jtnews | march 8, 2013

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JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington issue for March 8, 2013.

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tolls take a jewish toll page 7www.jtnews.net

JTnews

the voice of

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march

Two nightsFour glassesEight wines

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documenting mom page 20adar 5773n

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volume

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W a s h i n g t o n

A tasting on page 14Emily K. AlhAdEff

professionalwashington.com connecting our local Jewish community

/jtnews

@jew_ish @jewishcal

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jewish and veggie

jTnews . www.jTnews.neT . friday, march 8, 2013

Back to basics for a lovely Pesach dishMichael NatkiN JTNews ColumnistBraising is something of a lost art, which is a shame because it isnt at all difficult to do. Learn a couple of basic moves and youll be rewarded with a succulent, richly flavored, rustic dish perfect for Passover. A proper braise is composed of even more basic cooking methods. First you sear the heck out of your main ingredient to develop those beautiful browned flavors. Then you remove it from the pot, quickly sweat your other vegetables, and return the main ingredient along with a small amount of flavorful liquid. With the lid on and the heat lowered, everything steams until tender while the flavors marry and the sauce emulsifies into silky goodness. The most common choice of supporting vegetables is mirepoix carrots, onions and celery. In this case I omit the celery because it might sive but a pinch goes a long way. This dish is just fine without it, but if you are in the mood to gild the lily, I highly recommend it.

Braised FennelServes 4 as a side dish Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-freemiChAEl NATKiN

Jewish and Veggie

muddy the flavor of the fennel. Fennel pollen, if you can get it, is pretty amazing stuff. The aroma is like summer in Provene in a jar. It is rather expen-

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Offering Summer Workshops for elementary, middle, and high school students in Video Game Programming, Fine Arts and Animation, Game Design, and Robotics and Engineering!Attend one of our Summer Workshop Preview Days on April 13 and 20. Learn more at: projectfun.digipen.edu

March 8Friday evening at 6:00pm: Theyve let my people go! Now what?Asher Ostrin

The Seattle Jewish community is cordially invited to attend two enlightening Shabbat presentations by JDCs former Soviet Union program director of 20+ years, at Herzl-Ner Tamid Synagogue.

Its 1990. Communism has collapsed. The doors of the Soviet Union open. A million Jews leave, but hundreds of thousands remain behind. Come and hear their remarkable stories.

March 9Saturday morning at 10:00am: Could this be the most memorable 30 minutes youll spend this year? Experience the hidden stories of global Jewish life youve never heard before.

Herzl-Ner Tamid Synagogue3700 East Mercer Way Mercer Island, WA 98040www.JDC.org

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus additional for garnish 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and halved lengthwise, fronds reserved for garnish 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced 1-1/2 cups sliced carrots (1/4" thick coins) Crushed red pepper Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 tsp. kosher salt Zest and juice of 1 mandarin orange 1/4 cup dry vermouth (kosher for Passover) Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon Optional: fennel pollen In a pot with a tight-fitting lid, big enough to hold the fennel in a single layer, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. (A Dutch oven is ideal for this recipe.) When the oil is shimmering hot, lay the four fennel halves in the oil, cut side down. Sear until quite well browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another couple of minutes on the rounded sides. Remove the fennel to a plate, leaving the oil behind in the pot. Lower the heat to medium low. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, a big pinch of crushed red pepper, several generous grinds of black pepper, and the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes, until the onions start to soften. Add the orange zest and juice, the vermouth, and 1/2 cup water and stir, scraping the bottom to incorporate the delicious caramelized brown bits (fond). Put the fennel back in the pot, cut side up, on top of the onions and carrots. Cover the pot and braise until the fennel is completely tender when probed with a knife. This could be anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the bulbs. During the braise, adjust the heat so there is a good, steady amount of steam in the pot, but not so much that all the liquid boils off. Add a bit more liquid if needed. To serve, transfer the fennel bulbs onto a serving platter. Spoon the carrots, onions and sauce over the fennel. Garnish with a generous drizzle of good olive oil, more freshly ground pepper, some flaky salt, the fennel fronds, and the optional fennel pollen.Local food writer and chef Michael Natkin is the author of the recently released cookbook, Herbivoracious, A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes, based on his food blog, herbivoracious.com.

