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102 (FF: Gift | FF:贈り物)

March 18, 2011

Nomi's homemade cookies | Nomiの手作りのクッキー

Food Fridays: Gift

“I was hoping to bake Purim cookies for you but couldn’t get around to it this week, so please have these instead,” said Nomi, one of my favorite people in the kibbutz (and also my Hebrew tutor), as she thrust a plastic case full of homemade cookies in to my hands. Purim is a celebratory Jewish holiday occurring this weekend. Since yesterday I’ve started to see many children and adults in costume. The Purim cookies Nomi was talking about are the triangular hamantash (Wikipedia link) cookies. I started seeing these in stores and supermarkets from about a month ago.

Nomi baked me a honey cake for me last September for the Jewish New Year. It was the first gift I received since I came to Israel, a handmade cake specifically made for me. I remember how heartwarming it was, how deeply touched I was. Since then, Nomi has baked something for me for nearly every holiday. Always saying something like, “I’m baking up a storm because my daughters are coming with their kids… so I made something for you too.”

And each time I savor her treats, every bite sweetening both my taste buds and my heart .
I hope I can become good enough in the kitchen to give a heartwarming gift one day too.

「本当はプーリームのクッキーを作ってあげたかったんだけどね、今回はこれを食べてね。」と言って数日前、同じキブツに住みヘブライ語を教えてくれる大好きなNomiが手作りのクッキーをたくさん詰めたプラスチック容器を持たせてくれました。プーリームは今週末迎えるユダヤ教のお祭り。大人・子供両方の仮装姿を昨日からたくさんみかけます。Nomiが言っていたプーリームのクッキーとはハマンタッシェン(ウィキペディア)と言う三角形のクッキー。こちらは約1ヶ月前ぐらいからスーパーやお店で見かけるようになりました。

Nomiは、昨年9月のユダヤ教のお正月にはハチミツのケーキを作ってくれました。私がイスラエルに来て初めていただいた贈り物、しかも私のために作ってくれたケーキ。涙が出るくらい嬉しく、心が温かくなったのを覚えています。Nomiはそれ以来、祝日があるたびに何かを作ってくれます。「娘達が子供を連れて遊びに来るから、お菓子をいっぱい作ってるの。カオリの分も余計に作ったわよ。」なんて言いながら。

毎回暖かみを心身共に感じながら、おいしくいただいています。
私もいつかこのように心温まる贈り物ができるくらい料理が上手になりたいなと思います。

・ ・ ・ ・ ・

A whole week has passed since the earthquake in Japan.
Now when I think back in time, I find myself thinking in terms of “before” or “after” the earthquake.
My daily life has not been affected much, but my mindset certainly has been.
I still have a hard time believing that such an event that clearly marks a “before” and “after” has occurred.

I spoke to a Japanese friend on the phone who lives in a nearby kibbutz the other day.
Her parents live in Aomori, and she was finally able to reach them 6 days after the earthquake. That must have been a long 6 days.
She told me her husband had been getting many compliments of awe towards the Japanese at work. The fact that despite not having access to food, water, electricity, or gas, hardly anyone panics or throws a fit. Or after seeing footage of long lines outside a supermarket, someone said, “The fact that they are even lining up is unbelievable.” Or how the unfortunate person being told the store had sold out everything right when she got up to the front of the line doesn’t even complain. Unthinkable.

I’ve also seen many acts of kindness on NHK (live streaming). Earthquake victims volunteering at evacuation centers. A public bath opening its doors to victims free of charge. A gasoline stand owner going around evacuation centers and giving out gasoline for free. There are probably many, many other unreported acts of kindness, happening all the time. I know it.
Kindness like these as well as their solidarity is what makes me proud to be Japanese and are the true strength and beauty of the Japanese people. I pray from the bottom of my heart that these kinds of goodness and strength will help Japan get through this extremely difficult time.

東北大震災から一週間がたちましたね。
私は過去のことを思い出す時は自然と「震災前」と「震災後」で区切るようになりました。
「前」と「後」に分かれてしまうくらいの出来事が起きてしまったことが未だに信じられません。
引き続き、被災者の方には心からお見舞い申し上げます。

先日近くのキブツに住む日本人の友達と電話でお話しました。
彼女の実家は青森で、地震発生から6日後にやっとご両親と連絡がとれたそうです。
長い、長い、6日間だったことでしょう。
また旦那様が勤め先で会社の人に「日本人はすごい」と度々言われたとのこと。
食料も電気も水もガスもないのにパニックになったり身を振り乱さないのはすごいとか、またスーパーの長い列の映像を見て「ああやってちゃんと並ぶこと自体が信じられない、すごい」そして「並んだのに入る直前で完売を知らされた人が、しょうがないです、などと文句も言わないなんて素晴らしい」
など。
テレビなどでも被災者の方が避難所でボランティアをしたり、被災地の銭湯が入場無料で開放したり、ガソリンスタンドの経営者の方が避難所へガソリンを無料で提供しに行く姿などをみていますし、ほかにも知らないところでたくさんの人々が協力し合っているのだと思います。いや、確信できます。
このような思いやりや団結力こそが日本人として誇れる優しさ、底力であり、
今後もその優しさと強さで日本の皆様にこの辛い時期を乗り切ってほしいと、心から祈るばかりです。

Much love,
Kaori

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sammi Moe permalink
    March 20, 2011 6:14 pm

    Hi Kaori! Just checking in to see what you have to say today. I am glad that the food Friday is there. Made things seem somewhat normal again. Although the people in Japan will not see normal for a long time, and the “before” and “after” will now mark time, I am glad you are safe. I hope things are still OK for your family. How is Hibiki and family? Please let them know we are thinking of all of them. I am proud of the way the people are helping each other too. If only the whole world could be so! Happy Purim!
    Sammi and family

    • March 21, 2011 4:24 pm

      Hi Sammi! Hibiki’s family is okay too. I will let them know!🙂
      Thanks always xx
      Kaori

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