In Israel, they also think beach and picnic and tiyul. That’s Hebrew for an excursion or hike.
In the Promised Land, where tourists flock for inspiration, the natives vacation. Forests, bucolic trails and nature preserves attract those with a bent for the outdoors. Museums and galleries are packed. All sorts of institutions, religious and secular, sponsor educational and cultural programs. Music is everywhere: in concert halls, on the street and on the radio.
For the longest time, Jewish peoplehood was lived rather than discussed. But no longer.
Ever since the Israelites fled Egypt and crossed the Red Sea in miraculous fashion — a seminal act in Jewish history commemorated and celebrated in the upcoming Passover seders — the Jews have been a nation and a people.
Shortly before Passover, my 4-year-old son sat on my lap as the matzah balls boiled, asking to read through the kids' Haggadah in preparation to recite (or more likely mumble) the Four Questions. The supernatural events that enthralled him (the parting of the Red Sea, the profusion of frogs on Pharaoh's nose and toes) quickly receded for me as I considered the more prosaic miracle of a generation of uninterrupted Passovers, and an exquisite moment of parent-child bonding.
For a wine critic, the first column of a new year is often a good opportunity to remember the best — and try to forget the worst — wines tasted in the previous year. While it is impossible to taste all of the more than 1,300 kosher wines produced around the world, the past year has given me the opportunity to taste some truly splendid wines, from bold Napa Valley reds to bubbly bruts made in the heart of Champagne. So for this month’s Fruit of The Vine, what follows is my Top Ten list for 2009.
The Palestiniansí first and greatest propaganda coup of the war was the shooting of Muhammed Al-Dura, the boy whose widely seen death in his fatherís arms at the very beginning of the war (Sept. 30, 2000) established the basic Palestinian legend: the heavily armed, trigger-happy Zionists killing the helpless, unarmed Palestinian child.