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Interesting things about Israel

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Look What Came From Israel

By: Hailey Goldberg

Table of Contents

Interesting Israel






Festivals and Holidays


Toys and Games


Arts and Crafts










How To Say




Look What Didn't Come From Israel


About The Western Wall









People praying and slipping letters at the Western Wall


       Israel is a beautiful country in Asia. It’s a very small strip of land that lies between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s enriched with history and is a very desirable country that is still fought over today. Before Israel came to be, it was known as Palestine. Jews and Arabs occupied the land under British rule. Palestine has major religious significance for both Jews and Arabs. Both Jews and Arabs believe that the same piece of land was promised to them. In 1948, Palestine was fought over and it was split into Palestine and Israel. Jews occupied Israel and Arabs occupied Palestine. However, the conflict over the land still exists between the two groups today.

       Since 1948, when Israel was recognized as a country, the Jewish people have a home to go to. Intrigued? Turn the page to find out what this little country has invented and all the amazing things that come from Israel.   


Interesting Israel

       Have you tried the exotic food of Israel? Potato Latkes is one of the many famous Jewish foods. It is fried potato with onions and spices that is sometimes crispy on the ends. The fried taste of the potato pancake (another name for potato latkes) can be made in many shapes, sizes and different ways.



       Another food that is commonly eaten on Passover is Matzo. It looks dry, but has a lot of flavor. There is a background on how matzo came to be. The story is, a long time ago when Jewish slaves were fleeing Egypt, their bread didn’t have time to rise. In the hot,burning sun the bread finished baking, but still didn’t rise.


       Third, rugelach, a mouthwatering classic pastry dish can be eaten after any meal! It is a delicious bite size cookie, made with cream cheese dough and filled with satisfying and tasty chocolate, jam, honey or even peanut butter. You can get it all year round at bakeries and supermarkets all over Israel.


       Lastly, schnitzel, is a tasty simple lunch or dinner and is extremely popular in Israel. It is a thin slice of chicken, coated with delicious bread crumbs and is fried. You can find this flavorful food at almost all restaurants and many supermarkets in Israel.


       Israel has religious fashion statements. The yarmulke is only worn by men and boys. The yarmulke also known as a kippah in Hebrew, is a round small cap that covers part of your head. In orthodox communities the men and the boys wear a kippah everyday and everywhere except for in the shower and when they are sleeping. A yarmulke is worn as a reminder that god is above them and watches their every move.


       Another thing to wear on your head is a sheitel only worn by married women. A sheitel is a wig that women wear to cover their heads. They wear a sheitel because the women don’t want to attract other men. If a woman can’t afford a sheitel, then she buys a cloth to cover her head.


       Another piece of religious clothing is the tallit.  It is only worn by men and boys after the age of thirteen. Tallit is a religious piece of clothing for the Jews. It is only worn during prayers. On a boy's Bar Mitzvah, they wear one for the first time.


       Also,tzitzit is an important piece of clothing to Jews. Tzitzit is worn by all men and boys underneath their clothing. There are 613 strings attached to the bottom of a tzitzit which symbolizes the 613 mitzvot.


       There are many unique holidays and festivals that come from Israel. Shabbat, is celebrated every single week! It is from sundown on Friday to nightfall on Saturday. It is a day of rest. A long time ago, when god was creating the world he finished on Friday at sundown and rested until Saturday nightfall. The people of Israel decided to cherish that and create a holy day called Shabbat, to honor god's day of rest.


Festivals and Holidays

       Another unique holiday is Hanukkah. It is a holiday that lasts eight days and is special to all Jews. A long time ago the Maccabees wanted to light the chanukiah, but they only found oil for one night. It was a miracle. The oil the Maccabees found lasted for eight nights, instead of one. On Hanukkah you light the chanukiah as a family for eight nights. It is common for children to play dreidel on this holiday.


