Preparing for Rosh Hashanah Menus
Torah teachers explain to the busy Jewish woman
How to do Tshuva

Preparing for Rosh Hashanah is like preparing for that big test. We know what’s coming but it’s so easy to procrastinate.

The month of Elul are the days the Teacher gives the review, but I only sometimes pay attention. Suddenly, I find myself standing still the middle of the month as the countdown to Judgment day begins in earnest.

Order Cooking for The King ~the Rosh Hashanah Simanim

The Review

Planning and preparing festive meals for family and guests is a lot of work: deciding on recipes, shopping, cooking, table setting, serving, table clearing and cleaning up. Doing it again. And again. And again. To complicate things more, we want to go to shul if we can and not be distracted by out mental lists of kitchen duties when we need to focus on our davening.

This line of thinking is fertile ground for the Yetzer Hara. He is making his plan of attack just as we are planning our menus. He is focused on tripping us up just as we are focusing on the guest list. He thrills at making us feel burdened and overwhelmed or immersed in creative culinary challenges, so that we have no energy or desire to even think about the purpose of the day: tshuva.

That's why you enjoy these complete make ahead menus ~from Cooking for The King

Ultimately, the Yetzer Hara wants us to be so preoccupied preparing for Rosh Hashanah meals and guests, that we miss out on this great opportunity in Elul to come close to Hashem. To think that we can really get it all done, and appear in shul and daven sincerely, is a recipe for frustration, depression and disconnection. These are the weapons of the Yetzer Hara.

Armed For Battle

But we have a battle plan. In Elul especially, if we will only face the attacker head on, Hashem says He will fight-- and win-- this battle for us! The catch is, we have to be armed for the battle. Our most effective weapon is prayer.

The service on Rosh Hashana is heavy on the stories of women who prayed and were answered: Sarah, Rachael and Chana. We even base our shofar blasts on the number of times Sisrah’s mother prayed for the return of her evil son!

Read Battleplans, the book on how to fight the Yetzer Hara and win!

Chazal say that women, because we use the power of prayer to develop a relationship with G-d, have a greater sense of Hashem’s Oneness. In preparing for Rosh Hashanah, coronation day for the entire world, we look to these women as role models of how to relate to the King. They triumphed in their struggle only because they turned to the Almighty in prayer.

We Cannot Do Anything Alone

This year, after all your effort in preparing for Rosh Hashanah, your home will shine with nobility because you asked Hashem to help you have energy. Your meals will taste the love you put into them, because you talked to Hashem as you shopped, chopped and baked. And in your deepest prayers, you asked Him to help you remain joyous, to uproot negative habits, to stop judging and work on developing compassion.

No great liturgy has to come out of your mouth. The sweet, respectful voice of a daughter is precious to her exalted Father. Help me find outfits at a bargain, help the chicken taste really good, help me go to sleep on time, give me patience, make me strong, help me to forgive...

When the great day comes, you’ll have developed such a close bond with the King who sits in judgment, that the Yetzer Hara will have no choice except to testify on your behalf and say, “No contest, She won!”

I sincerely hope Rosh Hashanah recipe and menu pages will help in your preparing for Rosh Hashanah and you'll be ready to meet The King~ both in your kitchen and before the Heavenly Court~ and merit a good decree.

May you be written and sealed for a sweet new year!

Cooking for The King   by Renee Chernin
The book of Torah insights, recipes and practical tips
designed to bring majesty to the mundane.