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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Renting With Regional & Religious Restrictions

10834Renting a vacation home abroad has its challenges.  An owner may request that you water the plants or feed a local cat, that you keep the front gate locked or  don’t pet the horses.  Often, it’s fairly straightforward.

In a country such as Israel, there are additional considerations, for instance, kosher laws when it comes to the food you’ll bring into an apartment.

“Do you keep kosher?” the owner asked in an e-mail.

“It’s not vital to us,” I replied, not wanting them to have to purify JerusalemLuxuries16anything by fire, keeping separate meat and milk plates, sinks, and more.  “We can follow whatever instructions you have.”

Since we do not generally eat pork, or a variety of other “forbidden” foods, I believed the directives would be easy enough.  Instead of not causing her any problems, it turns out it was going to cause us a few problems.  Nothing major, but a few things to keep in mind while relaxing on a vacation.

“Okay, listen, then I’ll have to ask you not to bring any meat into the house,” she informed us.  “And not use the dishwasher or the oven.”


On a get-away, we could always use paper plates.  Being limited to the refrigerator, stove, and microwave didn’t seem like a major deal-breaker.  Probably, we would be eating in the vegetarian and dairy food groups, anyway.

“Most people eat out when they’re on vacation, anyway,” she had told me.

Well, in that case, I wouldn’t be renting her home in Israel with a family of six and a kitchen, now would I?  Our plan did not include thumb4_1_outside_buildingeating breakfast, lunch, and dinner out, trying to find an affordable “business lunch” at $20 or 70 shekels a pop x 6 every single day.


I looked again at the photos of the apartment—3 bedrooms, 2 baths, WiFi, an outdoor terrace with grill… that we now could not use.  I’m not sure we had the time to put shashlik on the menu, anyway.

I started listing menu items to help with the grocery shopping and meal prep.

Potential breakfasts:  eggs, cereal, yogurt, fruit, bread and butter or jam or honey, oatmeal, hot chocolate, tea or coffee for us adults.

velky-hummus-arabsky-chliebPotential lunches or dinners:  hummus & pita bread (but I’m sure that’s one meal, along with falafels that we’ll be having enough of by eating out), hatzilim (eggplant salad) & pita, tuna fish salad, egg salad, diced salads, veggie stew, baked potatoes (oh, no oven, maybe the microwave?  I don’t know…), omelettes, potato salad, savoury rice, Ramen noodle cups (chicken flavor, but no real chicken in it), mac & cheese (yuck), peanut butter and jelly, cheese sandwiches, cheese & tomato lsandwiches, pasta and tomato sauce, pasta and Alfredo sauce.  We could go the vegetarian pizza route, but again, no oven.

All of that to say:  no chicken except eating out (I guess I’ll survive), no beef or lamb (hopefully, Benedetto will survive), no bring-home burgers (the kids don’t mind eating in a fast-food place, as a matter of fact, they’ll probably be begging us after a week or two), definitely no cheeseburgers in most of Israel, since in kosher cooking you don’t mix meat and dairy.

147005-DDAlso, if we do decide to use the apartment’s dishes, we will use blue for dairy, not red for meat.  There is just one, big kitchen sink, not the normal two sinks in kosher homes, so we might need to use the blue tubs to place inside of it.  Details, details.  Since our kids are not involved in any real food prep at this time in their teen lives other than setting the table, I think we’ll be good to go.

That’s not to mention a dozen other instructions about building secret codes to gain access,  and hot water heaters, and a maze of one-way streets to arrive to the apartment which I’ll cover another day.

Should be interesting.  I could either lose a lot of weight following the restrictions and guidelines, or gain a lot of weight due to nervousness over doing everything right-!


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