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Posts Tagged ‘honey’
Honey cake, gourmet honey, flavored honey, and honey as a recipe in chicken, and even fish, are all expected to contribute to soaring sales of honey this Rosh Hashanah and holiday season.
Ironically, the US Department of Agriculture is conducting hearings to define honey or just how much honey is required to qualify for “pure honey.”
In 2006, members of the honey producing, packing, and importing industries petitioned the FDA to develop a standard of identity for honey. The petitioners stated that “a compositional standard for honey will serve as a tool to help combat the economic adulteration of honey.”
In California, a record drought is having an effect on honey production. The historic drought, now in its third year, is reducing supplies of California honey, raising prices for consumers and making it harder for beekeepers to earn a living.
But kosher sources say that they have noticed an appreciable increase in the sale of honey products, including pastries. Norman’s Dairy even markets an apple and honey flavor in its highly touted Greek Yogurt products.
The hope is that it all makes for a sweet new year.
The apple and honey tradition on Rosh Hashanah has Israelis consuming 15,000 tons of apples during the month of September, an increase of almost 50 percent from average consumption during the rest of the year.
Israel’s crop of apples is of a particularly high quality this year, according to Amos Levin, general manager of the Galilee Development Corporation and chairman of the apple division of Israel’s Plants Production and Marketing Board.
“This summer’s relative cooler temperatures, especially at night, helped produce a higher quality of crop,” he said. Levin noted that this year’s crop, harvested from August through November, is excellent for size, color and taste.
Nearly all of Israel’s apples are grown in the hills of the Galilee and the Golan Heights because apples require cold winters and cooler summer nights to grow best.
The northern apple orchards are located on hills that are more than 2,000 feet higher and cover approximately 10,500 acres.
More than 100,000 tons of apples are sold in Israel each year, with the apple market valued at more than $200 million, serving as the core for the local economy in the Golan Heights. Another 7,000 tons of apples are imported into Israel from the United States and Europe.
While Israel exports little of its apples abroad, this year, the country exported 18,000 tons of apples grown by Druze farmers living in the Golan to Syria, in coordination with the Plants Production and Marketing Board, the IDF and the Red Cross. The Druze apple growers of the Golan have been selling to Syria has for the past eight year, but the apple exports were stopped in 2012 when the war situation became too volatile.
This year the apple industry also drew a number of university students from across Israel interested in learning more about agriculture and helping out Golan apple growers.
Sapir college student, Yotam Eyal told Tazpit News Agency that he and his friends have been picking apples for the past month.
“We are college students from all over Israel – from the Negev, Jerusalem, and the north, who are interested in learning more about agriculture and connecting to the land,” Eyal explained. “There are projects that have been initiated in the past year which get students involved in these areas.”
“It’s good to see where a fruit like an apple that you buy in the supermarket comes from,” commented Eyal. “Picking apples all day in the orchard is hard work. But it has made us appreciate dipping the apple in honey that much more this Rosh HaShanah.”Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
• “From your lips drip the sweetness of Torah, under your tongue are honey and milk…” (Shir Hashirim 4:11).
• The learning of Torah is as soothing to the soul as milk and honey is to the palate – from whence the custom of consuming sweet dairy treats on Shavuos.
It comes as no surprise that a human symbol represents the month of Sivan, for we have transcended the signs depicted by the instinct driven four-legged kind, having utilized the months of Nissan and Iyar to refine our human essence.
The teumim (twins) personify the legendary siblings Jacob and Esau. Would Esau, the rowdy one, ruled by his animal instincts, have a change of heart and desire to embrace the Torah, he would be welcomed into the fold, to join Yisrael (Yaakov) in “twinning” with God.
Every Jewish soul was present at Kabbolas HaTorah. The Ropshitzer Rav was known to quote his rebbe, R. Elimelech of Lizhensk: “Not only do I remember standing at Har Sinai, I even recall whom I was standing next to.”
The individual born under the sign of the twins is by nature motivated to learn, to know, to be involved in intellectual exchange. Clever, charming and expressive would characterize the Gemini persona, who knows how to get what he or she wants.
* * *
The story is told of a woman who, having been married for many childless years, approached a tzaddik in desperation, to plead with him to bless her with a child. The rebbe, immersed in deep concentration, was heard to murmur, “Does our Creator not know what He is doing?”
Regaining his composure, he instructed the distraught woman to return home. She and her husband were to fervently pray to Hashem, dispense charity unstintingly, and come back to him in a month’s time.
Following the tzaddik’s directive, they ultimately received his blessing, with the assurance they would be granted a male child. Oddly, the rebbe added that “hopefully” they would see nachas from their offspring.
To the couple’s joy, they soon became the parents of a son. At the baby’s bris, the tzaddik, who was extended the honor of sandek, was heard to murmur, atypically, “Let us hope that in the merit of his forefathers”
In their euphoric high, the new parents regarded the rebbe’s words as simply a heartfelt prayer, like a blessing.
As it turned out, the tzaddik’s concern proved not to be in vain – for their son Itzik not only demonstrated a disdain for learning but also acquired the habit of forming liaisons with wastrels, which distanced him even further from his roots.
By the time his parents became wise to his decadent ways, Itzik had already been sent away to yeshiva in the big city, where he wasted no time seeking out inappropriate friends and integrating into secular society. His father’s pleas fell on deaf ears. In exasperation, the broken old man appealed to his son to hearken to but one request of his – to choose one mitzvah and undertake to heed it, no matter what.
And hopefully, as a result, Itzik would one day, perhaps, do teshuvah and return.
The nightmare visited upon the elderly couple took its toll. Within the year, they both succumbed to the agony of their ordeal, having been unable to withstand the spiritual loss of their one and only child.
The wayward Itzik eventually engrossed himself in the world of commerce and became an affluent tycoon. Hardly any of his associates was aware of his origin, and for all intents and purposes he lived the life of a non-Jew – save for his adherence to his father’s entreaty, to which he had given his word.
To that end he had settled on a “deed” that would arouse the least amount of inquisitiveness among his contemporaries. He recalled how on Shavuos his mother had whipped up all sorts of mouthwatering delicacies, as per the custom of the holiday. Granted, it was more tradition than mitzvah, but that was neither here nor there – and it was the most “digestible” undertaking he could come up with.
Year after year he maintained the routine, remembering to prepare his favorite dairy dishes just as his mother had done for him in his youth. No sooner would he swallow the last delicious morsel than he would forget about the entire event until the next Shavuos came around.
Itzik had a devoted and trusted assistant. Peter was in on just about everything his boss was involved with, save for Itzik’s solitary time in a room wherein he would seclude himself from time to time. His subordinate had never been invited to enter the private chamber, nor had he ever been witness to Itzik’s activity within its walls. Peter’s curiosity as to what transpired behind the closed door was increasingly getting the better of him.
He lucked out one day when his employer neglected to lock the door behind him. Through the narrow opening, Itzik was spied counting an impressive pile of money. Even more astonishing was the existence of a concealed vault in the wall, one that revealed the most dazzling collection of gems and jewels Peter had ever laid eyes on. Overcome with the desire to get his hands on the treasure, he began conjuring up various schemes.
Many imagined scenarios later, Peter finally devised what he reckoned to be a smart strategy. Who would be the wiser if he poisoned his boss? He could feign overwhelming sadness without arousing suspicion – and even before the discovery of Itzik’s body he would already have hidden away a sizable chunk of the fortune nobody else knew of anyway. Peter went about amassing the toxic substanceRachel Weiss