Common Tsukemono

Umeboshi

Umeboshi are Japanese plums (related to apricots), which have been salted and dried. The wrinkly red pickles are extremely salty and sour, although sweeter versions exist. Umeboshi serve as a preservative and digestive. They are eaten with all types of traditional meals, and often accompany the rice in boxed lunches (bento). Umeboshi are also one of the most popular fillings for rice balls (onigiri).

Takuan

Takuan is made of Japanese radishes (daikon), which have been sun dried and pickled in a mixture of salt, rice bran and sugar. The finished product is a sweet, crunchy pickle that is sliced and served alongside rice or other dishes. Takuan ranges from brownish white to fluorescent yellow in color. In Akita Prefecture they are additionally smoked and enjoyed as iburigakko.

Nukazuke

Assortments of nukazuke pickles consisting of cucumber, carrots, eggplant, daikon or turnip (kabu) are often served alongside set menu meals (teishoku) or as a part of the rice set (shokuji) in kaiseki ryori (Japanese haute cuisine) meals. Often similar assortments of vegetables pickled in salt or miso are served instead.

Kyuri Asazuke

Kyuri asazuke are simple pickles made of cucumbers marinated in a salt brine (shiozuke) that is sometimes seasoned with konbu, togarashi pepper and/or vinegar. Whole cucumbers served on a stick are often pickled this way and sold by street vendors at festivals, temple approaches and popular tourist spots, especially during spring and summer when they are a refreshing treat.

Hakusai no Sokusekizuke

Hakusai no Sokusekizuke is a quick and simple salt pickle dish made of lightly salted hakusai cabbage which is often mixed with carrots and cucumber and seasoned with yuzu zest, konbu and togarashi pepper. The result is a salty, crisp pickle with a slightly spicy citrus flavor. It is one of the most common pickles found in Japan and is often served alongside set menu meals (teishoku).

Narazuke

Narazuke are deep brown pickles native to the Nara Region of Japan, from which they get their name. Vegetables, typically daikon, uri or cucumber, are soaked in sakelees (kasuzuke) for several years. As a result the pickles have a strong, pungent flavor which is often punctuated with an overtly alcoholic bite.

Shibazuke

Shibazuke is a Kyoto specialty pickle made of cucumber, eggplant, perilla leaves (shiso), ginger and myoga (a mild flavored relative of ginger) pickled in plum vinegar (umezu), a byproduct of making pickled plums (umeboshi). The salty, slightly sour, purple pickles are commonly served in Kyoto cuisine.

Senmaizuke

Senmaizuke is another Kyoto specialty pickle. It is made of thin slices of turnip arranged brined in sweet vinegar seasoned with konbu and togarashi pepper. The resulting thin disks (senmaizuke means thousand layer pickle) are sweet and sour with a slightly crunchy texture.

Saikyozuke

Saikyozuke (lit. West Kyoto pickle) are slices of fish, typically a whitefish such as cod or sablefish, which have been preserved and marinated in miso (fermented soya bean) paste. The slices are then grilled or broiled, and served either hot or at room temperature. Fish preserved this way gets a sweet, caramelized flavor due to the miso.

Nozawana

Nozawana are a specialty pickle from Nozawa Onsen in Nagano Prefecture; however, they are commonly served all over Japan. Nozawana are a type of turnip greens which are dried and pickled in a salt brine seasoned with togarashi pepper and wasabi. The salty, slightly spicy leaves and stems are served cut into bite-sized pieces or chopped into a fine relish.

Matsumaezuke

Local to Matsumae Town in Hokkaido, matsumaezuke is an interesting combination of regional specialties of Hokkaido such as squid, konbu, kazunoko (herring roe) and carrots, seasoned with sake, soy sauce and mirin (sweet cooking wine). It has attained nationwide popularity.

Gari

Most tourists are probably already familiar with gari, the thin slices of sweet pickled ginger that is served alongside sushi. Gari has a sweet and sour flavor with a slightly spicy bite. It is meant to be eaten between sushi pieces as a palate cleanser, so that the unique flavor of each piece can be fully appreciated. Gari is naturally light yellow, but may also be dyed pink.

