Move over Manischewitz! I’ve discovered a wine that pairs best with your Hanukkah latkes, especially if you make them with lots of veggies and cheese. What goes best with these Judaic delights is Psagot’s 2014 Merlot. This wine label with the image of a Second Temple-era coin adhered to the label is produced in Israel and made from 100% Merlot grapes, aged for 13 months in French wood barrels. The bottle itself is a nice decoration for the table, with a label written in both Hebrew and English.
Flavors of dark berries and aromas of plum, cherries and leather offer a hint to what’s next… that long and lingering blackberry finish. This mellow merlot’s distinctly Israeli flavor profile also pairs well with meat dishes and will make it a unique addition to any meal. (SRP $26)
With only two nights left before Hanukkah concludes, be sure to serve a bottle of Psagot with those latkes! Happy Hanukkah to all…please enjoy this shared message of the meaning of Hanukka:
When the rabbis of Talmudic times asked, “What is Hanukkah?” their answer focused on the purification of the Temple and the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days, despite the fact that there seemed to be oil enough for only a single day. As a new spiritual leadership dealing with the religious challenge of Jewry’s survival after the loss of Jewish sovereignty and power, the rabbis stressed the divine miracle to the exclusion of military and diplomatic acts and the sovereignty exercised by the Maccabees after their victory.
Similarly, medieval Jews focused on the divine miraculous activity in Hanukkah, projecting their own sense of helplessness and their longing for the messianic redeemer to do it all for them.
By contrast, modern Zionists saw in Hanukkah a reflection of their agenda: They celebrated Maccabee military prowess and political achievement. An early secular Zionist song proclaimed that “a miracle did not happen to us, we found no cruse of oil.” To these Zionists, the Maccabees’ state-building was the eternal message of the holiday.
For modern liberal Jews, Hanukkah became the holiday of religious freedom. The Maccabee fight was presented as the uprising of a religious community against suppression. The Festival of Lights was a victory for, and a living model of, the religious tolerance that Jews sought in the modern world. To uphold this view, liberals had to filter out the fact that while the Maccabees fought for the right to practice their own religion, they were hardly pluralist. In fact, the Maccabees fought Hellenizing Jews–those who were assimilating into Greek culture–to the death and suppressed them as they achieved power.
Read more, courtesy of BeliefNet.com