Make your Holidays Veg-Friendly

Jews love to eat! What better way to spread Jewish values of compassion for animals than with a holiday meal?

Tu B’shevat

“See My works, how fine they are; Now all that I have created, I created for your benefit. Think upon this and do not corrupt and destroy My world, For if you destroy it, there is no one to restore it after you.” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:28)

Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for Trees, is Judaism's only true vegan holiday. It is the only holiday in which the typical fare is entirely plant-based, even if the themes of several other holidays also lend themselves to veganism.

Passover

An increasing number of Jews are turning to vegetarianism and are finding ways to celebrate vegetarian Passovers, while being consistent with Jewish teachings.

“The use of the shank bone on the Seder plate originated in the time of the Talmud as a means of commemorating the sacrifice of the paschal lamb. However, since the items on the Seder plate are only symbolic, many Jewish vegetarians replace the shank bone with a beet, its red color representing the blood of the sacrificed animals. The important thing is that no animal need be eaten or represented at the Seder table.”

“The main Passover theme is freedom, and at the Passover seder we retell the story of our ancestors’ slavery in Egypt and their redemption through God’s power and beneficence. While acknowledging that only people are created in God’s image, many Jewish vegetarians also consider the “slavery” of animals on modern “factory farms”. Contrary to Jewish teachings of tsa’ar ba’alei chayim (the Torah mandate not to cause “sorrow to a living creature”), animals are raised for food today under cruel conditions in crowded confined spaces, where they are denied fresh air, sunlight, a chance to exercise, and the fulfillment of their natural instincts. In this connection, it is significant to consider that according to the Jewish tradition, Moses, Judaism’s greatest leader, teacher, and prophet, was chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt because as a shepherd he showed great compassion to a lamb (Exodus Rabbah 2:2).” -Article on Passover and Vegetarianism by JVNA President Emeritus Richard Schwartz: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/passover-and-vegetarianism/

Recipes For recipe ideas, check out JewishVeg.org/recipe to find recipes for every Jewish holiday. Here are just a few favorites:

Blueberry Blintzes

Challah that's Even Better Without the Eggs!

Chocolate Babka Muffins

Israeli Couscous

Potato Latkes with Vegan Sour Cream and Applesauce

Peppercorn and Red Wine Braised Vegan Brisket