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December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Judean Hills’

Title: Women at the Crossroads: A Woman’s Perspective on the Weekly Torah Portion

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Title: Women at the Crossroads:

A Woman’s Perspective on the

Weekly Torah Portion

Author: Chana Bracha Siegelbaum


Publisher: Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin


 


 


   Over 30 years ago, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum had not yet found the world of wisdom in the Torah.

 

   Fifteen years ago, she had not yet founded Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin (Wellsprings of Jewish Learning), a holistic Torah study environment for Jewish women of all ages in the Judean Hills of Gush Etzion in Israel.

 

   One year ago, she had not yet published Women at the Crossroads: A Woman’s Perspective on the Weekly Torah Portion.

 

   How is it possible for one very gentle soul, a baalas teshuva, to have such courage and strength? For not only did she seek to clearly integrate the Torah wisdom she discovered, she founded and directs a creative center for women to delve deeply into their spiritual selves through a combination of intensive textual study and creative spiritual expression.

 

   Rebbetzin Siegelbaum continues her own in-depth research of the texts, elucidating an unknown feminine perspective, based on teachings from the Midrash, Talmud, Rashi, Rambam, as well as Chassidic masters, with her first compilation for the general public now being published.

 

   Rebbetzin Siegelbaum recognized that we live in a culture where everybody tries very hard to fit in, often at the expense of hiding the parts of themselves that are unique. She sought to help others develop those latent blessings within by utilizing her own unique blessings, designing a warm and nurturing place of learning where every student would feel comfortable to explore and express her true self, and clarifying through her words, both spoken and written, the power of women’s special abilities.

 

   Who would ever think that every single Torah portion contains specifically feminine and vital messages for us to absorb? Rebbetzin Siegelbaum has spent years unearthing these treasures for us.

 

   She hopes that sharing these treasures will help unearth our own buried treasures, and that together, as our ancestors women did before, Jewish women can once again help bring redemption. Rebbetzin Siegelbaum hopes that through fulfilling our potentials, the Shechina will once again have a chance to dwell in the Land of Israel.

 

   This book can be found at Amazon.com and at berotbatayin.org.

What Are You Drinking This Pesach?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

As Pesach draws near and the wine frenzy is at its peak, anyone interested in more than just a glass of Kiddush wine may have a hard time making sense of the literally hundreds of labels available from dozens of countries. As the selection in the liquor store may be a bit overwhelming, most people pick out one or two favorites and drink them on a regular basis.

 

In this way they are assured of liking what they drink, but they don’t get a chance to expand their palate. Others will look to the storeowner, who on occasions bases his picks on his own economic interest and profitability. However, wine knowledge is best achieved by tasting and enjoying. So, take a chance on something new and different and you just might be surprised at what you like.

 

So which wines should you choose for your Pesach Seder this year?

 

Well, my family’s tradition has always been to drink wines from the holy land for Pesach. After all, that is part of the story of our redemption. While for many years that meant our selection was limited, about 10 years ago the Israeli wine industry gained significant ground, driven by a young, internationally-oriented generation.

 

From the northern elevations of the Galilee and the Golan Heights, to the coastal plains and down to the Negev desert in the south, Israel is making outstanding wines with a distinctive style and taste.

 

For your tasting pleasure, I have chosen 10 Israeli wines that are exceptional in every way and display a nice balance of fruit, oak, mineral elements and firm structures, as well as rich spicy notes. I’ve also included my tasting notes for these value wines. Here they are in alphabetical order:

 

 Agur Kessem 2007: From the Judean Hills, Mata Vineyard, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Petite Verdot, and 10% Cabernet Franc.

 

Various aromas of berries and plum, it’s a full-bodied, multi dimension wine that possess layers of berries, currant and pleasant floral notes. Would pair well with rich meat and duck.

Barkan Reserve Pinotage 2004: With plum and raspberry bouquet it is structured and medium-bodied with rounded tannins, balanced with subtle hints of chocolate and a pleasant tartness. Can be paired withmedium flavored grilled or sauced chicken or fish dishes.

Binyamina Yogev Cabernet/Shiraz 2007: 50% Cabernet, 50% Shiraz.

 

Gemmy fruit aroma that displays ripe forest berries against a soft backdrop of spicy oak and a trace of vanilla. Soft silky tannins and a long finish. Medium bodied wine that will only get better in the next five years. Can be paired with steaks and well seasoned meat.