Beni Shoga

Beni Shoga is julienned young ginger that has been pickled in plum vinegar (umezu), a byproduct of making pickled plums (umeboshi). The bright red, salty and spicy pickles are served as a garnish on top of a variety of dishes such as gyudon, takoyaki and yakisoba.

Fukujinzuke

Fukujinzuke is a mixture of Japanese radish (daikon), lotus root, cucumber and eggplant which are preserved in a soya sauce and sweet cooking wine (mirin) base. The sweet brown or red relish is served as a garnish to Japanese curry (kare raisu).

Rakkyo

Rakkyo are sweet pickled scallions that are served alongside Japanese curry. Rakkyo lend a sweet, crunchy bite that, like fukujinzuke, helps to augment the spicy and

Tsukemono (漬物): Japanese Pickling Varieties

  • Salt (shiozuke) Salt pickles, or shiozuke, are the simplest and most common types of pickles. The most basic consist simply of lightly salted, sliced vegetables, which result in pickles with the crisp texture and mild flavor of fresh (usually seasonal) vegetables. Heavily salted pickles, on the other hand, are more involved to prepare and have strong, complex flavors. Among these are red pickled Japanese plums (umeboshi), which are often used to flavor rice balls(onigiri).
  • Rice Bran (nukazuke) Nukazuke are common household pickles fermented in a mixture of roasted rice bran (the hard outer skin of the rice that is removed when polishing the rice grain), salt, konbu, and other ingredients. Whole vegetables are stirred into the mash and allowed to cure anywhere from a day to several months. The resulting crisp, salty and tangy pickles are then rinsed clean, sliced and served. Nukazuke are rich in lactobacillus and said to aid in digestion.
  • Sake Lees (kasuzuke) Kasuzuke are imperishable pickles preserved in a mixture of sake lees (the yeast mash that is left over after filtering sake), salt, sugar and sweet cooking wine (mirin). They are allowed to cure for anywhere from several days to several years, and the resulting pickles may be slightly alcoholic with flavors that vary from sweet and mild to strong and pungent depending on how long they were cured for.
  • Soya Sauce (shoyuzuke) Shoyuzuke are pickles preserved in a soya sauce base. This method produces a wide range of pickles with flavors that vary from light and crispy to dark brown, salty, sweet relishes such as fukujinzuke. Note that shoyuzuke is a different preservation method than tsukudani, which are foods preserved by cooking in soya sauce and sweet cooking wine (mirin).
  • Vinegar (suzuke) Pickles brined in vinegar are known as suzuke. Rice vinegar is commonly used as the pickling agent and lends a crunchy texture and sweet and sour flavor to the resulting pickles. However, rice vinegar has a low acidity and suzuke pickles will not keep long unrefrigerated.
  • Miso (misozuke) Similar to nukazuke, misozuke pickles are made by covering vegetables in miso, a fermented soya bean mash. These types of pickles tend to be crisp with a salty miso flavor. Misozuke and nukazuke are made of similar vegetables, such as cucumbers, carrots and eggplant, and it may be difficult to tell the two types of pickles apart by just looking at them. Misozuke is also a popular way of preserving and marinating meat and fish.

Versailles: A Short History

Located about 20 kilometers southwest of Paris, Versailles is a wealthy and quickly expanding metropolitan city inviting a large number of visitors. The topmost attractions are the huge royal palace and gardens built by King Louis XIV. Besides featuring elegant and impressive architecture, the palace was also the proud seat of a number of important historic events. It is perhaps best remembered for the famous Treaty of Versailles signed on 28 June 1919 within the Hall of Mirrors; this peace treaty brought the First World War to an end.

In the year 1624, King Louis XIII constructed a hunting lodge in Versailles. Turning that hunting lodge into the palace it is today was accomplished in four distinct phases. The first phase of alterations stretched between 1664 and 1668, and during this time, the château and gardens were expanded to accommodate the 600 guests at the Plaisires de l’Île Enchantée (Pleasures of the Enchanted Island) celebration.

Signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the War of Devolution and gave way to the second phase of development to the Palace between 1669 and 1672. During this period, Le Vau’s enveloped Louis XIII’s hunting lodge. The grand appartement du roiand the grand appartement de la reine made up the complex of seven rooms. The décor depicted heroic kings of the past including Alexander the Great, Augustus, and Cyrus.

The Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678 ended the Dutch War and triggered the third phase of enhancements to the Versailles Palace. Much of the present-day look of the facility can be traced to this period. During this time, Hardouin-Mansart designed the Hall of Mirrors, north and south wings, and the Orangerie. The gardens also underwent landscaping.

After the defeat of the War of the League of Augsburg, the fourth and final phase of construction took place between 1699 and 1710. The focus of this task was the construction of the royal chapel that was designed by Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte. During this time, the Salon de l’Œil de Bœuf and the King’s Bedchamber were added with due modifications to the appartement du roi. 

Louis XV and XVI

Louis XV modified the palace during his reign; developments during this period include completion of the Salon d’Hercule, the petit appartement du roi, the appartements de Mesdames, the appartement du dauphin, the appartement de la dauphine, the petit appartement du roi au deuxième étage, and the petit appartement du roi au troisième étage, as well as the construction of the Opéra and the Petit Trianon.

Louis XVI ordered for the complete replanting of the garden to transform it to English style. He added the library and the salon des jeux to the petit appartement du roi and decorated the petit appartement de la reine for Marie-Antoinette.

French Revolution and Today

During the French Revolution, the royal court was moved to Paris and the security of the palace was entrusted to the citizens of Versailles. In 1791, the arrest of Louis XVI lead to the confiscation of all properties of the royal household and the palace was sealed. Following this, many pieces from the palace were sold or auctioned. The 1804 constitution designated Versailles Palace as the imperial court for the department of the Seine-et-Oise. Later arrivals made some small-scale enhancements to the facility, and time saw the decline of the facility to some degree. During the time of the Fifth Republic, the palace was transformed into one of the foremost tourist attractions in France.

Tours, France During the Middle Ages

In the 6th century Gregory of Tours, author of the Ten Books of History, made his mark on the town by restoring the cathedral destroyed by a fire in 561. Saint Martin’s monastery benefited from its inception, at the very start of the 6th century from patronage and support from the Frankish king, Clovis, which increased considerably the influence of the saint, the abbey and the city in Gaul. In the 9th century, Tours was at the heart of the Carolingian Rebirth, in particular because of Alcuin abbot of Marmoutier.

In 732 AD, Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi and a large army of Muslim horsemen from Al-Andalus advanced 500 kilometres (311 miles) deep into France, and were stopped at Tours by Charles Martel and his infantry igniting the Battle of Tours. The outcome was defeat for the Muslims, preventing France from Islamic conquest. In 845, Tours repulsed the first attack of the Viking chief Hasting (Haesten). In 850, the Vikings settled at the mouths of the Seine and the Loire. Still led by Hasting, they went up the Loire again in 852 and sacked Angers, Tours and the abbey of Marmoutier.

During the Middle Ages, Tours consisted of two juxtaposed and competing centres. The “City” in the east, successor of the late Roman ‘castrum’, was composed of the archiepiscopal establishment (the cathedral and palace of the archbishops) and of the castle of Tours, seat of the authority of the Counts of Tours (later Counts of Anjou) and of the King of France. In the west, the “new city” structured around the Abbey of Saint Martin was freed from the control of the City during the 10th century (an enclosure was built towards 918) and became “Châteauneuf”. This space, organized between Saint Martin and the Loire, became the economic centre of Tours. Between these two centres remained Varennes, vineyards and fields, little occupied except for the Abbaye Saint-Julien established on the banks of the Loire. The two centres were linked during the 14th century. Tours is a good example of a medieval double city.

Tours became the capital of the county of Tours or Touraine, territory bitterly disputed between the counts of Blois and Anjou – the latter were victorious in the 9th century. It was the capital of France at the time of Louis XI, who had settled in the castle of Montils (today the castle of Plessis in La Riche, western suburbs of Tours), Tours and Touraine remained until the 16th century a permanent residence of the kings and court. The rebirth gave Tours and Touraine many private mansions and castles, joined together to some extent under the generic name of the Chateaux of the Loire. It is also at the time of Louis XI that the silk industry was introduced – despite difficulties, the industry still survives to this day.

