Keeping Kosher: Almost a year down the line.

Yesterday on FB, Angel asked if our new Israeli apartment was {already kosher} when we moved in.  She remembered what a huge process it was when we initially decided to make our {home (in SA) kosher}.

First off, its been almost an entire year of keeping kosher.  Im so impressed with us.  Mostly its been easy, some days its been a challenge but all in all its been a fantastic journey so far.

Now, almost a year down the line, we are living in the State of Israel, the Jewish homeland. This definitely makes keeping kosher so much easier.

Firstly, no, apartments here are not automatically kosher, you still need to make the counters and sinks and ovens/stoves* kosher.  Even if the previous tenants were kosher. Rather safe than sorry.

As for buying kosher products, a large majority of stores/supermarkets/butchers in Israel are kosher.  There are a few stores that are not kosher and that sell non-kosher meats such as pork and shellfish which is also not kosher, and these stores are also usually open on a saturday (shabbat) while strictly kosher stores will be closed over shabbat.

For example, the {local supermarket} down the road from us is kosher.  They close on shabbat and all the products they carry are kosher.  This makes keeping kosher so much easier than in South Africa.  In SA there is one store that is strictly kosher, aptly named {Kosher World}, and quite a few of the big supermarkets like PnP and Woolies stock kosher items (sometimes in specific kosher sections) but you have to check each item to make sure it is a kosher product.  There are also a few strictly kosher {delis}, {restaurants} and {butchers}, mostly in Jozi.  But the percentage of kosher to non kosher items/stores/places to eat is not in your favour.

On the subject of kosher butcheries, in SA, kosher meat is very expensive, especially kosher chicken.  Here, since everything is kosher, I don’t seem to notice the price as much, it is what it is, except to say that beef is way more expensive than chicken.  This is because 99% of beef is imported into Israel, cows in Israel are pretty much dairy cows (as an aside, dairy in Israel is UNBELIEVABLE! Cheese, cheese, cheese, all the yummy cheese!).

Chickens here are cheap and huge and yummy.  I bought a whole chicken to roast last night, 1.8kg for about ₪32.  Thats R96.  The same kosher chicken in SA would be on average R135.  I spiced it with salt and pepper and roasted it for an hour and a half, it literally fell off the bone and it was so yummy!

I cant wait for our first {Pesach}, stores here will only stock items that are kosher for Pesach, everything else will be removed from the store or covered up, so you know that if it is on the shelves you can eat it.  I’ve also been told that the bakeries here make the most amazing rolls and breads that are totally pesadik (kosher for Pesach) and that you cannot even tell that they don’t have yeast and flour and other non pesadik ingredients.

Oh, Angel mentioned my cutlery and crockery.  Since all that stuff was already made kosher last year, we don’t have to make it kosher again.  Once our lift arrives (its actually on the water, finally, and should arrive at the end of March) we can just unpack everything into the kitchen.

So, do you have any questions? Please ask in the comments and I will try my best to answer them.

*Most apartments in Israel do not come with a stove/oven included in the rent.  You usually buy your own and take it with you when you move.  Our landlords were very nice and bought a brand new oven/stove unit and included it in the rent.  Of course this means if we ever leave this apartment we would have to buy a new unit or possibly buy this unit from our landlords.

5 Replies to “Keeping Kosher: Almost a year down the line.”

  1. Fun fact: Gauteng is the only province that actually provides stoves to rentals. Everywhere else in SA you usually have to bring your own stove. When I moved to Jozi I thought I was in heaven!

    Also, your chicken has my mouth watering, oh my word. Now I’m craving chicken soup.

    Yay for all your things arriving in a month! It’s going to be like, ahem, Christmas for the jews!

  2. Yeah, the stove thing is only in Jozi. I was also very impressed and surprised by that…

    Am finding your posts about life in Israel SO very interesting! xxx

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