 

Castel – Grand Vin:Aged for 24 months in French oak, unrefined and unfiltered. Graceful and elegant with dominant tannins, it is full-bodied, bold, concentrated, with layers of aromas and flavors that linger on. Look for berries, plums, and a hint of olive and spices on the palate. This wine will grow the next 5 years. Will go well with full flavored beef or chicken dishes.

 

Dalton – Matatia 2006:A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Developed in new French oak. Aromas of mint, leather and a hint of black current; nice balance between wood, acidity, tannins and fruits with blueberry, blackcurrant and tangy citrus notes, Long finish with soft lasting flavors. Can be paired with a variety of red meats and pasta.

 

Flegman – Merlot:Like a Merlot should be – robust berries and forest fruit with subtle hints of chocolate, cassis and earth. Rich oak and soft spice backed by notes of plum and cherry. Velvety tannins with a big finish. Pairs well with lighter meats such as veal and lamb or pasta.

 

      Shiloh – Merlot/Shiraz 2005: From the Judean Hills region, 82% Merlot, 18% Shiraz. This is a medium-bodied Merlot that features bright, ripe cherry notes balanced by subtle toasted oak overtones and hints of vanilla and a soft, velvety mouth feel. The Shiraz adds dark berry flavors and hint of black pepper, Enjoy the Shiraz-Merlot with duck, moderately spiced chicken or rich pastas.

 

Tzuba – Cabernet Sauvignon 2006: Another winner from the Judean Hills region, thisfull-bodied, rich wine is very well balanced with delightful aromas of roasted oak, dark berries and smoky notes. Ripe cherry characteristics and soft silky-smooth tannins with a chocolaty herbal finish. Has the potential to overwhelm delicate dishes, is best used with rich beef and lamb.

 

Yatir Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon 2006: Blended with 15% Shiraz, big vibrant wine displaying dark flavors tar, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, black currant and dark roasted coffee beans. Full-bodied, with firm structure and soft tannins, smoky wood, plum and currant fruit flavors. This wine is designed for current drinking, but should last well for the next five years. Will pair well with full flavored beef, grilled chicken, duck or veal.

 

Yarden Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: From the Golan Heights region this wine is aged for 18 months primarily in small French oak barrels. Powerful mature blackberries, cherry, cassis and plum notes with toasty oak, vanilla and a nuance of spices. It is full-bodied and concentrated with a long complex finish. Will go well with full-flavored foods, such as peppered grilled steak, or roasted duck or lamb.

 

Like everything else in the Middle East, Israel’s wine culture is complicated, subject to the ongoing conflict of the troubled region. Many farmers and vintners have to endure and endanger their lives because of the raining Katyusha rockets in the northern vineyards or the mortar bombs and rocket shells in the South. For Israel’s budding wine culture this collateral damage really wreaked havoc on the local economy. But despite the hardship Israeli farmers continue to sustain and preserve the vineyards, as the vintners create a work of art.

 

So this Seder as you fill your glass up with wine, think of the Israeli farmers and their families.

What Are You Drinking This Pesach?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010


As Pesach draws near and the wine frenzy is at its peak, anyone interested in more than just a glass of Kiddush wine may have a hard time making sense of the literally hundreds of labels available from dozens of countries. As the selection in the liquor store may be a bit overwhelming, most people pick out one or two favorites and drink them on a regular basis.

 

In this way they are assured of liking what they drink, but they don’t get a chance to expand their palate. Others will look to the storeowner, who on occasions bases his picks on his own economic interest and profitability. However, wine knowledge is best achieved by tasting and enjoying. So, take a chance on something new and different and you just might be surprised at what you like.

 

So which wines should you choose for your Pesach Seder this year?

 

Well, my family’s tradition has always been to drink wines from the holy land for Pesach. After all, that is part of the story of our redemption. While for many years that meant our selection was limited, about 10 years ago the Israeli wine industry gained significant ground, driven by a young, internationally-oriented generation.

 

From the northern elevations of the Galilee and the Golan Heights, to the coastal plains and down to the Negev desert in the south, Israel is making outstanding wines with a distinctive style and taste.

 

For your tasting pleasure, I have chosen 10 Israeli wines that are exceptional in every way and display a nice balance of fruit, oak, mineral elements and firm structures, as well as rich spicy notes. I’ve also included my tasting notes for these value wines. Here they are in alphabetical order:

 

 Agur Kessem 2007: From the Judean Hills, Mata Vineyard, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Petite Verdot, and 10% Cabernet Franc.