Thomas Paine

Paine, Thomas (1737-1809) Born in England to an Episcopalian mother and a Quaker father, Paine drifted from occupation to occupation until he was 37 years old. At that point, after two marriages and several professions, he moved to America, bearing a letter of introduction from Benjamin Franklin, whom he had met in England. Paine began to edit the Pennsylvania Magazine and met with leading republican thinkers. He published Common Sense in 1776, after which he became famous throughout the colonies and in England. Paine served in the Continental Army during the war, including a period as an aide to General Nathanael Greene, and wrote a series of essays called The American Crisis. He became involved in the Silas Deane affair, publicly denouncing Deane’s private arms-dealing in France. By denouncing Deane, however, Paine revealed secret negotiations with the French, and was dismissed from his post as Secretary to the Committee for Foreign Affairs for this indiscretion. After this, he sent $500 to George Washington to help supply the war effort, and defended the Bank of the United States, as an associate of the wealthy Philadelphia financier and merchant Robert Morris. Paine designed an iron bridge to cross the Schuylkill River, and went to England to seek financial backing in 1787.

Four years later, he published part one of Rights of Man, followed by part two the next year. In Rights of Man, Paine replied to Edmund Burke’s criticism of the French Revolution. Paine’s treatise was condemned in England, and he was outlawed, so he moved to France. Without ever learning how to read or speak French, Paine participated in French politics, helping to draft a constitution, which was never adopted, and serving as one of two foreigners on the National Convention. In 1793, Paine was imprisoned in the Luxembourg Prison, where he lived in fear of execution. James Monroe, American Ambassador to France, secured Paine’s release after the French Terror ended. Nevertheless, Paine publicly denounced the Washington administration in 1796 for having failed to help him.

After his release, Paine completed The Age of Reason, an attack on revealed religion, on the basis of which he was accused of being an atheist. He published Agrarian Justice in 1797, and returned to America five years later, where he was ignored by the intellectual community. By 1809, he was interred on his farm in New Rochelle, New York, where he died. Radical reformer William Cobbett wished to return Paine’s bones to England for a memorial burial ten years after his death, but lost the remains after they were exhumed.

The Shema: Daily Declaration of Faith

Shema Yisrael (שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל) (“Hear, O Israel”) are the first two words of a section of the Torah that is the centerpiece of the morning and evening prayer services, encapsulating the monotheistic essence of Judaism:

“Hear, O Israel: G‑d is our L‑rd, G‑d is one.”

In its entirety, the Shema consists of three paragraphs: Deuteronomy 6:4–9, Deuteronomy 11:13–21 and Numbers 15:37–41.

Its recitation twice daily (morning and evening) is a biblical commandment:

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְיָ אֶחָד.

Shema Israel, Adonay Eloheynu, Adonay Echad.

Hear, O Israel: The L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One.

בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ

Baruch Shem Kevod malchuto

Blessed is the Name of His glorious kingdom

לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.

le’olam va’ed.

for all eternity.

וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יְיָ אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ

Ve’ahavta et Adonay Eloheycha, bechol-levav’cha

You shall love the L-rd, your G-d, with all your heart,

וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל-מְאֹדֶךָ.

uvechol-nafshecha uvechol-me’odecha.

with all your soul and all your resources.

וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה

Vehayu hadvarim ha’ele

Let these matters

אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם עַל-לְבָבֶךָ.

asher Anochi metzavecha hayom al-levavecha.

that I command you today be upon your heart.

וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם, בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ

Veshinantam levaneycha vedibarta bam, beshivtecha

Teach them thoroughly to your children, speak of them while you sit

בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ

beveytecha uvelechtecha vaderech uveshochbecha

in your home, while you walk on the way, when you lie down

וּבְקוּמֶךָ. וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאוֹת עַל-יָדֶךָ,

uvkumecha uk’shartam le’ot al yadecha,

and when you arise. Bind them as a sign upon your arm

וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ. וּכְתַבְתָּם 

vehayu letotafot beyn eyneycha. Uchtavtam

and let them be signs between your eyes. And write them

עַל-מְזֻזוֹת בֵּיתֶךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ.

al-mezuzot beytecha uvishe’areycha.

on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates. 

