Jewish Food Laws

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About Jewish Food Laws

Breaking down the holiday
The main components for organizing Jewish celebration and holidays are C.H.A.G (which coincidentally means Holiday in Hebrew).

1. Cuisine

2. Halacha

3. Aesthetics

4. Guests

Let’s brainstorm all of the possibilities and questions for each of these categories and then entering them into a master list. The master list will follow.

Cuisine-what will you serve? Do you want to try new recipes or not? Are you concerned with whether food is on sale or not? Do you have enough serving pieces? Do you want meat or milk? Buffet or plated? What cookbooks do you want to use? Do your guests have special eating requirements? Where and when will you grocery shop?

Halacha and Minhagim (Laws and Customs)-Sit down with your husband or a friendly Jewish guide (person or book!) and list what you will need for the holiday in terms of Judaica. Meaning, lulav and esrogim, maror, High Holiday seats, when to sell the chametz to the Rabbi, a sukkah, apples and honey, latkas, jelly donuts? Anything you need and would like to have for the Holiday.

This is the most important part of planning your Jewish celebration and holidays and once you’ve got this step fleshed out thoroughly, you can feel rest assured.

Aesthetics and Decoration-would you like to decorate for the holiday? Use special dishes or accessories that display the yom tov?

For example, I know many people like to decorate their home for Chanukah with blue and gold streamers, banners, signs, window decals, etc.

Where are your decorations stored?

What will you wear? Does your house need to be decluttered?

Asking these questions in advance will help guide you towards creating a master list- the next step after each of the components of Jewish celebration and holidays are discussed.

Guests-who to invite? sleepover or for meals? how many are they? enough space for all members of family? age requirements (i.e., highchair, pack and play, bibs, sippy cups, toys?) Are my guests vegetarian or do they have any allergies?

Basically, how can we keep our guests most comfortable? Those of you with young children know what a pleasure it is to go to someone’s home that already has a highchair or is childproofed. You also know how incredibly difficult and not relaxing in the slightest it is to go out to a home that has nothing you need!

The Next step

Okay so you’ve thought about the food, the decor, your guests, and the spiritual part of the holiday. Break your tasks down bit by bit and then work them into your week. An hour here to grocery shop, two hours on a Sunday to do some cooking, think of it like a puzzle.

Rivka Slatkin is the founder of Jewish Life Organized and started it when she herself was looking to organize the Jewish Holidays. Rivka did a lot of research on how others organizing the Yomim Tovim and posted her findings on her website for her friends and family. Lots more people found and wanted copies of the Yom Tov Perfectly Organized Collection. “I guess I wasn’t the only one looking to get more organized for the holidays!”, Rivka says. Go to to sign up for Rivka’s free newsletter.


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