 

Various aromas of berries and plum, it’s a full-bodied, multi dimension wine that possess layers of berries, currant and pleasant floral notes. Would pair well with rich meat and duck.


Barkan Reserve Pinotage 2004: With plum and raspberry bouquet it is structured and medium-bodied with rounded tannins, balanced with subtle hints of chocolate and a pleasant tartness. Can be paired withmedium flavored grilled or sauced chicken or fish dishes.


Binyamina Yogev Cabernet/Shiraz 2007: 50% Cabernet, 50% Shiraz.

 

Gemmy fruit aroma that displays ripe forest berries against a soft backdrop of spicy oak and a trace of vanilla. Soft silky tannins and a long finish. Medium bodied wine that will only get better in the next five years. Can be paired with steaks and well seasoned meat.

 

Castel – Grand Vin:Aged for 24 months in French oak, unrefined and unfiltered. Graceful and elegant with dominant tannins, it is full-bodied, bold, concentrated, with layers of aromas and flavors that linger on. Look for berries, plums, and a hint of olive and spices on the palate. This wine will grow the next 5 years. Will go well with full flavored beef or chicken dishes.

 

Dalton – Matatia 2006:A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Developed in new French oak. Aromas of mint, leather and a hint of black current; nice balance between wood, acidity, tannins and fruits with blueberry, blackcurrant and tangy citrus notes, Long finish with soft lasting flavors. Can be paired with a variety of red meats and pasta.

 

Flegman – Merlot:Like a Merlot should be – robust berries and forest fruit with subtle hints of chocolate, cassis and earth. Rich oak and soft spice backed by notes of plum and cherry. Velvety tannins with a big finish. Pairs well with lighter meats such as veal and lamb or pasta.

 

      Shiloh – Merlot/Shiraz 2005: From the Judean Hills region, 82% Merlot, 18% Shiraz. This is a medium-bodied Merlot that features bright, ripe cherry notes balanced by subtle toasted oak overtones and hints of vanilla and a soft, velvety mouth feel. The Shiraz adds dark berry flavors and hint of black pepper, Enjoy the Shiraz-Merlot with duck, moderately spiced chicken or rich pastas.

 

Tzuba – Cabernet Sauvignon 2006: Another winner from the Judean Hills region, thisfull-bodied, rich wine is very well balanced with delightful aromas of roasted oak, dark berries and smoky notes. Ripe cherry characteristics and soft silky-smooth tannins with a chocolaty herbal finish. Has the potential to overwhelm delicate dishes, is best used with rich beef and lamb.

 

Yatir Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon 2006: Blended with 15% Shiraz, big vibrant wine displaying dark flavors tar, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, black currant and dark roasted coffee beans. Full-bodied, with firm structure and soft tannins, smoky wood, plum and currant fruit flavors. This wine is designed for current drinking, but should last well for the next five years. Will pair well with full flavored beef, grilled chicken, duck or veal.

 

Yarden Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: From the Golan Heights region this wine is aged for 18 months primarily in small French oak barrels. Powerful mature blackberries, cherry, cassis and plum notes with toasty oak, vanilla and a nuance of spices. It is full-bodied and concentrated with a long complex finish. Will go well with full-flavored foods, such as peppered grilled steak, or roasted duck or lamb.

 

Like everything else in the Middle East, Israel’s wine culture is complicated, subject to the ongoing conflict of the troubled region. Many farmers and vintners have to endure and endanger their lives because of the raining Katyusha rockets in the northern vineyards or the mortar bombs and rocket shells in the South. For Israel’s budding wine culture this collateral damage really wreaked havoc on the local economy. But despite the hardship Israeli farmers continue to sustain and preserve the vineyards, as the vintners create a work of art.

 

So this Seder as you fill your glass up with wine, think of the Israeli farmers and their families.

Top Ten Wines For The New Year

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

   Rosh Hashanah is all about new beginnings and self-improvement and kosher wineries all over the world are making a commitment to producing great wines at affordable prices. Here are 10 suggestions for a fresh start on kosher wines.

 

   Baron Herzog Zinfandel, which has wonderful aromas of blackberry and raspberries balanced with vanilla and spice, has just been issued the seal of the Lodi Rules Certified Green Sustainability Program. The Lodi Rules program uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a long-term solution for both the environment and economy. IPM reduces the amount of harmful pesticides introduced into the grapes as well as the environment. When you enjoy the delicious Baron Herzog Zinfandel, you know you are doing the right thing for the environment and for yourself.

