There are times that something calls for ashes, e.g.:

The meal right before Tisha B'Av, you're supposed to eat a hard-boiled egg dipped in ashes.

A groom puts ashes on his forehead shortly before the wedding, to remember the destruction of Jerusalem.

Where do you get ashes?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about Judaism. It is equally relevant to Ash Wednsday, de-skunking pets, enriching compost, blocking garden pests, and shining silver. – mevaqesh Jul 19 '16 at 6:43
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    What's the best way to make wine (for kiddush and/or havdala)? There are times that something calls for wine, e.g.: Kiddush on Shabbat and holiday nights and days Havdala on Saturday night and after holidays. What's the best way to make wine? – Double AA Jul 20 '16 at 15:14
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    What's the best way to make cloth? There are times that something calls for cloth, e.g.: covering one's body before saying Shema, covering the Challah on Shabbat. What's the best way to make cloth? – Double AA Jul 20 '16 at 15:15
  • @DoubleAA you can buy cloth and wine at stores. (Actually, if someone were to ask "what to do if I can't find any kosher wine at stores?", there would be answers that require you to reference Shulchan Aruch: squeeze your own grape juice, or make raisin wine.) – Shalom Jul 20 '16 at 16:59
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    @Shalom And for people who live too far away from stores? And the question was "What's the best way to make cloth?" not "Where can I get cloth?" (yours uses both formulations, which is unclear) – Double AA Jul 20 '16 at 17:02

To avoid the possibility of a sickness, I wanted to stay away from paper or other non-food substances. I peeled an onion, cut off the ends, and cut it in half through the middle (not through the ends.) I then sliced it VERY thinly and broke it up with my fingers into little sliver-slices. I put the slices on a large square castiron skillet, just by themselves, no oil spray or anything. I cooked (and cooked and cooked) them very slowly, turning them with a metal spatula now and again until they were completely black and shriveled. I then ran them through the mini blender. Ashes.

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    Ann, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for contributing your experience! Please consider registering your account, so that the site can keep track of your contributions no matter where you log in from. – Isaac Moses Aug 8 '11 at 22:23
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    Not only do you get ashes, but you get tears as well. Toast I think is easier. – avi Aug 9 '11 at 6:35
  • Toast sounds so much easier! Let me add that during my experiment in making my onion ashes, way before they were ashes, they were the toasted onions I had been trying to cook successfully for a long time. Before, I'd been adding too much other stuff (oil, breading, etc.) but just plain toasted onion slices (with a little Kosher salt) was the tasty garnish I'd been looking for. So at least that knowledge came from my effort. – Ann T. Aug 15 '11 at 13:53
  • See my comment to Shalom's answer - doing this is not healthy, it can produce cancer causing chemicals. Burn a tissue to white ash instead, it's much safer. – Ariel Aug 2 '12 at 5:26

Put bread in the toaster and keep toasting until it's well blackened. Scrape off the black; that's your ashes.

  • Note: disconnect your smoke alarm beforehand, and reconnect it afterwards! – Shalom Jun 22 '10 at 19:16
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    Thinner breads, such as burrito wraps, make better ashes with less mess and less smoke. – Tal Fishman Aug 9 '11 at 3:34
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    Isn't is bal tashhis to burn bread in case you can use other things? – jutky Aug 9 '11 at 14:41
  • See my comment to Shalom's answer - burnt bread is not healthy. – Ariel Aug 2 '12 at 5:26

I found burning plain paper (preferably computer paper - not lined paper) okay. Just be careful with the fire. Collect the ashes afterwards and voila!

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    Sorry but that is very unhealthy! Please don't recommend people to be eating burnt paper! – avi Aug 9 '11 at 6:33
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    paper is treated with various chemichals. Bleach, waxes, etc. Why would you do this when burnt food is an option? – avi Aug 9 '11 at 14:59
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    @avi, we're not talking about that much ash; you probably breathe in more of these chemicals every day than what you'd get from dipping your food into it one time. – Alex Aug 9 '11 at 18:48
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    Same can be said if someone suggested using the ash from a cigarette. People might get the idea that there is nothing wrong with inhaling burnt paper, which isn't the case. – avi Aug 9 '11 at 20:44
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    @Alex CYLOPhysician – WAF Aug 11 '11 at 20:08

I've tried burning paper bags or paper plates outside, in a big foil pan. Usually a lot of bits of ash fly away in the wind, but there's usually a chunk of charred plate or bag that remains; it's easily crushed into ash.

Any other ideas?

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    Again, please don't suggest to people to be eating burnt paper! – avi Aug 9 '11 at 6:34
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    @avi burnt food is more toxic than burnt paper. Burnt bread produces Acrylamide. In theory burnt paper does too (although much less), except you can burn the paper fully which destroys the Acrylamide, but that is very hard to do with bread. Both bleach and wax burn completely and no toxic chemicals will remain. The most important thing is burn it till you have white ashes - then there is nothing toxic left. Partially burnt bread is toxic. – Ariel Aug 2 '12 at 5:28

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