Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is an aromatic spice. It is universally enjoyed as incense, a spice and as a medicament. Cinnamon is explicitly mentioned in Shemot regarding the anointing oil used to anoint the utensils and Kohanim. “Two hundred and fifty of fragrant cinnamon” (Shemot 30 – 23)

Rashi describes this fragranat cinnamon as bark from a tree. Some are fragrant while others are just like ordinary wood. Therefore, the Torah needed to tell us to use the fragrant one.

A lot of ordinary cinnamons bought in stores contain both real cinnamons from the Cinnamomum Zeylancium tree as well as Casia. As Rashi pointed out the Zeylancium is for more aromatic. This is more the more expensive type and is tastier with sweet dishes.

Cinnamon never really grew in Israel. However, there are several Midrashim that demonstrate admiration for this spice.

Rachba in the name of Rabbi Yehuda says the trees in Jerusalem were cinnamon trees. When they would burn them the fragrance would cover the whole country. (Shabat 63a)

Rav Huna in the name of Rabbi Yossi said cinnamon trees would grow in Israel the goats and dear could reach the tops and would eat from them. (Breshit Rabah 65)

Cinnamon is a spice that connects the entire Jewish people. It is the spice that everyone puts in their Charoset. Although there are many recipes for Charoset ranging from diced fruit with nuts and cinnamon to the Middle Eastern recipes based on date extracts and cinnamon. The Charoset represents the cement that Jews had to make as slaves in Egypt. It is also called Jewish Cement since it is a custom that cements the Jewish people together.

In the kitchen cinnamon can be used in many dishes. It is not required that the dish be sweet. It can be added to most dishes especially to meat dishes.

Additionally, cinnamon is known to help settle and upset stomach.

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