For convenient home delivery, call 201-837-8818 or bit.ly/jsubscribe
The word mitzvah means any commandment from God, whether ethical or ritual. Why deﬁne it, then, as simply meaning good deeds?
MARTIN POLACK, TEANECK
Paddling to Israel
Woot! I yelled out at the empty sea around me” — From Dov Neimand’s blog, describing his exuberance on de-parting Naples, destination Haifa.No ordinary traveler, Mr. Neimand, who grew up in Teaneck and whose parents still live there, is kayaking his way to the Holy Land.This is Part 2 of his epic journey. The first part began and ended in 2010, when he set out from Barcelona, Spain. That trip was beset by delays and problems, including, at one point, the theft of all his gear. Mr. Neimand, 30, a certified kayak instructor, made it as far as Naples, but then had to return to his graduate studies in mathematics at Bar-Ilan University.He expects the present 1,700-nau-tical-mile route to take about six months, but delays in getting his kayak delivered to him to Italy already have set back his timetable. His travels will take him along the coasts of Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, and thence to Is-rael. He will go ashore each night and either camp or find friendly lodging.Mr. Neimand’s trip requires strength and stamina, and he spent many hours paddling on his visit to the States last summer. He has roots in Teaneck and is a graduate of the Torah Academy of Bergen County.Mr. Neimand, who keeps kosher, had to turn down many offers from people he met along the way, rejecting offers to share meals that often sounded as if they would have been delicious. “I just tell them I am a vegetarian, and they understand that,” he said.Mr. Neimand has another rule: Pad-dling only a half-day on Friday and not at all on Shabbat. As he did on the first part of the trip, he will try to find syna-gogues along the way.Besides a good supply of lentils for nourishment, Mr. Neimand manages to stuff apparel, a two-way radio, an emergency beacon, a camp stove, a sleeping bag, and a computer aboard his craft.The trek has been an unconvention-al education for him. “When you go outside the walls, you learn the most amazing stuff,” he said.“I’ve met some super friendly peo-ple, and some super mean people,” he said in an interview before he left. Mr. Neimand has a colorful flare for telling his story and is blogging along the way; as he tells it, his story is part trav-elogue, part adventure tale. Check him out at kayakdov.wordpress.com.
Candlelighting: Friday, November 8, 4:27 p.m.Shabbat ends: Saturday, November 9, 5:27 p.m.
The roots of Israel’s wild boars
You can blame the Philistines for bring pigs to the Holy Land.That’s the finding of a study of genetic and archeological evidence tracing the origins of Israel’s wild boars published in the journal Sci-ence Reports this week.A team of archaeologists and zoologists followed up on an earlier study, which found that the DNA of Israel’s boars was closer to that of European boars than those in Egypt or Syria.This study replicated those find-ings in contemporary animals, and tested preserved boar bones to find their DNA.Earlier pig bones, however, showed the same DNA as in other Near East-ern boar populations.“The major shift,” according to the report, “took place around 900 b.c.e.” which corresponded to the local ar-rival of the “Sea People” — better known as the Philistines of the Bible. The Sea People originated in Greece, Turkey, or Cyprus — and according to the bones they left behind, they raised and ate much more pork than did the indigenous inhabitants of the Land of Israel.The article can be found at http:// bit.ly/js-boar
Having conquered coffee, Starbucks is now moving into tea. The coffee gi-ant’s newest venture, Teavana, launched with a tea bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says he doesn’t expect the new venture to be as big as the coffeehouse chain. (“Tea lacks the major caffeine count,” he explains.) But he is hoping to draw in kashrut-keeping consumers.“It will be [kosher]. It hasn’t been certified,” Schultz told Forbes. “No rabbi has come in to bless it yet!”It looks like Schultz, who is Jewish, has fallen prey to the common misconception that kosher status is conveyed via a blessing. But if Teavana is to succeed by peddling its drinks at $4.95 a cup, it will need the blessing of luxury tea fans.
TALIA LAVIN / JTA WIRE SERVICE
Starbucks promises a kosher tea party