A sign at the ice cream parlor may caution men and women not to lick cones in public, but the warning didn't stop Jewish zealots vandalizing the shop in Jerusalem's main ultra-Orthodox neighborhood.
Joanne Rocklin is obsessed with food. On her 60th birthday, she began summarizing her life with the essentials: "I love to cook. I love to eat". But it's her passion for writing that has enabled her to come to terms with her life and her faith.
The timing couldn't have been worse. I was happily toting a batch of homemade bread and a broccoli quiche to a pot-luck birthday party, eager for some good fun and good eats. But I had barely crossed the threshold, when Sandy, the hostess and erstwhile birthday girl, announced that she had lost another 10 pounds on the Atkins plan.
Ah, the High Holidays. Time to gather, celebrate, eat, fast, repent and eat some more. But before you can get to any of that, there's another, perhaps less-ancient tradition that takes place a few weeks prior. It's the High Holiday scramble, and anyone without deeply planted roots knows how the dance goes. Jewish New Year works much like Dec. 31: You don't want to be alone; there's pressure to have someplace to go; and for transplants, singles and others, the options are less obvious than a meal with the family and services at the synagogue where you grew up. A little originality is called for, and the industrious don't miss a beat.
My parents visited a year ago while I recuperated from lung cancer surgery and they developed a division of labor.My father would do odd jobs around the house. My mother would feed me.
This was a good plan in theory, but in reality, it had loopholes. My father's tasks were well-defined: fix a fence, change a light bulb. But my mother struggled. What is it exactly her middle-aged daughter with upper-middle-class tastes liked to eat? The fact is that both of us had long since stopped cooking most of our meals, taking our nourishment from restaurants and take-out. Nevertheless, there persisted in her the belief that when a child is sick, only homemade foods will do. Familiar, nourishing, Jewish foods.