Tonight is the fifth night of Chanukkah, and I am repeating the recipe coming from one of my most favorite cities – enjoy, Beautiful People!
I have a long-standing love affair with Florence, Italy. It is my second favorite city in the world, after Yerushalayim, or course, and on par with my native Odessa. Listen to its name – Firenze! – and imagine walking, breathing, eating and drinking art. You are literally walking on art because the streets are paved with stone tablets on which apprentice sculptors practiced their technique. Stone worksheets – and rather than throwing them away, prudent florentines found an artistic solution. Florence, the cradle of Renaissance, where Jews were invited, welcomed, and protected as savvy financial partners by Cosimo de Medici, the famous merchant prince who managed the papal finances.
Since the 14th century, Jews in Florence linked their fortune to the House of Medici. When the fanatical monk Savonarola blamed the Jews for the plague epidemics – what’s new, right? – Medici’s protected the Jews. Conversely, when the Medici’s themselves…
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