What are some characteristics of Israel's culture?


Quick Answer

The culture of Israel is closely entwined with Jewish culture and religion from ancient times, so Jewish holidays, traditions and celebrations generally characterize Israel's culture. Some important Jewish celebrations include the Sabbath, Passover and Hanukkah. Food is important to Jewish culture, due to dietary and other restrictions. For example, cooking is forbidden on the Sabbath, which is Saturday, so a stew called cholent is often simmered overnight in the oven.

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Full Answer

The other main dietary law in Jewish culture is called Kashrut, which does not allow the consumption of pork and shellfish. Another aspect of this law is not consuming meat and dairy at the same meal. Not all Israelis follow these restrictions individually, but most restaurants do. During the Passover, leavened bread is forbidden, as well as pasta. A flat, hard bread called matzoh is consumed instead.

Judaism is the national religion of Israel, and many of the laws permeate the culture. For example, a Jew cannot legally marry a non-Jew in Israel, and the couple must leave the country if they wish to marry. Divorce is technically legal but is subject to Orthodox Jewish law. According to this law, a man can forbid his ex-wife from remarrying. If she does, the courts can refuse to recognize it, and any children become illegitimate and unable to marry in Israel.

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