וְהָיָה אִם-שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל-מִצְוֹתַי

Vehaya im-shamo’a tishme’u el-mitzvotay

It will be if you truly listen to the commandments

אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם,

asher Anochi metzavey etchem hayom,

that I have commanded you today,

לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְיָ אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּלְעָבְדוֹ

le’ahavah et Adonay Eloheychem ule’avdo

to love the L-rd, your G-d and to serve him

בְּכָל-לְבַבְכֶם וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁכֶם: וְנָתַתִּי

bechol-levavchem uvechol-nafshechem: Venatati

with all your heart and all your soul: then I will give

מְטַר-אַרְצְכֶם בְּעִתּוֹ יוֹרֶה וּמַלְקוֹשׁ,

metar-artzechem be’ito yoreh umalkosh,

rain to your land at the right time, early rain and late rain,

וְאָסַפְתָּ דְגָנֶךָ וְתִירֹשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ: וְנָתַתִּי

ve’asafta deganeycha vetiroshecha veyitz’harecha: Venatati

and you will collect your grains, your must and your oil: And I will give 

עֵשֶׂב בְּשָׂדְךָ לִבְהֶמְתֶּךָ וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבָעְתָּ:

esev besadecha liv’hemteycha ve’achalta vesavata:

grass in your fields to your cattle and you will eat and be satiated:

הִשָּׁמְרוּ לָכֶם פֶּן-יִפְתֶּה לְבַבְכֶם, וְסַרְתֶּם

Hishamru lachem pen-yifteh levavchem, vesartem

Guard yourselves, lest your hearts shall be seduced, and you shall go astray

וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתֶם

va’avadetem elohim acherim vehishtachavitem

and serve the Gods of others and bow 

לָהֶם:

lahem:

to them

וְחָרָה

vechara

The fury

אַף-יְיָ בָּכֶם וְעָצַר אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְלֹא-יִהְיֶה

af-Adonay bachem ve’atzar et hashamayim velo-yih’yeh

of the L-rd will be on you and will close the heavens, so that there will not be

מָטָר וְהָאֲדָמָה לֹא תִתֵּן אֶת יְבוּלָהּ,

matar veha’adama lo titen et yevulah,

rain and the earth will not render its produce,

וַאֲבַדְתֶּם מְהֵרָה מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה

va’avadetem mehera me’al ha’aretz hatova

and you will quickly disappear from the good land

אֲשֶׁר יְיָ נֹתֵן לָכֶם:

asher Adonay noten lachem:

that the L-rd gives to you:

וְשַׂמְתֶּם אֶת-דְִבָרַי אֵלֶּה עַל-לְבַבְכֶם

Vesamtem et-dvaray ele al-levavchem

Lay these My words in your heart

וְעַל-נַפְשְׁכֶם, וּקְשַׁרְתֶּם אֹתָם לְאוֹת

ve’al-nafshechem, ukshartem otam le’ot

and in your soul, and bind them as a sign

עַל-יֶדְכֶם וְהָיוּ לְטוֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֵיכֶם:

al-yedchem vehayu letotafot beyn eyneychem:

on your hands and they will be like Tfillin between your eyes:

וְלִמַּדְתֶּם אֹתָם אֶת-בְּנֵיכֶם לְדַבֵּר בָּם,

Velimadetem otam et-bneychem ledaber bam,

And teach them to your sons to speak of them,

בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ

beshivtecha beveytecha uvelechtecha vaderech uveshochbecha

while sitting in your house and while walking on your way, when lying down

וּבְקוּמֶךָ: וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל-מְזוּזוֹת בֵּיתֶךָ

uvkumecha: Uchtavtam al-mezuzot beytecha 

and when getting up: And write them on the posts of your house

וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ:

uvishe’areycha:

and of your gates:

לְמַעַן יִרְבּוּ יְמֵיכֶם וִימֵי בְנֵיכֶם

Lema’an yirbu yemeychem vimey vneychem

So that your days will multiply and the days of your children

עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְיָ לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם

al ha’adama asher nishba Adonay la’avoteychem

on this earth that the L-rd promised to your fathers

לָתֵת לָהֶם, כִּימֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם עַל-הָאָרֶץ:

latet lahem, kimey hashamayim al ha’aretz.

to give to them, will be like the days of Heaven on earth.

