Post 19 Vegetarian Marathon: Israeli Secular Snobbery and Israel Religious Snobbery, do they it exist? Salad days

 

Israel is a small country. The classic forms of snobbery found in the USA just are not applicable here. There are few Lamberginis. So you say that the Prime Minister has an entourage of SUV’s.

But he doesn’t own them. He’s been accused of being one of Israel’s richest elite.

He does own three apartments. Prime Minister Ben Gurion lived in a shack and Prime Minister Begin in three rooms. The amount of furniture of Prime Minister Begin was limited to the standard 70 meter apartment. Chaim Weitzman had a mansion built with funds that he earned as a chemist.

Now who lives in those apartments? They have all been made into museums.

Also the country runs on part-time help. Rotations. Anyone who is lucky enough to have a government job and the perk of a government car really has a car that governs him. By  that I meant that the car is used by a slew of agencies in the course of a week and not exclusively by one. I met a biologist (PHD), whose research job came with a parking spot for her car. She doesn’t work every day, but on her day off she uses the spot because it is convenient to the light-rail.

 

Firstly, what is snobbery? Snobbery demands an unwillingness to compromise.  A snob is not a jolly fellow. He is out to enhance his own position by avoiding  the society of his social inferiors and by cultivating the society of the rich and powerful. Snobbery doesn’t fly in Israel.

 

Aldus Huxley wrote, A society with plenty of snobbery is like a dog with plenty of fleas. It is not likely to behave comatose.

 

Thackerey noted a snob is one who meanly admires mean things. A snob lacks a personality. It is only revealed in rituals. A snob teases for his own ego only to make his object hurt. Thus snobbery is the habit of making inequality hurt.

 

A snob needs an audience of admirers. Constantly, he yearns for recognition and acceptance.  The knawing never goes away ever.. To yearn for acceptance by one’s social superiors leads one to always be ashamed, not only for ones actual situation, but of one’s family, one’s available friends. Snobbery is simply a very self destructive vice.

 

Israel has no snob appeal. Yes, a T.V personality, Lapid,  gained  high office.  He is personally showered with adoration and admiration from followers. I don’t know if he is still adored. So much energy is devoted to keeping up an image.

 

Then the above cultural icon is sheltered from the common folk.

 

What about those who don’t give a bag of beans for pop culture or politicians. Traditional G-d fearing simple believers see thru a false exterior.The snob has no skill or desire to relate beyond his own world. The only response is to lash out. To look down on other’s  accents and convince himself of the other’s inferiority.

 

Once a cultural snob was invited to a party that he was obligated to attend a distance away from a big city. Did the snob hobnob with the locals? Not for a minute. The snob made an issue and was convinced that the Philadelphia accent he heard was not truly a Philadelphia accent. A form of snobbery. This unfortunate elitist thus missed out on an opportunity to meet the locals. Yes, Israelis laugh at a native English speaking basketball player, whose Hebrew is still at a Kita Bet Level. But that’s all in fun.

 

Way back the cultural snob was persuaded against his better judgement to the view that life is wholly entertainment, and that the pursuit of  distraction is preferable than to delve within himself.  This deleterious outlook counsels that secrets of the heart are better left unsaid. That is in private. However public indulging in gossip and telling tales is not frowned upon. However it always opens oneself to misguidance.

 

We must always be on the alert for snobbery creeping into our character. Strangely, we can all perceive the difference between ourselves and our inferiors, but when it comes to a question of the difference between us and our superiors, we fail to appreciate merits of which we have no proper conceptions (James Fenimore Cooper American Democrat “The American and the Democrat ”1838.

 

This kind of snobbery or self valuation permits everyone to be the undisturbed judges of his or his own habits and associations, so long as they are innocent and do not impose on the rights of others to be equally judges for themselves.

 

Witness the opposite of snobbery, a celebration of Israelis – friends and family in a restaurant. Informal attire. Wearing  formal attire,-shirts and ties that might show one’s position in the work-force is frowned upon. Also, there is a blurring of the areas of work and leisure. A great majority of the Israeli population work in several locations, where one’s collective wages  add up to close to  full-time job, often however without the benefits. Everyone is in the same boat trying to keep up with bills on a salary a fractional amount of a similar position in the USA. This mitigates against snobbery.

 

Even volunteer regular jobs are almost always part-time. If one works on Monday and Wednesday in one city, and Tuesday and Sunday in another city, how can one be available as shamus, (In an Orthodox synagogue the Shamus is the person who opens and closes up the synagogue and gets things done) to be the very important person to hold the keys to a shul in case a plumber needs to enter? I made this  discoverey after interviewing two volunteers, in the same synagogue, who are part-time shamuses – because they travel between cities,

They share the key-holding responsibility. Each one has a set and is available on a rotating basis with his partner. 

It seems plausible that even the security team of 6 SUV’s could fashion a second job during the time when the Prime Minister is out of the country. It’s obvious that the vehicles are unmarked and could stand in to escort an international visitor or a Rabbinical dignitary? Why not? Or even for a friend’s wedding with the promise of using the siren to arrive with flair.

 I have just noticed an example of  religious snobbery. I passed the Old French Hospital. Would you believe it there is a plaque on it.  A Christian Historic Landmark beneficiary of JNF funds? So big of JNF.

I wonder what year that contribution took place.

Followed by fill em up salad side dishes:

Japanese Edamame Dip

  • 1 lb (450 g) frozen shelled edamame drained
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 large or 2 small green onions
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi powder
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise/olive oil*
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tsp toasted or dark sesame oil
  • 2 tsp broth
  • 3 + tablespoons water.
  • Pulse in a food processor to your liking
  • Beet Barley  Salad

  • Drain the red onion from the soaking water. Combine diced beets, cooked barley, chard stems and leaves, and red onion in a large mixing bowl. Let everything cool to room temperature, then stir in the feta/tofu. Whisk together the remaining lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and stir to evenly coat all the ingredients.

    Taste the mixture. As needed, add salt 1/4 teaspoon at a time. No quantities noted. Use your own mix.

    Serve family-style in a large bowl or in individual bowls with extra feta sprinkled over the top. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for one week.

Fennel & Basil Pesto

Ingredients4 cups fresh basil leaves
2 Fennel bulbs cooked and cubed
1 1/2 grated tofu
6 cloves of roasted garlic smashed
4 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt

Li Hitraot,

Ida

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