Saturday, April 21, 2007

Food (and drink) for Thoughts

I had done my mitzvah of doing a presentation on Jewish marriage to the mostly Moslem crowd at our conference in Petra - complete with a video of the chuppah at my daughter's June wedding. This resulted in several young, cute, Jordanian suitors begging me for my daughters' hand.

"I'm coming to Jerusalem to marry your daughters"

"Which one?" I asked the cutest first guy from Amman.

"Any one. They're all beautiful."

"And you, sir?" I asked the second one.

"Me? I'm going to convert to Judaism and kill all the Arabs from Egypt to Syria for her." He stood up and gestured wildly with his hands while talking.

Hmmmm. Didn't think I wanted HIM as my son-in-law.

I asked the third guy which one of my 3 daughters did he want to marry.

"The youngest one."

"You're such an Arab" remarked a young Egyptian woman, who was dressed in religious Moslem garb. "Such a Gulf Arab at that. See how he wants the young one?"

And we all laughed. I also laughed at the fact that I was up in the youngsters' room and they had an assortment of liquor bottles that the 2nd potential suitor of my daughter was happily imbibing. They were all neatly placed by their visiting American friends on the floor near the bed as if it were illicit drugs to be shoved under the bed, should any Islamic police show up at the door. The Moslem women didn't have any at all.

They offered me some of this stuff which I refused. Funnily, even though I am allowed to partake of alcoholic beverages, I felt odd at the thought of drinking in a Moslem country, so I just asked for a soft drink - please.

Meanwhile at dinner time I had been raving over the wonderful desserts served there like Malabeh and some Egyptian sweet bread pudding (can't remember the name of this).

We had learned earlier that Druze men are not allowed to eat a green called Gargeer in Arabic (it was rocket leaves, as I found out later) because it's an aphrodisiac. Well, we all were hysterical when at lunch on the last day of the conference, one of the Palestinian men piled his plate about 2 feet high with that stuff.

"Should I warn his wife" I asked the woman sitting next to me, as I saw him take a seat. This caused a wave of laughter all along our big long table.

Later on, I showed Mr. Aphrodisiac photos from the seder I went to.

"That's makhlube" I said proudly. We had it as a main dish for our seder.

"It's not enough you steal our land!!! Now you're stealing our food." He said half-joking, half-serious.


"It won't be long before you'll call this Israeli food. You already did this with falafel and humous. Everyone thinks it's Israeli food now. It's ARABIC food. ARABIC."

"OK OK - please calm down Mister." thinking the aphrodisiac was going awry.

I promised him that from now on, I'd always label any makhlube I or my friends make as Arabic, not Israeli food, and he seemed quite satisfied with that.


Alex said...


Please consider writing news pieces or an op-ed for Jewrusalem: Israeli Uncensored News. We strive to present different views and opinions while rejecting political correctness. Ideally, we try to make the news "smart and funny." Thus, your input is very welcome.


jerusalemgypsy said...

I would have considered writing for your Jewrusalem - but the site seems so political.