        Another interesting holiday is Purim. It celebrates the saving of the Jews from Haman. Haman was an awful person who was trying to kill all Jews. The story is recorded in the biblical book of Esther. You eat hamentashen on Purim because it means "haman ears". Right before he was hung his ears got cut off.

       Also, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of they year. On Yom Kippur adults fast for one day. Before the adults fast, they have a get together with other Jewish families and eat. They eat things that taste good to them. After the fast is over, you have a break fast. At the breakfast, you eat a big meal with friends and family.


       In addition, Rosh Hashanah, is the Jewish new year. You go to synagogue on this holiday and listen to the shofar get blown. You also eat apples dipped in honey for a sweet new year.


       Lastly, Passover is celebrated because the Jews got freed from slavery in Egypt. On Passover you get together with your family and say prayers, sing songs and eat a meal together. Passover is also known as Pesach in Hebrew.

Toys and Games

       Also, a Krooom Dollhouse is interesting because it is extremely easy to put together! The dollhouse is surprisingly only made of cardboard! The cardboard that is used to build it is 100% recyclable. it also has water proof coating on it, just incase you spill something on it.


       Israel has many interesting toys and games. A Plush Torah allows children to participate in Temple Synagogue Services. Some of the toys have a string at the bottom of it that you can pull. When you pull the string the plush torah sings a Jewish song.


       Another fascinating game is Gulot. It is a wonderful marble game. To play you draw a circle on the floor. With the marbles you have, you try to knock your opponent's marbles out of the circle.


       Lastly, Go-Go-Im is an extremely fascinating game. What you need to play is at least twenty apricot pits per player and shoe box. You then have to cut six holes on the top of the box. One hole a little smaller than the pits, the rest larger. Each hole is worth a different amount of points. The biggest hole scores the least amount of points and the smallest is worth the most points. Once you have everything ready, you toss your pits into your box for points. You play against at least one person.

       Did you know placing money in a Tzedakah Box is a mitzvah that you can do? It is a way to give cash to charities for those in need. Many families make a habit of putting money in the tzedakah box before Shabbat. A Tzedakah Box is usually a tin or container that has a slit for people to drop money in.


Arts and Crafts


       Are you into arts and crafts? A dreidel is highly popular. It is a four sided spinning top with Hebrew letters on each side. The Hebrew letters that appear on the dreidel are nun, gimmel, hey and shin. It is commonly used on Hanukkah to play a famous children's game. The game involves spinning a dreidel and betting on which letter will be showing on top when it stops spinning. Children play this game for gelt.


       Finally, there are thousands of different looking chanukiahs. There are nine holes on a chanukiah for candles to go in them. Eight of the candles represent the eight days of Hanukkah. The ninth candle is in the middle of the chanukiah and is raised higher than the rest. The ninth candle is called the shamash. The shamash helps light the chanukiah. You take the shamash (that is lit) and light one candle for each night.

       Did you know that the word sapphire came from Israel? In the Bible, God's throne is described as a sapphire, blue like the heavens. The Hebrew root for sapphire is sappir.



       In addition, amen, a word often used at the end of a blessing or prayer also came from Israel. The Hebrew root for the word amen is emunah. Amen means truly, taking after the meaning of emunah.


       Have you ever used the word scapegoat as an idiom? A long time ago on Yom Kippur, two goats were chosen to help the people of Israel forgive each other. One goat was sacrificed to god (killed), the other goat was taking the people's sins away, and into the wilderness. In english the word scapegoat means someone who takes the blame for what others have done, just like in Israel the scapegoat took away the people’s sins.

       Do you adore singing and dancing to the wonderful beats of songs? The Dreidel Song takes many different rhythms. It is sung on Hanukkah and is known as the Sevivon Song in Hebrew. But it doesn’t have to be sung on Hanukkah. People sing it for fun or while they are playing the dreidel game.