וַיֹּאמֶר יְיָ אֶל משֶׁה לֵּאמֹר:

Vayomer Adonay el Moshe lemor:

And the L-rd spoke to Moses to say:

דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ

Daber el bney Isra’el ve’amarta

Speak to the children of Israel and say

אֲלֵהֶם וְעָשׂוּ לָהֶם צִיצִת עַל כַּנְפֵי

aleyhem ve’asu lahem tzitzit al kanfey

to them and they shall make Tzitzit on the corners

בִגְדֵיהֶם לְדֹרֹתָם, וְנָתְנוּ עַל צִיצִת הַכָּנָף

vigdeyhem ledorotam, venatnu al tzitzit hakanaf

of their garments for all their generations, and on the Tzitzit of the corner they shall put

פְּתִיל תְּכֵלֶת: וְהָיָה לָכֶם לְצִיצִת

petil t’chelet: Vehaya lachem letzitzit

a thread of Techelet. And it shall be to you as Tzitzit

וּרְאִיתֶם אֹתוֹ וּזְכַרְתֶּם אֶת-כָּל-מִצְוֹת יְיָ

ure’item oto uz’chartem et-kol-mitzvot Adonay

and you shall see them and remember all the commandments of the L-rd

וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם, וְלֹא תָתוּרוּ אַחֲרֵי

va’asitem otam, velo taturu acharey

and fulfill them, and not seek after 

לְבַבְכֶם וְאַחֲרֵי עֵינֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר-אַתֶּם

levavchem ve’acharey eyneychem asher- atem

your heart and after your eyes, following after them

זֹנִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם: לְמַעַן תִּזְכְּרוּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶם

zonim achareyhem: lema’an tizkeru va’asitem

you would betray me: So that you will remember and fulfill

אֶת-כָּל-מִצְוֹתָי, וִהְיִיתֶם קְדֹשִׁים לֵאלֹהֵיכֶם:

et-kol-mitzvotay, viheyitem kedoshim Leloheychem:

all My commandments, and you will be holy to your G-d:

אֲנִי יְיָ אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם

Ani Adonay Eloheychem, asher hotzeyti etchem

I am the L-rd, your G-d, who led you out

מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לִהְיוֹת לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים,

me’eretz Mitzrayim lihiyot lachem Lelohim,

from Egypt in order to be your G-d,

אֲנִי יְיָ אֱלֹהֵיכֶם: אֱמֶת.

Ani Adonay Eloheychem: Emet.

I am the L-rd, your G-d: Truth.

Turmeric Cauliflower Pickles

1 small head of cauliflower, divided into small florets
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground turmeric
2½ tsp mustard seeds
2½ tsp cumin seeds
1 whole dried red chili
2 bay leaves
1¼ cups water
½ cup white wine vinegar

Place the cauliflower in a sterilized jar and sprinkle with the salt and all the spices and herbs. Cover with the water and vinegar. Seal and place on a windowsill for 2–3 days, during which time the color should deepen. Then place the jar in the fridge—the pickles are ready to eat once cold, but for full flavor wait another 2–3 days. They can last for up to a month in the fridge, but once opened they should be eaten within 2 weeks.

Inspired By: Honey & Co: At Home: Middle Eastern Recipes From Our Kitchen

Jewish History in Poland World War II and Beyond

At the start of World War II, Poland was partitioned between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact). The war resulted in the death of one-fifth of the Polish population, with 90% or about 3 million of Polish Jewry killed along with approximately 3 million Polish non-Jews. Examples of Polish gentile attitudes to German atrocities varied widely, from actively risking death in order to save Jewish lives, and passive refusal to inform on them; to indifference, blackmail, and in extreme cases, participation in pogroms such as the Jedwabne pogrom. Grouped by nationality, Poles represent the largest number of people who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.