 

   For the first time in almost 10 years, the Herzog family presents the Late Harvest Riesling in a 375ML size. The Riesling has intense, late harvest aromas of dried apricot, pineapple and baked apple, a rich and luscious full mouth feel and sweet forward impression with a very well balanced finish. The flavor of apricot and honey will linger for a long time.

 

   Pinot Noir is a very elegant wine varietal. While usually dismissed as too soft or light for a red, the complexity of aromas on the palate of Pinot Noir more than makes up for it. The Herzog Reserve Pinot Noir is an exquisite wine, with silky texture and fine-tuned layers of cherry, raspberry, anise and spice flavors.

 

   The year 2006 in California was an excellent harvest for red wine varietals from the Herzog Winery. One of the best examples is the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which recently was given a phenomenal rating of 92 points by a well-respected wine publication. The Herzog Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine exhibiting berry, cherry and licorice aromas and flavors of mocha and vanilla. This wine is the perfect example of affordable luxury.

 

   Sparkling wines are superb for toasts and celebrations. Rosh Hashanah is the start of a new year and the Elvi Brut Cava Sparkling Wine is an ideal fit. Cava is a Sparkling Wine made in the French champagne method and, similarly to champagne, can only be called Cava if grown in the specific regions in Spain for cava. The Elvi Adar Brut is bubbly, and dry, with notes of flowers, citrus and strawberries.

 

   Finding fun, fresh and enjoyable wines that are capable of being paired with food or enjoyed on their own is an arduous task. The Red, Pink, and White by W Wines have just made that task a lot easier. The Red has flavors of grenadine and fresh berries followed by a crisp finish. The White is lively with aromas of grapefruit, elegant floral notes and white peach flavors on the palate. The Pink is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Muscat Canelli. It’s aromatic and refreshing, with hints of wild strawberry and cherry, and a soft, well-balanced finish. The W Wines are also affordable as they are all under $10 so even the most budget conscience consumer will be satisfied.

 

   New Zealand wines other than Sauvignon Blanc are now moving into the spotlight as top tier high quality wines. Goose Bay Chardonnay is a rich, big wine with tropical fruit flavors of citrus and pineapple as well as green apples, fine oak and a touch of vanilla. Chardonnays are great for Rosh Hashanah because one of the flavor traits for chardonnay is apple.

 

   The next few wines highlight some of the hot, up and coming new wineries in Israel from the Judean Hills Region. The Judean Hills Region is well known as a winemaking region going as far back to when the Roman Legions supplied their soldier’s rations with wine from the Judean Hills.

 

   The Shiloh winery, founded in Shiloh in the Shomron Region in Israel, has just the right wine for the New Year. The Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon’s grapes are harvested from a simple vineyard nestled on a small slope in the Judean Hills. The Cabernet grapes are then crushed and barreled for 14 months in new French oak barrels after which most are bottled for the regular Cabernet Sauvignon. The best barrels are selected to be aged an additional two months before bottling and named the Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The Secret Reserve has notes of rich cassis, toasted oak and spice, with a long concentrated finish.

 

   The Tzuba Estate Winery is located in an area historically recognized as a major wine-producing region since biblical times. The local topography of the Tzuba hillside vineyard has an altitude of 700 meters and a climate that provides ideal conditions for staff to cultivate the vineyards and produce a variety of prize-winning boutique wines. The inaugural 2005 Tzuba Metsuda wine is a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 24 months, and is medium dark in color and full-bodied. It has a complex aroma of spices, mineral soil, licorice, tobacco leaves and coffee beans. This velvety, harmonious, quality wine has abundant tastes of red ripe fruits, chocolate and roasted oak, with a long finish.

 

   For the tenth wine it’s appropriate the winery’s name is Psagot, which in Hebrew means apex. Psagot wineries flagship wine, Edom, meaning red in Hebrew, is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Merlot. The Edom has rich spicy vanilla notes with berries, black currants and oriental spice flavors.

 

 

   Shlomo S. Blashka is wine communications director for Royal Wine Corp.

Top Ten Wines For The New Year

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009


   Rosh Hashanah is all about new beginnings and self-improvement and kosher wineries all over the world are making a commitment to producing great wines at affordable prices. Here are 10 suggestions for a fresh start on kosher wines.

