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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘revolution’

Kosher Food And Wine Experience

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

   Kosher wines have improved greatly in the last 20 years. Much of the credit can be given to the Golan Heights winery in Israel, which ignited the quality wine revolution when they released their first wines in 1983. Stateside, however, it has been the Herzog family and their Royal Wine Corporation that has introduced U.S.-based kosher consumers to premium wines.


   Recently, Royal Wine began to host an event known as the “Kosher Food and Wine Experience” to showcase their numerous offerings. On February 23, the third annual event was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street in New York City.


   From Spain, a new winery in the Royal portfolio is Elvi Wines, which began producing kosher wines in 2002 with the leadership of consulting winemaker and agronomist Dr. Moises Cohen.


   Elvi produces a Spanish sparkling wine known as “Cava.” They are set to release their first white wine, a blend of sauvignon blanc and muscatel that has beautiful aromas of flowers, tropical fruit and bubble gum. But Elvi has become known for their Spanish-style red wines. I tasted six reds, including the 2007 Elvi Classico, their first mevushal wine. One of them is the 2005 EL 26, a wine I would be proud to pour at my Seder. A blend of five varietals, the EL 26 features a combination of aromas from mint and wood smoke to dark fruit and forest pine. This velvety wine has an excellent structure and long finish (aftertaste) and is a perfect pairing for roasts made with Mediterranean spices.


   Moving around the world we land in New Zealand where Goose Bay is producing world-class wines under the guidance of winemaker Philip Jones.


   Goose Bay wines are mevushal (flash pasteurized) and the only kosher wine made in New Zealand. Clean, crisp, and refreshing are not words one might associate with mevushal wines, but Jones’s wines prove otherwise. He furthermore believes that his method to quickly bring the juice (before it is fermented) up to 187 degrees and then quickly back down to 75 degrees helps to bring out some of the fabulous aromas his wines possess. The event featured the crisp 2007 Pinot Gris with its fruity pear aromas and the subtly elegant 2007 Pinot Noir, a delicious light-bodied wine with red forest fruit aromas and flavors. But when one thinks about New Zealand wines it is sauvignon blanc that first comes to mind, and the 2007 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc does not disappoint. This light straw, almost clear wine has lovely citrus and grassy aromas. Lemon zest flavors and a zippy acidity make it a terrific match for spicy foods as well as sushi.


   Israel’s wines have gained recognition of late, following extensive tastings by Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator magazines. While the larger wineries in Israel produce most of the country’s wine, they are outnumbered by the boutique wineries more than 20 to 1. The small family-run winery Castel is the darling of the boutiques.


   Castel is represented by patriarch and winemaker Eli Ben Zaken and his son and COO Eytan Ben Zaken, who make wines that they love to drink: a white from chardonnay, known as C Blanc du Castel, made in the style of a French white burgundy; two reds, both bordeaux blends; and the highly sought after flagship wine, the Grand Vin, and its little brother, the Petit Castel.


   They were pouring both the 2006 as well as the 2003 C Blanc du Castel. The 2006 had a big tropical fruit nose, but I preferred the 2003 that also possessed toasty and tropical aromas but was at this point in its life more subtle and elegant.


   They also poured two vintages of the Grand Vin. The recently released 2006 and the 2005 from a double magnum, which is three liters or the equivalent of four bottles. The 2006 Grand Vin seemed a bit young while the 2005 Grand Vin was delicious with black cherry, spice and earthy characteristics.


   But it was the 2006 Petit Castel that stood out. Made from 50 percent merlot, 45 percent cabernet sauvignon and five percent petit verdot, this wine had aromas of herbs and eucalyptus and lovely red and black fruit flavors. At about half the cost of its big brother, the Petit might not age as gracefully or pack the same punch, but it was showing very nicely and I would recommend popping the cork of a Petit with a steak or lamb stew.


   The show was a clear success, evidenced by the guest’s reluctance to leave. They were savoring the desserts and final sips of their wine until the lights went out and the final curtain closed on the 2009 Kosher Food and Wine Experience.


   Gary Landsman, a.k.a. the “wine tasting guy,” makes, sells, writes about and, of course, tastes wines. Visit his blog at www.winetastingguy.com or contact him with any wine related questions at gary@winetastingguy.com.

Gary Landsman

Terrorist Release Psychosis

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Yehudit Dasberg was one of the first victims of Oslo. Her daughter and son-in-law were murdered in a drive-by shooting near Gush Etzion. Yehudit and her husband Uri adopted their two babies and have raised them ever since. When Israel began to release terrorists, Yehudit appealed to the Supreme Court. Time and again, the court rejected her appeals. After a number of years and terrorist releases, Yehudit tried a new tactic. She came to the court equipped with a large poster, onto which she had pasted pictures of more than 100 men, women and children. “Do you know who these people are?” Yehudit asked Justice Mishael Cheshin. “These are the Jews murdered by the terrorists that you insisted on releasing.”

