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May 6, 2016 / 28 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘pesach’

Trump Vodka Bottles Seized in Passover Scam

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Haifa (TPS) – Hundreds of bottles of Trump Vodka were seized by Israeli police for bearing phony “Kosher for Passover” labels in advance of the upcoming holiday, a police spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Police raided the storage room of “a known alcohol distributor in downtown Haifa” and found hundreds of Trump Vodka bottles with forged Passover-friendly stickers on them, the spokesperson said. Three people were detained for questioning on suspicion of having pasted the phony labels on the drink.

Vodka is typically made from fermented grain, a product forbidden on the Jewish holiday during which no leavened bread may be eaten. Trump Vodka, by contrast, is made from potatoes.

Wednesday’s raid and arrests were made following a report by the Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post exposing the Passover Trump Vodka scam.

“We discovered that instead of one of the ingredients that was supposed to be kosher for Passover, they used a different one,” the report quoted Rabbi David Silverstone of the OK Kosher certification organization.

Trump Vodka, which bears the brand of US billionaire and presidential candidate Donald Trump, has been out of business for years in most parts of the world. Nevertheless, the beverage has gained unlikely popularity in Israel for one week per year in the niche market of kosher-for-Passover vodkas.

Trump sued the Israeli company producing Trump Vodka in 2011 in a licensing dispute yet eventually settled the case. “Israel’s demand for high quality products and attraction to powerful brand names is a wonderful platform for the Trump brand,” the company said in a press release on Trump.com.

Donald Trump touted the alleged success of Trump Vodka—alongside Trump Steaks and Trump Water—in his victory speech following the Florida Republican primary in March.

“It was a successful product, which continues to be popular abroad,” Trump said of his vodka in a statement to Bloomberg on Wednesday.

With the latest pre-Passover police raid, however, a few hundred bottles of the beverage have been taken off the Israeli market.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Pesach: Fear, Discomfort and Growth

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

What shall we be free of this Pesach? It is the holiday of Freedom, isn’t it? Most of us today live in democratic countries, with freedom of movement, of expression, of religion – so what other freedoms can we be seeking? What freedom can we suckle from this age-old celebration, this call-to-freedom, which is so fundamental to the Jewish people?

It turns out that Pesach has the capacity to free us, if we wish, from many things that enslave us in our daily lives. Freedom from materialism. Freedom from superficiality. Freedom from the meaningless and the trivial. However, I would like to focus on a specific angle: the freedom to be a better version of ourselves.

What’s wrong with the current version, you may ask. Plenty. We wouldn’t be human otherwise. But the celebration of Pesach is a clarion call to wake up, to discard the fears and habits that hold us back and to improve ourselves.

First we start by eliminating all of the Chametz, all of the leavened products, from our homes, our sight, our possession and our lives. Besides for the practical aspects, it is also a dictate to eliminate the extraneous things from our lives. Our lives quickly get cluttered with extra weight. We need to shed that baggage, existentially become lean and focused, leave the hang-ups of the past, for a meaningful present and a rewarding future.

Then comes the diet of Matza, simple, humble, clean, nothing added, just the basic ingredients of life, flour and water. We need a diet of simple to get back to our personal basics. What are the things that really matter? What is the direction my life is taking? How is my family life? How is my spiritual life? How is my internal life? Does my life have meaning? Or am I stuck in a certain course, a certain behavior and don’t have the strength and the courage to change course? Will I wake up at the end of my life filled with regrets, for those roads I didn’t take?

Then comes the Marror, the bitter herbs. Sometimes, many times, even most times, we need to bite the bullet. We need to take the hard road. Comfort and security are not always the optimal choices. Sometimes we need to leave our comfort zone to grow. Sometimes we need to overcome our fear, our distaste, our placidity, to truly awaken, to truly reach moments of meaning which in turn hold the hope to leading lives of greater meaning.

However, life is not all struggle and discomfort. We have to celebrate! We are the children of Kings and Queens, Prophets and Sages. We have a special relationship with the Creator of the world. And on this day, he took us, our people out of the bondage of Egypt to be his emissaries in this world: To be a light in the darkness; the joy amongst the somber; the serious amongst the frivolous; the revolutionary amongst the complacent; the respectful amongst the unruly; the meaningful amongst the meaningless. We drink. We feast. We dine like kings. We lean on our sides and remember the tribulations of the past and the hopes for the future. We are noble. We cannot forget that either.

