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Joy of Israel: Kurdish Cuisine, Caves and Kabbalah


Don’t miss the latest in my Joy of Israel series. Let’s learn to cook Kurdish cuisines, visit the caves and maybe a bit of Kabbalah.

You know how it goes.  In life we often travel to far off places, in search of happiness, success, spirituality, opportunity, adventure.  For the last episode of Joy of Israel with Jamie Geller we trekked almost 4 hours to the northern tip of the country, a stones throw from Syria, to sled and see Israeli Cowboys.  It was an incredible family trip but like all trips (especially those with young kids), it was good to go and even better to come home.

That got me thinking about home, and what adventure, opportunity and excitement may in fact be right here in my very own backyard.  We tossed around lots of ideas for this second episode and we decided to cover one of our Israel firsts, our first Lag B’Omer.  With that, everyone immediately suggested we shoot in Meron, the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who many consider the father of Kabbalah.  Lag B’Omer marks the anniversary of his passing.

Meron is also up north and a looong ride when you consider the traffic created by the 10s of thousands who make the annual pilgrimage.  So we decided instead, to stay close to home this time (in fact we just went across the street) to experience this day with our family and neighbors.  And from there we built our 2nd episode.

When I dreamt of moving to Israel, I had one place in mind, Jerusalem.  And when we decided on Ramat Beit Shemesh (for various reasons included among them family, friends, schools etc…) I was underwhelmed to say the least.  I mean who ever heard of this place?  And if you heard of it who ever dreamt of living there?  I often compared it to dreaming of moving to the States and setting up shop in Aurora, Nebraska  No offense to Aurora, Nebraska (any of you from there?) but I’m the type that’s drawn to major cities like New York, London, or what I consider the most major – Yerushalayim.

So I decided to take this opportunity to fall in love with my home – to see that what I used to consider the middle of nowhere is in fact the middle of somewhere, somewhere special.  Replete with exotic cultures, ancient archeological sites and mystical celebrations.

Watch and learn more about my neck of the woods, through Kurdish Cuisine, Caves and a hint of Kabbalah.  Of course the episode wouldn’t be complete without a little new oleh supermarket humor…

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19 Responses to Joy of Israel: Kurdish Cuisine, Caves and Kabbalah

  1. says: Ita

    I love this video!Thanks for giving me a new side dish for Yom tov!

  2. WOW i love it!!! I want to be there!!! and thanks for the recipe!

  3. Just as “American” cooking has many regional variations, so does Kurdish cooking. My husbands family, also from Kurdistan, put parsley, onions, dill and celery in their stuffed veggies. Wouldn’t think of doing it differently. Comes out delicious both ways.

  4. avatar says: c.zelasko

    What a tremendous Mitzvah you have, making public all of the beautiful places in Eretz Yisroel. It really makes me want to go traveling a little. And that stuffed vegetable recipe looks fantastic. Keep up your fine work. BTW, in all of my years in EY, I have never seen graham crackers. Chag Samayach to you and yours.

  5. Cheaperkol on Kanfei Nesharim in Jerusalem has Graham Crackers

  6. Jamie dear,

    Love seeing your fabulous adventures in Israel…Kol A Kavot…there is joy in a;ll you do…whether it is cooking, touring and seeing the sites and sharing. Just love watching…always checking the recipes and adventures…thanks so much….and Chag Semeach Shavuot…drb

  7. jamie, i really love this series! it’s so amazing to experience israel’s food and culture through your family adventures. cant wait for more!

  8. hey Jamie,
    Chocolate chip cookies (or any cookies for that matter) work deliciously well for s’mores. I’m partial to soft baked ones. yum! greetings from ‘no caves’ monsey!

  9. You can buy graham crackers at Super Hatzlacha in the Sheinfeld Shopping Center, Beit Shemesh

  10. You cab buy graham crackers at Super Deal on Derech Hevron in Jerusalem.

  11. Dear Jamie,
    I am the Savta of 4 beautiful for
    they lived in Ramat Beit Shemesh for 1yr.,then moved back to Ramat Eshkol. I still DREAM of Living in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Thanks for all the handy tips.
    Savta Purple

  12. Cooking outdoors – must be really hot out there!

  13. avatar says: M

    Dear Jamie, Thank you for allowing us to join with your lovely family and letting us see the beauty of Israel. Also, the recipes look delicious and I am going to take a shot at enjoying them with our family.

  14. Your episodes just keep getting better and better! Loved to learn about Kurdistan cuisine. Interesting to know the similarities to mechshie, the sephardic dish of stuffed vegetables (although they would never mix the different veggies in one pot!)

  15. I love watching all your adventures!

  16. Wow! Wish I had the guts to pick up an move to Israel! Your adventure is amazing!

  17. We ain’t in Monsey anymore, people! #favorite line.

  18. avatar says: shulamuna

    Thanks to this video, I now know how to cut a tomato in much less time than I used to do! Thank you so much!

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