       Another song, Dip Your Apple is sung on Rosh Hashana and is commonly known by Jews all over the world. You sing it before you and your family dip an apple in honey and eat the sweet delicious taste. Dipping your apple in honey stands for a sweet new year.


       Similarly, Dayenu, a song sung on Passover is about one thousand years old. Do you believe that one part of the song is sung in Hebrew? Well, you better believe it because it is true.


       Also, sung on Passover is Ma Nishtana. It is referred to as the Four Questions. It is sung as a family at the dinner table.


       Do you love crazy but extremely helpful inventions? Well the epilator was first invented in 1986 in Kibbutz Hagoshrim, Israel. An epilator is an electrical system of hair removal. Did you know that an epilator is great for sensitive skin?


       More importantly, the pillcam is an helpful and insane invention for the medical world. It was invented in the 1990’s. It gives your doctor a direct look inside your colon. It is a really small camera inside an easy to swallow pill.


       Another valuable invention is the USB Flash Drive. It was invented in 1999, by Amir Ban, Dov Moran and Oran Ogdan. The company they worked for was called M-Systems, in Israel.


       Furthermore, Waze is a GPS based travel application. It was first introduced in 2007 and has dramatically improved over the last few years. It gives you great accurate information on current traffic status, directions and live information about the road you’re traveling on. The app is very popular. It is used in more than one hundred countries.


       You are walking in a desert in Israel and you hear a mating call that sounds like a small dog's bark. Then you find the sound and it is coming from the smallest wild cat in the world, the Sand Cat. The sand cat is an endangered animal that weighs four- eight pounds.


       Have you ever heard of the Arabian Oryx? Well, it is a type of antelope. In fact, in  the 1970’s they were extinct in the wild. However zoos were able to bring this beautiful creature back into the wild in the 1980’s.


       You see a beautiful red furred creature walking in a desert. Are you are wondering what type of creature it is? Where did it come from? Well this gorgeous creature is called the caracal or desert lion and it came from Israel. Hunting the caracal is illegal in many countries including Israel.  


Caracals can jump more than ten feet in the air!

How To Say

Chanukiah : hanu-key-a


Emunah : emu-na


Kippah : kee-pah


Sappir : sa-peer




Tallit : tall-eat


Tzizit : tzi-tzit










Bar Mitzvah- when a boy becomes a man at age thirteen


Emunah - belief


Extinct - none of them alive


Fast - don’t eat and drink


Gelt - chocolate money


Intrigued- interested


Kibbutz - a community of people living together and working



Maccabees - warriors who won a fight against the Greeks


Mitzvot/Mitzvah - good deeds


Orthodox- people who are very religious


Shofar - a trumpet made out of a rams horn


Sins - bad things

Look What Didn't Come From Israel

        People think that falafel is Israeli, but is it really? Although falafel is Israel's national food, it did not originate in Israel. Falafel comes from the Arabic word "falafil" which means pepper. Falafel can be made from either chickpeas or fava beans. It is rolled up into a ball and deep fried in oil. The first known appearance of falafel was in Egypt. It was called tamiya. 

       Many people mistaken the origin of hummus. They think it comes from Israel. However hummus has been around for centries and Israel has been around since 1948. Greeks and Arabs both claim inventing hummus. But one thing is for didn't come from Israel.

About The Western Wall 

       The Western Wall is in Old Jerusalem, Israel. It is the holiest place for the Jewish people. It is the remaining wall that surrounded Temple Mount. Temple Mount was the holiest temple where Jews went to pray. In 70 CE the Temple and most of the surrounding walls were destroyed by the Romans. From 1948-1967, Jerusalem was divided and the Jews did not have access to the Wall. In June, 1967, the Jews fought in the Six Day War and claimed the Western Wall back. The wall is approximately 1600 feet long. It is about 197 feet tall with 131 feet above ground and the rest underground. Today, Jews come from all over the world to pray at the Western Wall. It has become a custom to insert written prayers in between the cracks of the wall.