Based on the headlines in the daily papers and the sometimes truly disturbing images broadcast from Israel, one might get the impression that the average Israeli must endure a gut-wrenching daily balagan (controlled chaos). However, Kassam missile strikes and suicide attacks have never stopped the average Israeli from working or living life to the fullest.
Yes, daily life in Israel can best be described as one long episode of “24.” But there are so many other things going on in this “Wild West” nation in the Middle East that can be easily missed. Many can be best described as fascinating “nuggets” of Israeli life.
For instance, Osem, makers of those intoxicating Bamba peanut snacks, decided to reinvent their consumer bestseller by injecting them with a chocolate nougat filling.
Frankly, I like Bamba just the way they are. But this is the 21st century. The reaction to the new Bamba has been decidedly mixed, especially among a sizeable number of parents who view the new product as junk food for kids. Of course, that hasn’t stopped parents from buying the product – in order to satiate their chocolate habit.
Osem claims it is a runaway hit. The jury is still out among consumers, as regular Bamba has been outselling the newcomer by a wide margin.
The idea for the chocolate nougat Bamba was actually born in battle, as IDF soldiers in the field liked to relax with their Bamba snacks by dipping the doodles in chocolate paste. (Israelis love chocolate spread whenever and wherever.)
No matter what Israelis might think about the new Bamba, Osem’s international food partner, Nestle Corporation, believes that a newfangled cereal based on the chocolate nougat Bamba could become a global hit with kids.
Thus for the first time, the conglomerate is producing a new cereal in Israel designed for the international market. It is called “Crunch Rolls Nougat.” Guess where in Israel the cereal is being produced? At Osem’s cereal factory in Sderot!
I’m sure the employees are having a real blast producing this potential international blockbuster. Just think about the potential TV ads: “From the city that brought you Kassam nuggets comes Crunch Rolls Nougat.”
Even more fascinating is the heated halachic debate that has arisen over what brachah to make over standard Bamba. Most of us thought that “shehakol” would be enough. However, Rav Ovadia Yosef’s revered son, Rav Yitzchak Yosef, who is considered to be a star halachic decisor, insists that one should make a “ha’adamah” because the product is made from ground corn. It is rumored, however, that Rav Ovadia quietly agrees with the “shehakol”majority.
To date, no one has openly asked what brachah to make over the chocolate nougat version or the new cereal. Would a “Shehechiyanu” be out of order in this case?
After all, the workers who produce the new products are reborn every day, especially after reciting the brachah of “hagomel” after a Kassam “nugget” attack.
Such is a day in the life of Israel.