 

   Baron Herzog Zinfandel, which has wonderful aromas of blackberry and raspberries balanced with vanilla and spice, has just been issued the seal of the Lodi Rules Certified Green Sustainability Program. The Lodi Rules program uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a long-term solution for both the environment and economy. IPM reduces the amount of harmful pesticides introduced into the grapes as well as the environment. When you enjoy the delicious Baron Herzog Zinfandel, you know you are doing the right thing for the environment and for yourself.

 

   For the first time in almost 10 years, the Herzog family presents the Late Harvest Riesling in a 375ML size. The Riesling has intense, late harvest aromas of dried apricot, pineapple and baked apple, a rich and luscious full mouth feel and sweet forward impression with a very well balanced finish. The flavor of apricot and honey will linger for a long time.

 

   Pinot Noir is a very elegant wine varietal. While usually dismissed as too soft or light for a red, the complexity of aromas on the palate of Pinot Noir more than makes up for it. The Herzog Reserve Pinot Noir is an exquisite wine, with silky texture and fine-tuned layers of cherry, raspberry, anise and spice flavors.

 

   The year 2006 in California was an excellent harvest for red wine varietals from the Herzog Winery. One of the best examples is the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which recently was given a phenomenal rating of 92 points by a well-respected wine publication. The Herzog Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine exhibiting berry, cherry and licorice aromas and flavors of mocha and vanilla. This wine is the perfect example of affordable luxury.

 

   Sparkling wines are superb for toasts and celebrations. Rosh Hashanah is the start of a new year and the Elvi Brut Cava Sparkling Wine is an ideal fit. Cava is a Sparkling Wine made in the French champagne method and, similarly to champagne, can only be called Cava if grown in the specific regions in Spain for cava. The Elvi Adar Brut is bubbly, and dry, with notes of flowers, citrus and strawberries.

 

   Finding fun, fresh and enjoyable wines that are capable of being paired with food or enjoyed on their own is an arduous task. The Red, Pink, and White by W Wines have just made that task a lot easier. The Red has flavors of grenadine and fresh berries followed by a crisp finish. The White is lively with aromas of grapefruit, elegant floral notes and white peach flavors on the palate. The Pink is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Muscat Canelli. It’s aromatic and refreshing, with hints of wild strawberry and cherry, and a soft, well-balanced finish. The W Wines are also affordable as they are all under $10 so even the most budget conscience consumer will be satisfied.

 

   New Zealand wines other than Sauvignon Blanc are now moving into the spotlight as top tier high quality wines. Goose Bay Chardonnay is a rich, big wine with tropical fruit flavors of citrus and pineapple as well as green apples, fine oak and a touch of vanilla. Chardonnays are great for Rosh Hashanah because one of the flavor traits for chardonnay is apple.

 

   The next few wines highlight some of the hot, up and coming new wineries in Israel from the Judean Hills Region. The Judean Hills Region is well known as a winemaking region going as far back to when the Roman Legions supplied their soldier’s rations with wine from the Judean Hills.

 

   The Shiloh winery, founded in Shiloh in the Shomron Region in Israel, has just the right wine for the New Year. The Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon’s grapes are harvested from a simple vineyard nestled on a small slope in the Judean Hills. The Cabernet grapes are then crushed and barreled for 14 months in new French oak barrels after which most are bottled for the regular Cabernet Sauvignon. The best barrels are selected to be aged an additional two months before bottling and named the Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The Secret Reserve has notes of rich cassis, toasted oak and spice, with a long concentrated finish.

 

   The Tzuba Estate Winery is located in an area historically recognized as a major wine-producing region since biblical times. The local topography of the Tzuba hillside vineyard has an altitude of 700 meters and a climate that provides ideal conditions for staff to cultivate the vineyards and produce a variety of prize-winning boutique wines. The inaugural 2005 Tzuba Metsuda wine is a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 24 months, and is medium dark in color and full-bodied. It has a complex aroma of spices, mineral soil, licorice, tobacco leaves and coffee beans. This velvety, harmonious, quality wine has abundant tastes of red ripe fruits, chocolate and roasted oak, with a long finish.

 

   For the tenth wine it’s appropriate the winery’s name is Psagot, which in Hebrew means apex. Psagot wineries flagship wine, Edom, meaning red in Hebrew, is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Merlot. The Edom has rich spicy vanilla notes with berries, black currants and oriental spice flavors.


 


 


   Shlomo S. Blashka is wine communications director for Royal Wine Corp.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/top-ten-wines-for-the-new-year/2009/08/26/

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