Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jews Love: Vacations

Harley and I were looking into going to Vegas for a weekend. Not because either of us like to gamble, but because we wanted to go away (and our Israel bonds matured, woot!), drink girly drinks, and wear pretty dresses. As an aside, CJ just informed me that Vermouth is not kosher, unless specifically hekshered.

We considered a number of different options for going away: Vegas, Atlantic City, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and so on. In the course of this it became clear that there are a few different types of vacations that Jews like to take:

Most obviously Israel trips. Either for holidays, summers, winters, with family, friends, or birthright, Israel is the eternal Jewish destination. If you haven't gone, may I suggest Jewlicious' Birthright trip. Free, 10 days long, and it looks like lots of fun.

Other Jewish-themed trips: my friend Sarah points out "Jews seem to love Holocaust tourism masquerading as vacation." I've never been on March of the Living, a Poland-Israel pilgrimage, or really to Eastern Europe at all. One day I'll get there, but for now it seems a bit too voyeuristic.

Passover/other holiday: lots of people go away for Passover, either to Miami, to some sort of all-inclusive hotel, or another all-inclusive hotel elsewhere in the US. The final option? Israel. Israel is amazing on Passover. You can get everything catered, pre-cooked, kosher to whatever specifications you keep (gebruchts, kitniot, or sephard), and delicious. I mean, I assume. For me, Israel on Pesach is still a dream. As is Israel for Sukkot. Magical. Also, instead of two days of chag (holiday) you only have one. For those of us who are traditionally observant, that is magic. For the record, I consider Israel to be magic year-round.

Honeymoon: for the record, this is not immediately personally relevant (Aunt L, be sure to tell my father, or I will get a phone call this evening). However, I have a number of newly married/engaged friends. They will be relieved to know that there are kosher cruises, kosher all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica, and kosher spas. And to think that I basically travel with bread, cans of tuna, peanut butter, tradition soup, and hope to be able to purchase vegetables/fruit and bottled water. Apparently, those days could be over. Granted, it probably costs an arm and a leg, but who cares? Kosher food (of dubious quality) in Costa Rica!

I don't think that I've missed any of the major ones, but Jameel points out that basically any vacation that one could want is available in Israel.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I'd love to go on vacation to a spa. That would be so great.

Jack's Shack said...

I'd go to Israel. Then again Vegas is a 4.5 hour drive for me.

harley said...

I would just like the record to show that I do not, in fact, drink girly drinks. I like my liquor straight up or neat, with no accompanying umbrellas or fruit.

I do, however, like to wear pretty dresses.

harley said...

One caveat: lt makes an exceptional margarita. I don't think those can be considered girly drinks, but it did contain an umbrella.

Annie said...

Harley- if we go to Vegas and wear pretty dresses, you will drink girly drinks and you will like it. They are too sweet and make me sick, but I'm going to take one for the team, and so will you.

The Autodidact said...


A clarification: Vermouth is NOT really a kashrut issue, it is in fact a wine issue. As it is made from wine, Vermouth is subject to the halachot of wine.

The point is that one should not look on Vermouth as one looks at food choices vis-a-vis Kashrut, but rather one should look at Vermouth as one looks at a bottle of Yellow Tail Chardonnay. Therefore, if someone, like many of us out here in observant Jew land, drink such wine (socially, but not in Jewish contexts like Kiddush), then Vermouth could certainly be consumed as well.

Annie said...

Autodidact- I don't drink unsupervised wine (although I think that wine produced in the US is probably fine), so I guess Vermouth is still out.

I was too busy feeling shocked to ask CJ to specify why, exactly, Vermouth was forbidden, but yes, I know that there is a difference between kashrut, and the rules governing wine.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

The only thing better than a vacation in living here, 'cause anytime you aren't working, you're on vacation :)

The problem though, is that some think that Israel is one huge vacation all day long, and that we don't really have "real lives" if we're all Mickey Mouse characters in a some huge Disneyland.

sarah said...

To clarify, I think programs like March of the Living are by design voyeuristic and highly problematic. I think that travel to Eastern and Central Europe does not have to be this way. Sadly, as a general rule, Jewish students typically first experinece these regions through the lens of the Holocuast. When I was living in Poland, although I was desparate for a nice shabbos dinner, I avoided March of the Living groups like the plague. Not hard, as they avoided me as well (dead Jews in Poland=reinforce program's goals; living Jews=too problematic for the programs to deal with).

To be fair, though, I tried to avoid groups of American teens in general.