But often we do. We get stuck in our own personalities. We have an innate fear of changing who we are. We have a practiced cynicism; a quick dismissal of the pure and the noble. We believe that reality demands a certain harshness, both with ourselves as well as with others. Someone good? It can’t be. They must have ulterior motives. They must have some benefit we don’t see. For us to be so good? We would be branded hypocrites. That is how corrosive and destructive our fear of our better selves has become. We do not allow ourselves or others to reach those heights.

Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz

Where To Go – What To Do: Pesach 5776/2016

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Jewish Press Staff

Cooking Like A Pro For Pesach

Monday, April 18th, 2016

If you’re anything like me, just thinking about Pesach is enough to send shivers down your spine. The “P” word can conjure up images of having to prepare a seemingly endless number of meals in a marathon cooking spree in order to feed a virtual army of hungry friends and family members who are hoping that you will somehow wave your enchanted kitchen wand and make gourmet meals magically appear out of your limited Pesach grocery supply.

Well, never fear, my intrepid readers. Paula Shoyer is here to save the day with an all-new Pesach cookbook, and with 65 gorgeous new recipes, the legendary kosher baking guru might as well be wearing a shiny superhero cape with a big “P” emblazoned on the back as she banishes those Pesach blues forever.

Eller-041516-Shoyer-CoverThe New Passover Menu is a gorgeous book, loaded with enticing pictures. Almost as exciting as the recipes themselves (and trust me, there are some awesome ones here) is the way the book is laid out, with eight individual menus (updated Ashkenazic Seder, International Seder, Shabbat, Yom Tov, French Dairy, Italian Vegetarian, BBQ Dinner and Easy Chicken) as well as two sections that make short work of both breakfast and dessert. Shoyer also graciously offers up additional lunch menus in the introductory section of the book, allowing you to cross “prepare Pesach menus” off your pre-Yom Tov checklist. A pantry section includes a handy list of Pesach-friendly substitutions for items like corn syrup, cream of tartar and even flour. For those who are less familiar with holiday customs, there is a quick primer on how to prepare for Pesach and a multi-page guide to demystify the Seder. Finally, recipes are clearly marked to let you know how many servings you can expect to get, preparation and cooking time estimates and a list of necessary equipment. Many, but not all, of the recipes let you know right up front if they are suitable for those who don’t eat gebrokts or are on a gluten-free diet.

But as always, it is all about the food and the recipes offer contemporary twists on traditional foods; some look so good you might just be tempted to make them all year round. There are some fun riffs on Pesach classics, with charoses that includes both apples and bananas and an innovative Seder plate salad that incorporates elements of the most memorable night of the year into a novel Chol Hamoed lunch or dinner. The gefilte fish of the alte heim is completely inverted in a unique loaf that has a whole salmon fillet embedded in the center of a stick of frozen gefilte fish. Coconut shnitzel with almond butter sauce, lamb stew with apricots, pears and mint and potato gnocchi with pink sauce all prove that Pesach food need not be boring.

Needless to say, dessert is the best part of every meal and there is no reason to settle for sponge cake when you can indulge in Shoyer’s fabulous linzer tart, which incorporates three different kinds of nuts instead of matzah meal. Need something chocolatey to top off your meal? Whip up a flourless chocolate cake with marshmallow icing and, for those of you who are really adventurous, feel free to pull out your Kosher L’Pesach blowtorch to toast the marshmallow topping and really knock this one out of the park. For a lighter option, check out the lemon cream-laced meringue fruit tarts, a real showstopper that will let you indulge without totally wrecking your diet.

Packed with creativity and fresh ideas, The New Passover Menu, published by Sterling Epicure, may just be the answer to your Pesach dreams.

Sandy Eller

Tel Aviv to Curb Bikes on Sidewalks After Pesach

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Tel Aviv police will be on the prowl starting May 1 to enforce the city’s no-riding-bikes-on-the-sidewalk law.

Law breakers face fines between NIS 100 to NIS 1,000. Other punitive measures will include taking the air out of one’s bicycle tires and confiscation of the bike’s batteries (for kids illegally riding electric bicycles.)

Violations include riding in the wrong direction, using a mobile phone while riding, going through a red light and disturbing pedestrians in the crosswalks.

Tel Aviv is lined with specially-marked bicycle paths.

