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Israeli street food – the magnificent and humble boureka

The square shape of the bourekas tells us that they are filled with a potato filling One does not have to spend a long time in Israel to get your first introduction to a boureka. These savory stuffed pastries are everywhere You'll find them for breakfast in hotel dining halls, in countless bakeries and coffee shops, on picnics and even at restaurants that only serve bourekas. They are often eaten in Israeli homes as part of a 'light' or diary meal in the evenings. (Most households in Israel usually serve the large cooked meal at lunchtime.) More often than not, bourekas are also an integral part of the wonderful Friday or Shabbat brunch table. To be really honest however, you basically eat a boureka whenever you encounter one. They are that irresistible. If you stop to grab a quick coffee at a coffee shop, the comforting smell of the bourekas will convince you to upgrade to a 'café ve'ma afe' (coffee + pastry). Wandering through street markets, the sight of fres

The Judas Tree of Israel

A Purple Judas tree

A month or so after the almond blossoms are gone, the beautiful flowers of the Judas tree show up in loud purple glory in Israel.

These trees are often planted by municipalities to brighten up sidewalks. But I have also noticed them next to roads and high-ways. This has made me wonder if  the Israeli road workers say to themselves:

"You know, an unexpected Judas tree will look so cool around this bend of the road. Let's plant a tree here to brighten up drivers' trip." Err...not likely!

I think it is more reasonable to argue that the seeds of the Judas tree seem to like to take root in earth that has been disturbed by roadworks. Maybe that is the reason why they always seem to grow next to the road. I am keeping my eyes open, but I have not yet came across a wild Judas tree that grows in a forest or open field.

A close-up of the Judas tree's flowers
Which brings me to its odd Hebrew name. In Hebrew, the Judas tree is called: חליל החורש which means something like "lightness of the forest". Lightness like in the opposite of heavy. This is actually a beautiful name because the tree's wonderful purple color seems to have a lightness about it. But it is not really a forest growing tree. (But maybe I am wrong).

But one can also argue that the name Judas tree is not that approppiate either. Wikipedia says that people wrongly believe the tree got this name because it is thought that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from a Judas tree. It is more likely that the tree got it name from the French "Arbre de Judee" or tree of the Judea area. Anyway, who would hang himself from such a beautiful tree?

I personally think these trees should be called Priscillas. Isn't that a much more fitting name to such an extravagant purple tree? :)


  1. I agree. Priscilla is such a pretty name and those trees are so pretty. They look like beautiful women in their finest. Nice blog!

  2. Thanks for the information. My Girl Scout Tree badge is of no value here with different flora, so I appreciate every chance I can get to learn.

  3. You have one mistake though... "חליל" doesn't mean " light"- it means 'flute",
    The word, " קליל,- means "light" or "easy".

    1. The correct name is כליל החורש 😄


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