Bread and wine define a landFrance and California may have bigger reputations when it comes to wine, but you cannot discount Israel, where wine reputedly has been produced for millennia.
The Bible says scouts sent to the Promised Land of Israel brought back a cluster of grapes to Moses as a symbol of bounty. Wine makes up a substantial part of Israeli culture, as the country’s Babylonian Talmud cites, “When wine goes in, secrets come out.” The Book of Psalms also refers to “wine that maketh glad the heart of man.”
Currently in Seoul, the Embassy of Israel is featuring an exhibition on the meaning of wine in culture. In conjunction with the Israel Archaeological Authority, dozens of items on the subject are on display until next Thursday on the first floor of the National Library of Korea in Banpo-dong, southern Seoul. The exhibition, which opened yesterday, also deals with bread, another important part of Israeli culture; hence the event’s name: “Bread and Wine.” Admission is free of charge.
Uzi Manor, Israel’s ambassador to Korea, said, “Culture is important in order to understand a country. By bringing exhibitions like this one, I’d like to present a different aspect of Israeli culture to Korea.”
Mr. Manor added that he decided to make this exhibit more unusual by focusing on bread and wine, which contain the essence of Israeli culture. Bread and wine are quintessential symbols of abundance, blessing and the cycle of life.
Remaining true to its title, the exhibit presents a variety of pertinent items. Explanations for each are given in both English and Korean.
On opening day, a charcoal oven used to bake Israeli flatbread attracted the most attention. It came along with a recipe in English and a “Beteavon” in Hebrew, which means bon appetit.
Other items on display include bread stamps in a wave shape, and a variety of wine saucers and cups in the shape of a human face and a winged horse. Other Israel-related items are presented at the exhibit, including a menorah and a replica of an ancient Torah scroll.
by Chun Su-jin
The National Library of Korea can be best reached from Seocho station on subway line No. 2. Take exit No. 5 and walk about 10 minutes in the opposite direction of the Supreme Court. The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The library closes on Monday. For more information, call the library at (02) 590-0586 or the embassy at (02) 739-8666.