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ShoppingA Guide to Shopping in Israel.

A Guide to Shopping in Israel.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2022

What I’ve learned about shopping in Israel.

I wonder if G-d is in the food business?


Contributed by an olah who wished to remain anonymous.

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I wonder if G-d is in the food business on the side. I know he is busy with important things like global warming, the global economic crisis and all other things global, but how is it that all the Jewish festivals revolve around food? I think G-d is a major shareholder in the food industry. I never noticed this when i was still living abroad (chutz la’aretz) but after making Aliyah, and moving to Israel, I saw how much food gets eaten on the chagim (festivals).

On Rosh Hashanah we eat honey cake. You can buy it from as little as 5 shekels on the street corner. If you did not eat tons of it during the chag you can always eat it again when you break your fast on Yom Kippur. Come to think of it, how many chickens lost their lives to perform the ‘slichot’ ritual.

The etrog (citron) does not go to waste either, it makes a wonderful preserve after Sukkot.

Have you every thought about how many chocolates and sweets get handed out to children on Simchat Torah?

As soon as that is over, towards the end of October, jam doughnuts make their appearance. By the time Hanukah actually comes along you cannot bare to look at another jam doughnut so you are forced to survive the week on potato latkes.

January the 1st brings out an array of nuts and dried fruits. Each year more and more exotic varieties appear. By the time Tu B’shvat comes along we have already spent a couple of hundred shekels on fruit and nuts. A moment on the lips and a life-time on the hips!

The very next day, we get into the spirit of Purim and ‘oznei hamman‘ appear at every bakery and street corner – poppy seed, dates, nuts, chocolate, halva and crème-de-leche. Yummy!

As soon as Purim is over, we start the countdown to Pesach begins and as we all know Pesach is a major food affair. Not only do we have to eat special food, but we also have to buy special food to make the special food we have to eat. We also have to buy special utensils to cook the special food we had to buy to make the special food we have to eat. To lighten the load on our hostess we bring pots of food to the Seder meal. The 20 different dishes she prepared could never be enough.

The Pesach holiday is over and we spent our entire salary on food. We feel great – overweight but great! We start walking the very next day; need to work off all that matzah.

Lo-and-behold that very evening there are adverts on TV for cheeses, yogurts and blintzes. Shavuot is only a few weeks away. TV commercials tell us that if we buy 3kg of smooth white cheese, we’ll get a liter of chocolate milk for free. “Well!” I say to myself, “I need 3 liters of chocolate milk, so I can get that all for free if I buy 9kg of white cheese”. Makes sense – no?

We ate Brie and Camembert, Emmental and imported Cheddar, Roquefort and Philadelphia and a fair amount of Cottage too. We ate yogurt in every flavor, and generously grated parmesan on everything. We ate cheesecake for breakfast, lunch and supper, and an extra slice or two in between. The lactose intolerant had no choice and could only eat salad. Aah shame – it’s such a pity really.

Shavuot is finally over.

Wait a minute, I almost forgot about Yom Haatzmaut! Meat, meat and more meat. Sad to think how many cows gave up their lives to the noble calling of being a “good steak” and how many little lambs go to the slaughter so that we can have a decent kebab?  Perhaps next year I’ll try a veggie burger.

Today I went to the supermarket to buy a few things; there are no more chagim until September so I had a hard time deciding what to buy.

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