friday, march 8, 2013 . www.jtnews.net . jtnews opinion

Tefillin: The way to a purpose- No more European excuses driven day on HezbollahRabbi siMoN beNzaqueN Rabbi Emeritus, Sephardic Bikur holimTo my delight, I have noticed an encouraging trend of people who might not be religiously observant nevertheless observing the commandment of wearing tefillin. Why is it important for every male Jew, no matter what level of observance, to consider donning tefillin? For one, it is a mitzvah (a commandment). Every mitzvah is an act of love that binds us to God. But tefillin is the paradigm mitzvah in that we literally bind ourselves to the will of God. Tefillin represents a total dedication and union with the Almighty. As the Torah says, Bind [these commandments] as a sign on your arm, and as totafot [frontlets] between your eyes (Deut. 6:8). Tefillin consists of two black boxes, one of which is worn on the bicep, the other on the forehead. Attached to each box are black leather straps. Inside each box is parchment containing four Torah sections: The obligation to remember the Exodus (Ex. 13:1-10); the responsibility to transmit Judaism to our descendants (Ex. 11-16); the Shema, the proclamation of Gods unity and the mitzvah to love God (Deut. 6:4-9); and the implications of our fulfillment of the Torah (Deut. 11:13-21). The outer structure of the tefillin contains three Hebrew letters, which spell out one of Gods names, Shaddai. Sometimes people wont know about tefillin, but they know about phylacteries. This is a term used by the ancient Greeks who referred to them as phylakterion, which means a protection or a safeguard. Apparently, the Greeks misunderstood the tefillin to be some sort of amulet or charm. Actually, tefillin has nothing to do with superstition, but is considered as a genuine connection to God. Whats the purpose of tefillin, of wearing a sign on your arm and on your head? On the eve of the Exodus from Egypt, as the Israelites were about to go forth on their journey to freedom, God gave them a number of instructions. Among them was: Vhaya lecha leot al yadcha, ulzikaron ben enecha It shall be to you as a sign upon your arm and a reminder between your eyes (Ex. 13:9). Tefillin are to be an insignia on your arm and a crown upon your head, a daily reminder of what God did in redeeming us from the slavery of Egypt. Tefillin is a daily reminder of the potential for evil within every one of us, personified by the slavery in Egypt, and a sign of our God-given potential for goodness and holiness as personified in the holy scrolls from the Torah within the tefillin boxes. But why do we have to wear them? lemaan tihyeh Torat Hashem beficha So that the word of God may be in your mouth so that you will be inspired to speak up about your own experiences as if you were in Egypt experiencing the evil of slavery, and help bring Gods light and goodness to the world. The two boxes represent the two ways we serve God in this world: Thought (the head) and action (the arm). When putting on the arm tefillin, we focus on devoting our strength to the Almighty. It is placed at a level opposite the heart to teach that all our actions must be done with heart and mind. The head tefillin imbues us with the idea of subjugating our intellect for the love of God. Dr. Steven Schram, a chiropractor and acupuncturist, wrote a fascinating article in the Journal of Chinese Medicine in October 2002 called Tefillin: An Ancient Acupuncture Point Prescription For Mental Clarity. Schram points out that when worn properly, the leather straps and boxes of the tefillin stimulate acupuncture points associated with improved concentration and inspiration. The contact points of tefillin are exactly those points at which acupuncture needles are inserted in order to increase spirituality and to purify thoughts. Schram was not a particularly observant Jew and hadnt worn tefillin since his Bar Mitzvah. He went to a rabbi for a refresher course. For a while, he would put tefillin on in the morning, sit on his adjustment table, say the Shema, and meditate. Schram wrote, I hope that more people will do tefillinI think tefillin is a tool for enhancing consciousness, and I would like to see more consciousness. Some have likened tefillin to a sophisticated device that receives spiritual-electronic signals. If one wire or transistor is faulty, the entire system does not function. It is important that one wear tefillin in 100 percent good condition. Every letter of the parchment inserted in the tefillin boxes must be halachically acceptable, written in the right order that appears in the Torah, and not cracked or faded. The ink must be black, not faded to brown or green. Therefore, if you have an old pair of tefillin (perhaps that you inherited from

the rabbis turn

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WeNdy RoseN Special to JTNews