Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Afikomen Judaica - Home of Rabbi Harvey

I took a trip over to Afikomen Judaica today. I hadn't been there for awhile. It's a fully equipped spot for all your Jewish needs, from mezuzot (for your doorpost) to books of all kinds to yalmukes for your head to toys for the kids! Of course, at this time of year, it's packed with stuff relevant to Chanukah, the eight-day winter holiday that is like the "Jewish Christmas," except that it's a completely different holiday.

There aren't many places like Afikomen because it's a specialized business. It's where you stop if you need a gift for a bris (ritual circumcision) or a bar or bat mitzvah (adolescent coming of age ceremony for boys and girls respectively). Or--they had lots of different versions of the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament) in Hebrew and in English. The store's motto is, "Contemporary Judaica for Inspired Living." 'Nuff said!

I bought a bottle of Barkan Classic Chardonnay. I normally like red wine, but this bottle was made from grapes from Kibbutz Hulda, where I lived for 10 months in 1974. I actually walked in those vineyards! Back then, the kibbutz wasn't making wine, but things have changed in 28 years. We'll see how good it tastes soon.

Afikomen is actually a word associated with the Passover seder (ceremonial meal). The afikomen is a piece of the special matzos (unleavened bread--like giant saltines without the salt). It's wrapped up and hidden, and when the kids find it there's a special prize.

At Afikomen I found the graphic novel, Rabbi Harvey Rides Again. Steve Shenkin is making his second effort at an oddly compelling "comic novel." I may write more about it when I finish it.

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