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August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘KOSHER’

Israeli Wine Exports Sparkle [video]

Monday, January 26th, 2015

L’chaim.

Israel wine exports rose 10 percent last year and reached $40 million and total sales were $220 million.

The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute announced the figures on Monday at the start of the two-day Tel Aviv Sommelier Wine festival.

There is a growing demand from North America, Europe and Asia for Israeli wines, some of which have won dozens of prizes and are rated with top wines from California and France.

“In recent years Israeli won has won international recognition and the rise in wine exports to Asia where the kosher market is insignificant demonstrates the strength of Israel’s wine brand around the world,” the Export Institute Wine Department’s head Ya’ara Shimoni told Globes business newspaper.

Israel has 250 wineries, half of which are commercial operations.

Several wineries produce products from grapes grown n the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria, where dry summers, cold winters and high altitudes contribute to the grapes’ high quality.

God has not cooperated with the Boycott Israel movement.

This winter has been usually cold and wet, just what the grape vines before waking up in the Spring.

Paris Kosher Grocery Hostages Freed, All Terrorists Dead

Friday, January 9th, 2015

As many as 15 to 20 hostages taken captive at the Hyper Kacher kosher grocery by a member of a homegrown Al Qaeda terror cell were freed, just as the sun was setting Friday evening at the start of the holy Jewish Sabbath. Tragically, four were murdered at the start of the terror attack before police were able to rescue them.

Although the terrible saga has now ended, the Association of Paris Rabbis warned members of the Jewish community to remain home and stay off the streets this Shabbat (Sabbath) because the streets are not safe in this “city still on edge.” Shops in La Marais have been ordered shut for now.

French police stormed the grocery a few minutes after special forces carried out a similar operation in a location on the other side of Paris against Said and Cherif Koachi. The two terrorist brothers came out with AK-47s blazing as special forces stormed the print warehouse where they were holed up in Dammartin-en-Goele, near Charles De Gaulle airport. Both were killed in the shootout. Said was trained in Syria and Yemen by Al Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula (AQAP) and American Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki; he led the local terror cell.

Police chose to attack after the terrorists had been awake for at least 48 hours, when their reflexes were dulled and they were suffering from the effects of severe sleep deprivation. Detonating charges set around the perimeter of the building, they began their attack with explosions and gunfire.

Kouachi brothers’ co-terrorist Amedy Coulibali likewise found himself under siege by police after holding shoppers hostage for hours at a kosher grocery and finally threatening to kill his captives if his “jihadi brethren” were attacked. His hostages were freed as the last blush of the sun’s rays lit the horizon to begin the Jewish Sabbath.

Ambulances on the scene gathered the injured and traumatized hostages and sped away to hospitals.

Coulibali’s girlfriend and the fourth member of the terror cell, Hayat Boumeddienne, was apparently not present in the grocery attack as was reported earlier, according to media reports, although she was involved in the murder of a policewoman in Paris on Thursday. Boumeddienne escaped and was still at large by nightfall in Paris.

Chanukah is for Scuba Diving

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

A father and son scuba dive in Eilat.

It turns out that Eilat is an incredibly popular destination for religious Israelis on Chanukah, and scuba diving is a very popular family activity.

Unlike how the situation was decades ago when you could barely find a kosher restaurant, there are now 3 or 4 Kosher L’Mehadrin restaurants along the Tayelet near the Marina, and another 3 Kosher L’Mehadrin restaurants in the ice skating shopping mall. It’s a completely different Eilat, and definitely religious-friendly (at least on Chanukah).

And if you’re looking to rent a sailboat, go to the Marina, and ask for Ziki.

Kosher Waldorf Astoria Opens to Rave Reviews

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The world’s only strictly kosher Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem has received rave reviews from those who can afford the luxury five-star hotel that opened for business three months ago.

This past Sukkot holiday, it attracted many wealthy Orthodox Jews from the United States who had previously spent the holiday at the David Citadel, just across the street.

Ilan Brenner, Director of Sales at the Waldorf-Astoria, who previously worked at the Inbal, says that the hotel has attracted travelers from throughout the world and has not experienced any appreciable decline during the recent unrest in Jerusalem. The hotel features both a meat and dairy restaurant in the midst of its ornate lobby with a huge standing clock.

The lobby’s retractable roof is designed to expose guests to the Jerusalem sunshine but was also removed to allow for a huge Sukkah.

Prices at the Waldorf average about $500 per night for a “regular” room and as much as $5000 for the huge Presidential Suite. The hotel is located within a few hundred feet of the David Citadel and just down the block from the celebrated King David Hotel.

Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin

Friday, October 24th, 2014

With 5775 being a Shemittah year, that imbues vegetables and fruits from Israel this year with a sanctity that requires some extra attention in the kitchen.

There are various halachic methods that are used to handle Shmittah, or alternatively, circumvent it entirely.

One method is “Heter Mechira” which is similar to selling Chametz for Pesach, where the fields are temporarily sold to non-Jews. This popular method, used by the Israeli Rabbinate, is considered controversial by some, and generally unacceptable by many Hareidim.

A second and preferred method is “Otzar Beit Din”, where a religious court takes control of the field for the year, but then the vegetables and fruits have Shemittah sanctity and extra care must be taken with them.

Hareidim generally prefer a third method, where they simply buy fruits and vegetables from Arabs in Judea and Samaria. It circumvents the Shemittah issue, and makes the fruits and vegetables “Shemittah-free”, though Hareidim miss the opportunity and mitzvah to eat Shemittah food as a result.

