international dining etiquette
Dining etiquette for toasts. The traditional toast is "I' chayim eto life").
Dining etiquette for utensils. Westem utensils are used throughout Israel, and dining is done the Continental way, with fork in the left hand and knife in the right.
Dining etiquette for seating. The host sits at the head of the table, with the hon¬ored guest seated next to the host. In Orthodox homes, men and women may dine in separate areas, or at different times.
Dining etiquette and religious laws. Remember that religious Israelis have strict dietary laws.
The left hand is considered unclean in the arab world. Among arabs, always eat with the right hand only. Even if you are left-handed, eat with your right hand.
Never invite your hosts to socialize on the Sabbath or during any other Jewish festival without inquiring beforehand as to whether they are religious.
Always assume, unless you are told otherwise, that your hosts observe kashrut (the eating of kosher food). This means that certain items are taboo, such as pork and shellfish, as is the mixing of milk and meat products. After eating meat, don't ask for butter for your bread or cream for your coffee.
- Mike Lininger, Editor, Etiquette Scholar
If you find any typographical errors, inaccuracies, or inconsistencies, or if you just have something to add, please email us.