Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from my personal experiences and observations during the Israel pilgrimage tour I joined. Additional information from the official website and social media channels of the subject business is also used. This is not a sponsored article. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.
Welcome back, readers! This is the 5th chapter of my ongoing series of articles about the holy nation of Israel with recollections about the experiences and discoveries I had during the pilgrimage tour I joined with my local church (hosted by its strategic partner Behold Israel). To see my previous Israel tour articles, click here, here, here and here.
In this latest edition of my Israel 2023 series, I share with you my observations and captured images about my two visits to the popular Mahane Yehuda market in the modern section of Jerusalem. While I recently wrote about my delicious lunch at a Shakshuka joint in that market, this time I want to talk about the joint that is rich with refreshing drinks – Etrog Man – which I actually visited twice.
To put things in perspective, our group spent the final days – including the day-off – in the holy city of Jerusalem. On February 12, our tour ended in the afternoon and there was enough free time and sunlight left for me to visit the local foreign exchange joint (because I ran out of Shekels) and then make my first-ever visit to Mahane Yehuda market on foot.
Several minutes after exchanging currency at a local FOREX joint and further hiking, I finally arrived at Mahane Yehuda market which was bustling with many locals and tourists. It was a lot of fun walking around seeing the many food, drinks, souvenirs and other assorted products offered by countless sellers to customers. Watch my YouTube walk video of the market below covering the open air and roofed sections. See if you can spot Etrog Man.
My two experiences with Etrog Man
As mentioned earlier, I visited Mahane Yehuda market twice. The first time on February 12 and the second time on February 15. On each visit, I stopped by Etrog Man with the intention of buying a drink with the largest serving. I really prepared for the moment.
To be clear, I researched Mahane Yehuda market by watching lots of exploratory walk videos on YouTube and in a few of those videos, I noticed Etrog Man standing out among the many sellers as it attracted customers wanting something fresh, fruity and delicious.
Going back to February 12, 2023, it was my moment at last to be at Etrog Man’s space in the shuk and I came all the way from my native Philippines. I talked with the store handler (male, with facial hair) looking at the displayed juices with four notable flavors or variants – EtroGat, Coconut Passiofruit, Natural Berry Heaven and The Rambam’s Drink.
For my first-ever Etrog Man purchase, I chose EtroGat. In support for their business, I bought the largest serving of EtroGat at 24 Shekels and gave the store a tip. Then I finally took my first sip and instantly, I liked it! For transparency, the EtroGat’s taste was like citrus-based drinks but with a unique texture in my mouth. EtroGat, after all, was described by the business as Jerusalem’s flavor as it was composed of Etrog (a yellow citron which Israel is very blessed with and has long been part of the culture of the Jewish people especially during the Sukkot holiday), Gat and Grapefruit. This explains its taste.
Etrog is a citrus fruit among the Four Species used on Sukkot and the Holy Bible contains a possible reference about it (note: Etrog itself is not mentioned but it is believed to be the mentioned fruit of pleasing/splendid trees) in Leviticus 23:40 which reads as follows in the translations below…
And on the first day you shall take the fruit of pleasing trees [and make booths of them], branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick (leafy) trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.
Leviticus 23:40 (AMPC)
And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.
Leviticus 23:40 (ESV)
Etrog citrons are an excellent source of Vitamin C and helps in strengthening the immune system, protects the body from free radical damage and also reduces inflammation. There is a lot more to the health benefits with Etrog that I encourage you to research.
Going back to my EtroGat drink, I happily sipped more and enjoyed the taste. Taste aside, I chose EtroGat as it was formulated by Etrog Man to ease my body’s tension (note: me and my pilgrimage tour group companions had been hiking a lot for days around Israel before arriving in Jerusalem) and strengthen my digestive system. That being said, I consumed all of the content of my EtroGat drink feeling happy and got very satisfied. Back then, I knew I had to come back to Etrog Man on my planned 2nd Mahane Yehuda market visit. By the morning of February 13, the accumulated soreness on my feet was almost entirely gone and I felt reinvigorated which I believe were benefits from my EtroGat drink.
