Why Milk?‎

Honestly, I never understood the connection between dairy products ‎and the Shavuot (Pentecost‎) holiday. Exactly how did the celebration ‎of the Torah (The Five Books of Moses) become a festival of milk and ‎honey? Out of curiosity I began to surf the web in an effort to get ‎some answers. I found many interesting and creative answers among ‎them I discovered:‎

♦ The Torah was delivered on Mt Sinai or “Har Gav'nunim”, the ‎mountain of majestic peaks. In Hebrew “gevina” is cheese.‎
♦ The numerology calculation for “halav” (the Hebrew word for ‎milk) is 40: the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.‎
♦ White represents purity: the Israelites were obligated to purify ‎themselves in preparation for the holy gift of the Torah.‎

It is clear that milk and all dairy products have become the symbols of ‎Shavuot.‎

Just before the holiday began I went into the shopping center and was ‎accosted by an army of Tnuva (the major producer of Israeli dairy ‎products) sales reps on their way to hand out free samples, recipes ‎and coupons to the crowd of shoppers on the lookout for new ways to ‎dress up their holiday tables.‎

I visited Tnuva’s website and discovered a special page dedicated to ‎the holiday festivities. I was blown away by its beauty and the ‎abundant creativity. Even if you cannot understand Hebrew, you ‎might want to take a look. You’ll find baking consultants, recipes, ‎coupons, tips, a “Grandmothers’ Baking Contest” and if despite all of ‎your best efforts your cheesecake was not a success, you may just get ‎a special delivery replacement directly from Tnuva! An ingenious ‎marketing effort indeed! ‎

Despite all of the savory preparations for the holiday, ‎
there is a foul taste in the air…

Symbols are dear to us, full of associations and ‎memories but we mustn't hold on to them at any cost. It is the ‎essence of the holiday which we need to remember.‎


Shavuot, the Feast of Deliverance, celebrates the gift of the Torah. The ‎‎10 Commandments are mentioned in two different books of the ‎Torah, so important were they that they were mentioned twice. These ‎commandments represent moral codes of ethics, behavior and ‎commitment. Are the symbols we have adopted reflective of these ‎codes?‎

One of the codes which I have adopted for myself is: honor thy body; ‎thou shalt deliver abundant good and nutritious energies in earnest. ‎

All that glitters is not gold. All that is white is not pure.‎

Provocative packaging calls out: look here, taste me, buy me! We are ‎blinded by the beautiful lies we are sold. It is “merely” our health that ‎is being compromised…‎

I don’t want to sell you anything. I have no desire neither to be the ‎town crier nor the prophet of doom. Preach? No, not me. Most of the ‎Ten Commandments are packaged in thou “shall nots”. I prefer the ‎affirmative over the negative.‎

Be committed to your health. Look beyond the limelight, read the fine ‎print and ask the right questions.‎

best cheese

I’ve been cheezing away… I prepared a special cheese for a vegan ‎cheese competition (wish me luck) and last night we licked our lips ‎over a succulent chocolate coated cheesecake with strawberries. ‎Yummy! I always was the cheesecake girl. Isn’t it wonderful that there ‎is no need to deprive myself of my favorite treats?!

Long live ‎macadamia nuts!‎