Hareidim designate this method “Mehadrin” – though there is a lot of room to disagree with that designation.

(There’s a fourth option, which was made popular by Gush Katif. Vegetables are grown in hothouses, in pots detached from the ground. It’s an expensive way to grow vegetables, but the vegetables don’t have Shemittah status, and it supports Jewish farmers in Israel. Due to the cost, it is not extensively implemented).

Of course, adding Kosher L’Mehadrin to anything guarantees its price will go up, and Shemittah-free vegetables and fruits bought from Arabs are no exception.

Shemittah-free “Mehadrin” vegetables and fruits can easily cost two or three times more than standard “Heter Mechira” fruits and vegetables.

And that leaves room for disreputable people to try and make an easy and illicit profit.

Agriculture Ministry officials accidentally uncovered a major Arab fruit and vegetable ring this week that was taking advantage of the price difference, according to a Makor Rishon report.

Many Hareidim who thought they were buying “Mehadrin” Shemittah-free vegetables from Arabs in Judea and Samaria – simply weren’t.

The Arabs vegetable network was buying both Heter Mechira vegetables from the open market, as well as vegetables from unknown sources, without any health or agricultural supervision or certification.

The Arab network was stamping their products with fake Israeli Rabbinate certificates and selling them as “Mehadrin” to restaurants and stores who wanted or required “Mehadrin” Shemittah-free vegetables.

The vegetables were distributed throughout Israel to the Hareidi market.

At best, the Hareidim have been eating “Heter Mechira”. At worse, they’ve been eating vegetables grown using unpurified sewer water or pesticides from unknown and unsupervised Arabs fields.

After ‘Pig Restaurant’ Scandal, Netanyahu Goes For Seafood

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Originally published at Jewish Business News.

Fresco by Scotto, the non-kosher Manhattan Italian restaurant picked by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his patron, Casino Magnate Sheldon Adelson, for their get together following Bibi’s UN Assembly speech this week (See Bibi, Sheldon, Doing Traif Italian Lunch After UN Assembly Speech), has become the focal point of a raging storm in Israel’s Haredi newspapers.

After all, those newspaper argued, a prime minister so vociferous on the rights of Jews to a variety of territories and security guarantees could spend some time concentrating on the obligations of those same Jews, at least when he’s dining in public.

They dubbed it “The pig restaurant” scandal, even though, according to the NY Post, Bibi had veal chops.

Now the daily Maariv has revealed that after his lunch at the pig joint, Netanyahu was the guest of honor at a dinner with a group of Jewish billionaires at the Chart House, a sea food joint offering crabs, calamari and shrimp, which are all on the don’t list in Leviticus.

And while the pig lunch with Sheldon could pass for a private affair—just a meeting of a man and his sugar daddy—the Chart House gig was as official as they come. Present were Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and his wife, Netanyahu’s chief of staff Ari Harow, and Netanyahu’s man in New York Ze’ev Rubinstein.

The tycoons munching on forbidden crawlers included Mort Zuckerman, Morad Zamir, Daniel Levi and Israel Schwartz.

Maariv noted that one of the billionaires at the table was Spencer Partridge, who gained notoriety a while back over the “Bibitours” scandal – he airlifted Netanyahu and his family around North America on his private jet, which the Israeli AG investigated for a while. Now the case was closed and so the friendship can be renewed over a plate of Shrimp.

A reader criticized my coverage of Bibi’s pig lunch, calling it “hate speech.” I suppose she will have something to say about this piece, too. I don’t believe I’ve advocated outright hatred for Bibi – but I did question his judgment. Manhattan is packed with quality kosher restaurants, every one of which would have been delighted to close for a day and feed just Bibi and his deep pockets.

It’s not a crime for Israel’s prime minister to eat traif in public, but it’s certainly in bad taste. Even when the meal is delicious.

Cholov Yisrael and ‘Glatt’ at Wal-Mart!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

“Kosher” is the new fad, and some of America’s largest discount chains are cashing in.

It was nearly two years ago that a Wal-Mart spokesman revealed that the mega discounter carried kosher products in more than 500 stores, part of a growing trend where Club stores and discount chains like Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, and BJ’s were investing more in kosher.

For Wal-Mart, its emergence as the nation’s largest grocer meant that it was only a matter of time that the mega discounter would challenge supermarkets with an emphasis on kosher. Every summer Wal-Mart becomes a serious competitor in kosher at its Catskills stores where sales are said to approach $3 million for just the 10 weeks of the summer when tens of thousands of Jews descend on the Upstate New York resort area.

Its new store in Skokie, Illinois raises the bar on kosher with hundreds of kosher products, including Cholov Yisrael products and glatt kosher meats.

Most notable in the new store is its rather impressive large signage of kosher aisles, special refrigerators and freezers and even bakery. Its average kosher section in many stores is about 12 square feet compared to 100 square feet for the Skokie store.

Wal-Mart will be taking on the impressive Kosher Marketplace in Jewel-Osco, the city’s largest interdependent exclusive kosher supermarket, Hungarian Kosher and the small Kol Tuv market.

Soon to come will be a new Marriano’s supermarket that has already announced its intention of including a robust kosher section.

Wal-Mart is not alone in its quest for a share of the kosher market. Costco continues to upgrade its kosher offerings as is Target and BJ’s.

While many kosher purveyors expressed delight at the Wal-Mart development, they acknowledge that “it is still very much an experiment for them.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cholov-yisrael-and-glatt-at-wal-mart/2014/09/30/

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