The release of the murderers of Jews has become a fact of life. At first, they explained that it would bring peace. Today they tell us that it will strengthen the good terrorists in their fight against the bad terrorists, and that it will help the progress of negotiations. Nobody buys it, but nevertheless – as if it were some sort of heavenly decree – we continue to release them.


The answer to that is hidden in the realm of our denial of our Jewish identity. We have rejected our Jewish identity and have enlisted the cruelest of our enemies to help us be rid of it. We called it a “peace agreement,” or “separation,” or “disengagement,” or who knows what; but it is all one and the same. It is the drive to purge ourselves of the Land of the Bible and the people faithful to it, the people who interfere with our denial of our Jewish identity.

And it works. We have denied our Jewish identity to such an extent that we now tolerate the murderers of Jews. We release them time and again to preserve our illusion of normalcy.

Return to Jewish values, Jewish identity and the Land of Israel mean a return to Divine morality. Our sages expressed Divine security morality in the adage, “One who comes to kill you, arise and kill him first” (Sanhedrin 72).

It is imperative that we return to the life-giving values of the Torah. Our security culture must be motivated by the principle that potential aggressors will be attacked before they have any chance to cause us harm. The battle must move from within our cities to enemy territory. An aggressive security stance is not only necessary, but also Jewishly moral. When this principle is applied in our security culture, it will, with God’s help, bring Israel genuine and long-lasting security.


Livni, Mofaz and Other Rotten Vegetables

It is difficult not to laugh when the media widely reports that Kadima will act to prevent the losers in its upcoming primary from defecting to a different party. It is like holding a Weight Watcher’s meeting in the middle of a bakery. The entire corrupt Kadima party is nothing more than a party of defectors.

Those expecting our situation to improve under the leadership of Shaul Mofaz or Tzipi Livni are in for a major disappointment. The “advantage” of Olmert as opposed to his future replacement is specifically the thick smog of corruption that envelops him. The investigations taking place against Olmert have made it difficult for him to pass fateful strategic decisions. In Israel, “brave strategic decisions” are a euphemism for just one thing: the wholesale auction of the Land of Israel, destruction of settlements, and entrusting Israel’s enemies with the security of its citizens.

The new “squeaky clean” prime minister will place himself or herself at the service of those who set Israel’s national agenda (in other words, the “enlightened” leftist elite), and the spring of new peace initiatives will go into full bloom.

Israel needs a social revolution. It needs a revolution that will replace the rule of the leftist elite that undemocratically perpetuates its hold on power. Israel needs a revolution that will empower the Jewish majority to set the national agenda according to its Jewish values.

As of now, the only group making serious progress toward these goals is Manhigut Yehudit.
The preceding column appeared in the Yisraeli newspaper in July 2007. Sadly, it is just as pertinent today.

Moshe Feiglin is the founder and president of Manhigut Yehudit, the largest faction inside the Likud party. Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) strives to restore Jewish values, pride and integrity to the State of Israel. For more information or to order Feiglin’s newest book, The War of Dreams, visit www.jewishisrael.org

Moshe Feiglin

The Return Of Post-Zionism

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

In April 2004, Ilan Pappe, the left-wing Israeli academic and self-described anti-Zionist, told Haaretz that post-Zionism, which appeared dead as a doornail after nearly four years of non-stop Palestinian violence, would rise again.

“Look for us in another three, four or five years,” he promised.

It’s only been two and a half years, but Pappe’s words have taken on an unexpected prescience as Israeli leftists, no longer nursing the ideological wounds inflicted on a near-daily basis by the second intifada, begin once again to cast about for ways to blame Israel for the ills of the (insert obligatory “poor, suffering”) Palestinians.

The Monitor can’t help but recall the day in August 1999 that The New York Times officially celebrated the triumph of post-Zionist ideology in Israel. Correspondent Ethan Bronner described “a quiet revolution in the teaching of Israeli history to most Israeli pupils” – a revolution, Bronner explained, echoing the claims of post-Zionist ideologues as though they were indisputable truth, in which “officially approved textbooks make plain that many of the most common Israeli beliefs are as much myth as fact.”

