the world when we are unafraid to announce our identity in public, live by our principles and fight, if necessary, for our freedom.
As for the havdalah candle, which is always made up of several wicks woven together, it represents the fusion of the two, the inner light of Shabbat, joined to the outer light we make during the six days of the week when we go out into the world and live our faith in public.
When we live as Jews in private, filling our homes with the light of the Shekhina, when we live as Jews in public, bringing the light of hope to others, and when we live both together, then we bring light to the world.
There always were two ways to live in a world that is often dark and full of tears. We can curse the darkness or we can light a light, and as the Chassidim say, a little light drives out much darkness. May we all help light up the world.
8. TO LIGHT ANOTHER LIGHT
There’s a fascinating argument in the Talmud. Can you take one Chanukah light to light another? Usually, of course, we take an extra light, the shamash, and use it to light all the candles. But suppose we don’t have one. Can we light the first candle and then use it to light the others?
Two great sages of the third century, Rav and Shmuel, disagreed. Rav said No. Shmuel said Yes. Normally we have a rule that when Rav and Shmuel disagree, the law follows Rav. There are only three exceptions and this is one.
Why did Rav say you may not take one Chanukah candle to light the others?
Because, says the Talmud, ka mach-chish mitzvah. You diminish the first candle. Inevitably you spill some of the wax or the oil. And Rav says: don’t do anything that would diminish the light of the first.
But Shmuel disagrees, and the law follows Shmuel. Why?
The best way of answering that is to think of two Jews: both religious, both committed, both living Jewish lives. One says: I must not get involved with Jews who are less religious than me, because if I do, my own stand- ards will fall. I’ll keep less. My light will be diminished. That’s the view of Rav.
The other says No. When I use the flame of my faith to light a candle in someone else’s life, my Jewishness is not diminished. It grows, because there is now more Jewish light in the world. When it comes to spiritual goods as opposed to material goods, the more I share, the more I have. If I share my knowledge, or faith, or love with others, I won’t have less; I may even have more. That’s the view of Shmuel, and that is how the law was eventually decided.
So share your Judaism with others. Take the flame of your faith and help set other souls on fire.
1 1/2pounds russet potatoes
1 large yellow onion
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Fresh ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
2 pounds brisket, cut into 2-inch pieces
Kosher salt, divided
Fresh ground black pepper
1 large onion, sliced
2 carrots, chopped into 1/2-inch coins
2 celery stalks, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
2 cups beef or vegetable stock
Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
2 apples, cored and sliced
1 small (2 – 2 1/2 pounds) butternut squash, halved and seeds removed
Good pinch of crushed red pepper
1 batch latkes
Chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish)
1. Make the latkes: Shred the potatoes and onions together in a food processor or with a grater or mandoline. Place in a strainer that’s been lined with cheesecloth. Toss with salt, to taste, and let sit over a bowl for 30 minutes. Gather the top of the cheesecloth and then use your hands to squeeze out as much excess moisture as you can.
2. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the eggs, lemon juice, flour and a few turns of black pepper. Heat a skillet with 1/4 inch of oil until shimmering. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, fry up loosely packed rounded tablespoons of the latke mixture until browned on both sides. Add more oil to the pan as needed. Transfer to a paper towel lined-plate and set aside until ready to use.
3. Prepare the hotdish: Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the brisket, season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few turns of black pepper and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the red wine and cook for a few minutes until it’s reduced by half.
5. Add the brown sugar, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, stock, rosemary and apples and simmer uncovered for 2 1/2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender. You want the liquid to reduce and get quite thick and saucy; however, if it reduces too far to where it’s more gloopy than saucy, add a bit more stock.
6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°, brush the innards of the squash with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few turns of pepper and roast until a fork pokes easily into the center; begin checking at 1 hour. Purée the squash and then stir it into your hotdish mixture with crushed red pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
7. Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Transfer the mixture to an 8-by-12-inch casserole dish and top with latkes lined up in nice neat rows. Bake until the mixture is bubbly and the latkes are deep brown, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and then top with chopped parsley, if using, and serve.