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Sabich Zvi: The man who gave birth to an Israeli street food icon

TJI Pick
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Published: 18 January 2018

Last updated: 4 March 2024

RINA HALABI SITS on a tall stool in the kitchen peeling hundreds of hard-boiled eggs. Since she lost her husband, Sabich Zvi, five years ago, she has made it a habit to come every morning to the family’s sabich stand, which first opened in the early 1960s, to peel eggs or prepare the vegetable salad.

“Our first stand was in Bar-Ilan Park at 60 Uziel Street, Ramat Gan,” she says, a wistful look in her eyes as she thinks of her late husband. He was born in Baghdad in 1938, made aliya in the early 1950s and died in 2012.

“Sabich was working in an iron molding factory when he saw a small kiosk an elderly couple had put up for sale for key money. The kiosk was opposite the last stop of the Number 63 bus, and drivers and ticket-sellers used to buy bourekas and wafers and drinks.

“The drivers told Sabich they wanted something more substantial to eat, and he asked me to give him the leftover brown eggs from Shabbat. Like every Iraqi family, we ate a traditional breakfast of brown eggs that were cooked on top of the tebit – chamin – together with fried eggplant and salads. We ate the same thing back in Iraq.”

FULL STORY The Story behind an iconic Israeli street food: The sabich (Haaretz)

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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