Hana Levi Julian

The Four Cups Of Pesach

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

On the night of the Seder there is a mitzvah m’d’rabanan to drink four cups of wine. Additionally, there is a mitzvah m’d’rabanan to recline at the seder as well. This second mitzvah to recline was instituted to be performed while one eats matzah and drinks the four cups of wine. The Rambam adds that it is praiseworthy to recline while one eats any other food at the Seder as well, with the exception of marror.

The Gemara (Pesachim 108a) says that one must recline only while drinking two out of the four cups of wine. However, there is a machlokes as to which two. One opinion says to recline only during the first two, and another says to recline during the last two. The Gemara concludes that since we are unsure of the halacha, we recline during all four cups.

The Ran there asks why we would rule stringently when this is a mitzvah m’d’rabanan. Generally the halacha is to rule leniently in doubts that arise in a d’Rabanan. Why then does the Gemara rule stringently to recline by all four cups?

The Ran quotes an answer from Rashi that since it is not a big burden we recline during all four cups. We rule leniently only when there is a tircha – burden involved in ruling stringently. The Ran himself answers that in this scenario it doesn’t make sense to rule leniently. This is because both options are equal, how should we select which cups to recline while drinking? One opinion believes it is the first set and another opines that it is the second set. The two options are equal. And if we rule that one need not recline at all during any of the cups, we will have effectively done away with the entire mitzvah of reclining. The halacha that we may rule leniently in mitzvos m’d’Rabanan applies only when the lenient ruling will not abolish the mitzvah entirely.

What if one forgets to recline? Interestingly, the Gemara does not address this scenario. The Rosh (Pesachim 10:20) says that if one eats either the first kezayis of matzah or the kezayis of matzah for the afikomin without reclining he must eat the matzah again while reclining. And if one drinks the first two cups of wine without reclining he must drink them again while reclining. If one forgets to recline while drinking the last two cups the Rosh is unsure whether one should drink them again. The reason why one should not is because one is not permitted to drink after those cups. Therefore, if one was not required to recline while drinking those cups he would have performed his obligation correctly and would not be permitted to drink any additional cups of wine.

It seems that the Ran would disagree with the Rosh about this point. The answer that the Ran quotes from Rashi that we rule leniently because there is not a big tircha – if one forgets to recline requiring him to drink cups of wine again could be considered a tircha. Therefore according to Rashi if one forgot to recline while drinking any of the four cups he would not have to drink them again.

According to the Ran if one did not recline while drinking either the first two cups or the last two cups we would not require that he drink them again. This is because we would rule leniently that he is not required to drink those cups again. This would not abolish the mitzvah in its entirety.

However, if one did not recline during three or four of the cups we would require him to drink them again and recline.

Rabbi Raphael Fuchs

The Passover Recipe That You DON’T Want to Miss!

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

The Temple Institute presents world renowned Chef Yochanan Lambiase, who will guide you through three scrumptious Passover recipes and then unveil THE Passover recipe that you DON’T want to miss!

Wherever you are celebrating Passover this year, you will want to see this video!

Passover: Freedom for all Mankind!

The intended climax of the Seder is the moment when all participants eat a small amount of the Passover offering (an amount called a k’zayit) wrapped with charoseth and bitter herbs (lettuce) in a mazta. This is known as the ‘Hillel sandwich’ after the beloved sage Hillel, who lived more than 2,000 years ago, who established this practice. This is the fulfillment of the Torah commandment to prepare and eat the Korban Pesach (Passover offering) ‘together with matza and bitter herb’ (Ex. 12:8). The Hillel sandwich eaten during the time of the Holy Temple no doubt bore a great resemblance to Chef Yochanan’s kosher-for-Passover ‘lamb burrito!’

Chef Yochanan Lambiase heralds from five generations of chefs from Southern Italy. He trained under some of the most famous Michelin Star Chefs in the world. He was the founder of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute. He currently is the Head Chef of the Ugly Buffalo Mexican Street Grill in Jerusalem. Chef Yochanan has a regularly broadcast radio show and is frequent contributor of cooking articles.

Now, through this special video from the Temple Institute, Chef Yochanan will guide you through a tantalizing and trendy gourmet kosher experience. Contact Chef Yochanan at kosherpro@yahoo.com for information about Chef Consultancy, exciting culinary and wine tasting tours, cooking classes, culinary happenings and out of the box culinary events.

Video of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/recipes/the-passover-recipe-that-you-dont-want-to-miss/2016/04/10/

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