In the postwar period, many of the approximately 200,000 Jewish survivors registered at Central Committee of Polish Jews or CKŻP (of whom 136,000 arrived from the Soviet Union) left the Communist People’s Republic of Poland for the nascent State of Israel and North or South America. Their departure was hastened by the destruction of Jewish institutions, post-war violence and the hostility of the Communist Party to both religion and private enterprise, but also because in 1946–1947 Poland was the only Eastern Bloc country to allow free Jewish aliyah to Israel without visas or exit permits. Britain demanded Poland to halt the exodus, but their pressure was largely unsuccessful. Most of the remaining Jews left Poland in late 1968 as the result of the Soviet-sponsored “anti-Zionist” campaign. After the fall of the Communist regime in 1989, the situation of Polish Jews became normalized and those who were Polish citizens before World War II were allowed to renew Polish citizenship. Religious institutions were revived, largely through the activities of Jewish foundations from the United States. The contemporary Polish Jewish community is estimated to have approximately 20,000 members, though the actual number of Jews, including those who are not actively connected to Judaism or Jewish culture, may be several times larger.

Jewish History in Poland Before World War II

The history of the Jews in Poland dates back over a millennium. For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world. Poland was the centre of Jewish culture thanks to a long period of statutory religious tolerance and social autonomy. This ended with the Partitions of Poland which began in 1772, in particular, with the discrimination and persecution of Jews in the Russian Empire. During World War II there was a nearly complete genocidal destruction of the Polish Jewish community by Nazi Germany, during the 1939–1945 German occupation of Poland and the ensuing Holocaust. Since the fall of Communism there has been a Jewish revival in Poland, characterized by the annual Jewish Culture Festival, new study programmes at Polish high schools and universities, the work of synagogues such as the Nozyk, and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

From the founding of the Kingdom of Poland in 1025 through to the early years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created in 1569, Poland was the most tolerant country in Europe. Known as paradisus Iudaeorum (Latin for “Paradise for the Jews”), it became a shelter for persecuted and expelled European Jewish communities and the home to the world’s largest Jewish community of the time. According to some sources, about three-quarters of all Jews lived in Poland by the middle of the 16th century. With the weakening of the Commonwealth and growing religious strife (due to the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation), Poland’s traditional tolerance began to wane from the 17th century onward. After the partitions of Poland in 1795 and the destruction of Poland as a sovereign state, Polish Jews were subject to the laws of the partitioning powers, the increasingly antisemitic Russian Empire, as well as Austro-Hungary and Kingdom of Prussia (later a part of the German Empire). Still, as Poland regained independence in the aftermath of World War I, it was the center of the European Jewish world with one of world’s largest Jewish communities of over 3 million. Antisemitism, however, from both the political establishment and from the general population, common throughout Europe, was a growing problem.

Château d’Amboise and Environs

Amboise is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. It lies on the banks of the Loire River, 17 miles east of Tours. Today a small market town, it was once home of the French royal court. The town of Amboise is also only about 11 miles away from the historic Château de Chenonceau, situated on the Cher River near the small village of Chenonceaux. Its former name was Ambacia, from the old name of the river and marsh Amasse.

The city is famous for the Clos Lucé manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived (and ultimately died) at the invitation of King Francis I of France, whose Château d’Amboise, which dominates the town, is located just 1,640 feet away. The narrow streets contain some good examples of timbered housing.

Just outside of the city is the Pagode de Chanteloup, a 144.4 feet tall Chinese Pagoda built in 1775 by the Duke of Choiseul. The Pagoda is seven levels high, with each level slightly smaller than the last one. An interior staircase to reach all levels is open to the public. The Musée de la Poste (in the Hôtel Joyeuse) is a museum tracing the history of the postal delivery service. A 19th-century fountain by John Oswald of a turtle topped by a teddy bear figure, standing in front of the spot where the markets are held.

Clovis I (c. 466–511) and the Visigoths signed a peace treaty of alliance here with the Arvernians in 503, which assisted him in his defeat of the Visigothic kingdom in the Battle of Vouillé in 507. Joan of Arc passed through in 1429 on her way to Orleans to the Battle of Patay.

The Château at Amboise was home to Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, for much of her early life, being raised there at the French court of Henry II. She arrived in France from Scotland in 1548, aged six, via the French king’s favourite palace at Saint Germain en Laye near Paris, and remained in France until 1561, when she returned to her homeland – sailing up the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh on 15 August that year.

Leonardo da Vinci spent the last years of his life in Amboise. Some of his inventions are still there and have not been removed. The house has lost some of its original parts, but it still stands today and has a beautiful overlook of the Loire River.