The Times, institutionally post-Zionist before anyone dreamed up the term – in fact, one could assemble a fairly accurate syllabus of the post-Zionist perspective by stringing together a random selection of Times articles and editorials on the Middle East – trumpeted the story with the newsprint equivalent of breathless fanfare: a front page, above-the-fold article; a lengthy jump on page A5; and a sidebar comparing old Israeli schoolbooks with their replacements.

Headline writers at the Times saw fit to forgo the use of quotation marks around the words “myths” and “facts” on both pages 1 and 5, thereby implicitly endorsing the claims advanced by post-Zionist historians.

And what were those claims? As Daily News columnist Sidney Zion summed them up at the time, they began with the notion that “the heroism of a tiny, beleaguered people – practically unarmed against the Arab world that attacked them in fill force with the support of the British Empire – was a myth, originated and perpetrated by unreconstructed Zionists, out to destroy Palestinian national rights to the West Bank.”

But Israel’s founding was only the beginning of the hellish Zionists’ duplicity, claimed the post-Zionists. What followed the Israeli victory of 1948 was one long series of provocations, persecutions and outright aggression by Israel against its peace-seeking neighbors.

If it all sounds so simplistic, it’s because the left-wing academics behind post-Zionism, in their zeal to rewrite the historical record more in favor of the Palestinians, thrived on a one-sided simplicity of the very sort they purported to scorn in traditional Israeli historians. The post-Zionists, wrote Sid Zion, wanted nothing less than “to revise history into a justification for a Palestinian state at the expense of history.”

The ideas behind post-Zionism had been percolating for some time. In a sense they’d been around almost from the beginning of the state, though for much of Israel’s history they were confined to the fever swamps of the country’s far left fringe.

In time, however, the once-scorned ideas gradually began to make their way into more respectable society; certainly by the mid-1970’s they were familiar to anyone given to spending time on Israeli campuses or associating with Israeli media and academic types.

In an essay written in 1994, the prominent Israeli author Aharon Meggid lamented that growing numbers of Israel’s intellectual class “have been increasingly and diligently preaching that our cause is not just.… What is happening before our very eyes is the rewriting of Zionist history, a rewriting in the spirit of Zionism’s adversaries and foes.”

Meggid, for whom post-Zionism represented a “pathological phenomenon, possibly rooted in the diaspora proclivity for self-abasement and sycophancy toward Jew haters,” looked with disdain and worry on that which he felt “probably has no parallel in history: an emotional and moral identification by the majority of Israel’s intelligentsia, and its print and electronic media, with people committed to our annihilation.”

By 1999, the “pathological phenomenon” described by Meggid had become the state-sanctioned version of history for Israeli schoolchildren, inserted into the curriculum by the Ministry of Education’s Michael Yaron, a man appointed to his post by Yitzhak Rabin and inexplicably retained by Benjamin Netanyahu.

Seven years and a long, bloody intifada later, post-Zionism, as anyone who regularly punishes himself by reading Israel’s left-wing press will attest, is very much a going concern. It’s no longer the Next New Thing in Israeli academia, but reports of its death were greatly exaggerated.

Jason Maoz


Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

(Due to readers’ requests, from time to time I will print poems. This one, written years ago, is especially meaningful to me, since Moshe the little boy I write about, got married last week.)


My little boy messed up the wall,

But what he did didn’t make me mad at all,

Instead of anger I felt rather proud

That this miniature person,

Who laughs aloud,

Is growing up.


He had noticed a crayon on the shelf,

Toddled over and grabbed it by himself,

And while I was chatting on the kitchen phone,

He wandered happily on his own

To the living room wall. And scribbled.


I heard him laughing so I came in to see,

And saw his “artwork” as he clapped with glee.

I hurried over, ready to scold,

Then I remembered – he’s 13 months old.


I thought to myself, how should I react?

I should stop and think before I act,

To see all this from his point of view,

And get some insight as to what to do.


I looked at his face; he looked so elated,

He had taken a step forward – he had created!

He did something that for him was truly brand new,

He went and made “squiggles” – like Ema and Tatty do!

He did what he did just to show

His ema and himself – that he’s starting to grow,

That he can take the initiative and do for himself.

So he stood on his tippy toes and reached for the shelf.


Mama was busy so he looked for some “paper”

Determined to complete his “big boy “caper,

Spying the blank wall he came up with a solution,

A brilliant breakthrough in his “independence” revolution.

He had a thought that he put into action,

Too young to understand my potential reaction,

So instead of anger, I gave him praise

Thankful for this neshama I was given to raise.


My wall needed repainting, but I was full of joy,

For I realized Hashem gifted me with a healthy, growing boy,

I know in the future many other things will get messed,

But I’ll forgo the anger – for I know I am blessed.

Cheryl Kupfer

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/insight/2006/03/29/

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