Cook/Eat (se’udah) for 9 Adar, the Jewish day of Constructive Conflict

Whether or not you decide to fast on 9 Adar, the Jewish Day of Constructive Conflict, you can commemorate it by the foods you eat marking the end of the day. What may be traditional foods to mark this day though? The Talmud tells of a debate between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Joshua regarding the eighteen decrees enacted by Beit Shammai on the 9th of Adar. According to Rabbi Eliezer, these decrees were positive and can be likened to “A basket full of cucumbers (zucchini) and gourds (squash): a man puts mustard [grain] therein and it holds it.” While according to Rabbi Joshua they were negative and can be likened to “A tub full of honey: if one puts pomegranates and nuts in it, the tub overflows” (Talmud, Shabbat 153b). Therefore, you are welcome to commemorate this day by cooking, eating or writing a creative recipe for these foods or others that you think can inspire constructive conflict.

Following are two recipes I made in honor of 9 Adar:

  • Machloket Muffins (with honey, pomegranates and nuts)
  • Constructive Conflict Cookies (mustard, zucchini, and squash)

Machloket (conflict) Muffins
Beit Hillel: Honey, Pomegranates and Nuts Yield: 24 muffins

Machloket Muffins
Machloket Muffins by David Berman

4 eggs, beaten
1 cup honey
480ml milk
200ml vegetable oil
4 cups (600g) flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup chopped nuts (e.g. walnuts, pecan, almonds)
2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting (optional).


  1. Preheat the oven to 1800C. Line a muffin tin with oiled paper cases.
  2. Mix the egg, honey, milk and oil in a large bowl.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Roughly mix.
  5. Stir in the chopped nuts and then add the pomegranate syrup, gently stirring to swirl throughout the batter.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin cases.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing the muffins. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Constructive Conflict Cookies
Beit Shamai: Mustard, Zucchini and Butternut Squash

Conflict Cookies by David Berman

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch coarse salt
¾ cups butter, room temperature
¾ cups sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon grain mustard
½ cup shredded zucchini
½ cup shredded butternut squash (or pumpkin or other squash).


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer, and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and mix until incorporated. Add mustard, zucchini and butternut, and, mix until fully combined.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until all of the flour has been added and is completely mixed in. Do not overbeat.
  6. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto a prepared cookie sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until edges of cookie are golden.

Recipes devised by David S. Berman, Pardes Catering Manager 9AdarLOGOfull

This post is part of the 9 Adar project, an initiative of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution, part of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Click for more 9 Adar posts about Constructive Conflict.

About the Author
Upon completion of university studies in Cape Town, South Africa, made Aliyah in 1987 straight to Tadmor Hotel School in Herzliya. Completed with Distinction two year Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Worked in hotels and restaurants in Jerusalem in management and in cooking. Started working at Pardes in January 2004. Married to Rebecca (nee Berman), four young children, residents of Elazar, Gush Etzion. David can be reached at
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