Why is Tourism in Israel is booming? Is it the great food, the people, or the never-ending miracles, that attract visitors to Israel. Of course, Chanukah is a great time to visit the Jewish State.
Not only black sea cosmetics, but donuts are also big business in Israel at this time, and here is why:
Israel is celebrating the Festival of Lights, known as Hanukkah or Chanukah. In Hebrew, the language from which the Jewish festival originates, the word for Hanukkah is not easily transliterated into English. This accounts for why there are so many spelling variants. The eight-day Jewish celebration commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.
eTN partner Dr. Peter E. Tarlow, a world-renowned speaker and expert specializing in the impact of crime and terrorism on the tourism industry, event and tourism risk management, and tourism and economic development is currently touring Israel.
He reports from Tel Aviv: “I arrived yesterday in Tel Aviv after a long non-stop flight on United Airlines from Newark. From the moment we got to our gate in Newark you could feel the changes. There were no Christmas trees but Chanukah Menorahs, and English slowly gave way to Hebrew. “
Once in Israel, there are two things that newcomers notice right away: How diverse the population is, and how great the food is. This is a land that has welcomed Jews home from over 80 nations. People come from China and Scandinavia, Latin America and the US, Russia, and Africa. Here one lives the miracle of the ingathering of the exiles on a daily basis. These people brought their culinary traditions with them to turn Israel food into a festival of the senses.
Israel is a land of never-ending miracles. During this time of year when the sun sets by 5:00 pm there are huge Chanukah menorahs on each street corner of Tel Aviv along with the ever-present jelly donuts, known in Hebrew as “sufganiyot” This Chanukah Israel will consume well over 45 million traditional Chanukah donuts.
Of course, Tel Aviv, like New York, is only one city in Israel. This is Israel’s 24-hour city, filled with great Hebrew theater, concerts, nightclubs, restaurants, and outdoor festivals. It is a Mediterranean New York, a mixture of coffee houses and high fashion, boutiques and shopping malls. Just being here you feel how dynamic this city is. Like Rio de Janeiro the city’s 30 beaches set its Western border with spectacular sunsets. Unlike, Rio, however, this is also the land of high tech. Here high fashion mixes effortlessly in sync with high tech. Silicon Valley is on the other side of the world and around the corner.
So the fires of Chanukah represent not only the rededication of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem but the passion to overcome the darkness of yesterday’s European tragedies with the hopes of better tomorrows.
One symbol of Hanukkah one will see across Israel in private homes and public places are Menorahs or Hanukkiahs which are miniature versions of the original Menorah from the Temple. These are displayed traditionally in the homes of Jewish families and are lit every night of the festival, with an extra candle added each night. Most hotels and restaurants will have Menorahs on display, and walking through religious areas such as the Old City of Jerusalem, it is amazing to see all the different designs of Menorah on display in the windows of homes.
According to Tarlow Israel is the largest consumer of donuts, second is Germany.
Special events in Israel for Hanukkah include an annual relay race of torch-bearers from the city of Modi’in in the Judean Hills outside Jerusalem to the Western Wall, the last remaining wall of the Holy Temple, in Jerusalem’s Old City. Runners relay torches through the streets, passing the torch to the Chief Rabbi who lights the first candle of a large Menorah.
Happy Chanukah from the land where miracles are a daily occurrence.