Stumped with what to serve on Sukkot, Hoshana Rabba and Simchat Torah… just stuff it and you’re all good.
Jewish Food Historian Gil Marks a”h says in his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food (Wiley, 2010) “...stuffed vegetables, filled pastas, filled pastries and filled pies, symbolizing plenty are commonplace on sukkot tables.”
Simchat Torah, the last day of Sukkot is the celebration of the conclusion of the annual cycle of torah readings at which point we immediately start the cylce again with the reading of Bereshis, Genesis. And so I always thought that both the shape of the Torah scroll and the cyclical celebration of the holiday were the reasoning behind our stuffed and rolled food obsession this time of year.
While I loathe to be wrong I am happy to know that the stuffed, filled and overflowing foods are an allusion to plenty.
I often turn to Gil’s Encyclopedia when I am unsure and it’s amazing to learn from him even after he has passed away. These recipes for stuffed foods on Sukkot are posted today in memory of Gil Marks a”h. Gil was a great cook, a great historian and a great writer. His contribution to Jewish Food history is unmatched.