Israel Matters! – March 2022

Fill in the Blanks with Israeli Cities and Towns!

We are going to play a little game in this installment of Israel Matters. Below are a bunch of statements which require you to fill in the blank. In the column across are the names of Israeli cities, towns, and villages. You need to fill in the blanks using these names. Warning – while all the locations are real Israeli places, you might need some creativity to fill in the blanks!

1. What kind ___________m I?
2. Hey, don’t look! No __________!
3. _________ I gave you five hundred shekels?
4. Hi, I’m looking for Modi. Is ___________-?
5. Thanks for your order; ___________ you later!
6. Aviv doesn’t know he won the lottery; someone should __________!
7. Let’s put this silly argument behind us. It’s time to ___________ the hatchet!
8. Skewered meats are my favorite! Do you _______?
9. Oh yeah? Go ahead and try that. _________!
10. A banana in a pajama lives in ____________!
11. I can’t find Shmuel! He’s lost! ____________!!
12. Poor Di has a bad back, and when it hurts, _______!
13. How do you think we can we grow the synagogue membership? By visiting ______________?
14. What do you get when you cross a car with a schlemiel? A ___________!
15. OK, I know you think he’s cute, but do you like him a little or _________?
16. I have one extra ticket. I could give it to Moshe, Naomi, _____________.
17. What’s that Peter Frampton song? I want youuuuuu, to ____________ the waaaaaay!
18. I really love cheese, especially the famous cheeses of ____________!
19. That is a heavy ________ you are trying to carry!
20. You think the Giants will win? __________ chance!

Here is the list of Israeli cities, towns, and villages. Use each place only once to fill in the blanks. You can learn about them here:
Gan Shmuel
Or Yehuda
Tel Aviv

Eating Like An Israeli :

Don’t ask for HAMANTASCHEN in Israel!
I was in Israel once during Purim, and honestly, it reminded me slightly of Mardi Gras! Children and adults alike were dressed in elaborate costumes, engaging in boisterous and happy celebrations in homes and in the streets of Tel Aviv. It was a great feeling of joy and fun! In Israel on Purim, I was shocked to discover that there are no hamantaschen in Israel.

After listening to a Megillah reading, I walked into a bakery and asked for two hamantaschen. The server looked at me like he didn’t know what I was talking about (maybe he couldn’t understand my accent?) so I pointed at the delicious hamantaschen staring at me on the counter. “Ah, you want Osnei Haman!”
That’s right, in Israel they call hamantaschen “Osnei Haman” – literally “Haman’s ears!” Growing up, we had always been told the triangular-ish hamantaschen cookie looked like Haman’s hat, kind of a Paul Revere thing I always thought. Israelis, on the other hand, take the spirit of the Story of Esther and Haman’s evilness into account and name these cookies after his ears!
As you may know, a main mitzvah of Purim is to send food gifts (called mishloach manot or shaloch manot) to friends and family. This tradition comes from the very end of the Megillah, where it describes that the Jews celebrated their triumph by sending portions of food to each other (as well as giving gifts to the poor).
So, get out your rolling pin and start making some Osnei Haman to give to your people!

Osnei Haman (Hamantaschen)
(Recipe adapted from a 50-year-old cookbook from my family’s synagogue in Washington DC, one we used growing up and still use to this day.)

1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup orange juice
Orange zest
(The orange juice and zest are the secret to the most yummy dough you can possibly imagine!)
Find a recipe for your favorite flavor filling online if you like, but to be honest, we usually use canned pastry filling (not pie filling – that’s too thin). Besides being a whole lot easier, this allows you to create Osnei Haman in multiple flavors – apricot, strawberry, poppy seed, prune… – and everyone gets their favorite!
Make the dough first:
1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
2. In a smaller bowl, combine the orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla.
3. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add eggs.
4. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients a little at a time, mixing in between.
5. Shape into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or even overnight.
Put them together and bake:
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
7. Put a hunk of the dough onto a floured board or wax paper and roll it
with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch thick.
8. Using the rim of a wide glass, ‘cut’ circles of dough (3 inch in diameter is
ideal). Place the circles onto a baking sheet.
9. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each.
10. The hardest part is figuring out how to close them from a circle to a
triangle. Think thirds… pull one third up from one side, then another third,
then the last third. Pinch the corners together. Voila! (Search on YouTube for
videos of Osnei Haman (or Hamantaschen) to watch someone do it if you like.)
11. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
12. Try to wait at least 5 minutes before you devour a few… which will be hard, because the house will smell
simply delicious.

If you don’t wait, you’ll burn your tongue. Really. Wait. You have been warned.