Eventually our day-off from tour came on February 15, 2023. In the morning, I hiked first to the old city of Jerusalem to visit the Temple Mount, revisit the Western Wall and went on to a few more sites before taking the long hike to Mahane Yehuda market via Jaffa Street. I even managed to stop by Tmol Shilsom where I enjoyed their special beverage – the Halva Drink. As the weather suddenly turned cold in Jerusalem as I finally returned to Mahane Yehuda, the first thing I did there was enjoying a much-needed hot meal at Shakshuka Machaneh Yehuda.
After my Shakshuka lunch, I walked around the market which was a bit more challenging as there were ever more people around. Eventually, I returned to Etrog Man and told the lady in-charge that I wanted their largest serving of the Rambam’s Drink.
After paying 24 Shekels and giving a tip, I started drinking it and I experienced this mild sweetness in my mouth. Rambam’s Drink also had this really unique texture and flavor which is I find delightful as I kept consuming it. Of all the juices or fruit-based drinks I had in my entire life, this beverage from Etrog Man was really a standout. As it turns out, the Rambam’s Drink was formulated to help the digestive system, boost the immune system and stabilize blood pressure. By the time I drank all of the Rambam’s Drink content, I was happily satisfied and felt really good.
I should also mention that Etrog Man also offers smoothies which are beverages sourced from fresh fruits that were expertly mixed and blended together to create a rich liquid for consumption. They also offer Super Bowls for those who want to eat something fresh and fruity with ingredients mixed in.
More than just refreshments – special focus on consumers’ wellness
In addition to the very delicious and healthy beverages and desserts, Etrog Man also sells other products online such as medicinal drinks and varied products of nature – Concoctions from Nature – as well. More on health, Etrog Man offers customers a Detox Program complete with specially formulated products that can be used. Going back to their store in the Mahane Yehuda market, I spotted an enclosed container with fresh fruits and some vegetables displayed. Next time I revisit Etrog Man, I will go for one of their smoothies.
Who is Etrog Man?
Based on the translated information sourced from the official website, the business was founded by the late Uzi-Eli (note: He passed away on June 2022). He was described as a medicine man and was the third generation of a family that deals in healing drinks, pharmacies and herbs. His family practiced Torah-based spiritual medicine. For decades, Uzi-Eli was reputed as a bringer of good news, remedies and recipes based on the teachings of Rambam (a Sephardic Jewish philosopher who was also a prolific Torah scholar) and ancient Yemeni medicine. Etrog Man clearly refers to Uzi-Eli and this is displayed in the business joint’s official artwork of a smiling bearded man carrying fruits.
Early in his life, Uzi-Eli realized that his vocation was in distilling the beneficial properties of medicinal plants, fruits, vegetables and spices – and distributing them to the masses. It was his intention to offer the best of nature and serve it with a lot of love. You can see more about Uzi-Eli in the YouTube video below.
Uzi-Eli was very knowledgeable about the many aspects of health which is reflected not only on the refreshing drinks of Etrog Man but also on their cosmetic products. He was a visionary and his expertise on wellness and nutrition is reflected through his business.
I can say that Etrog Man left a big and positive effect on me not only as a consumer but also as a person of faith who came to Israel to seek God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6:33) and to bless the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3) while on pilgrimage. That being said, I would love to see Etrog Man prosper not only by selling more to customers the refreshing products they are already known for but also to help more people over their specific health-related needs. The legacy of the late founder of the business remains strong and will be felt in the years to come. As such, I would not hesitate to return to Etrog Man at Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem the next time I visit Israel in the future. To those of you who are about to visit Jerusalem and the popular market place, I highly recommend you visit Etrog Man and try out their refreshing products and special items.
Visit Etrog Man’s website at https://www.etrogman.com/ and follow them on Instagram and on Facebook.
When it comes to receiving blessings from the Lord while you are in Israel, always remember that He clearly designated the land for the Jewish people. God will bless those who bless the Jewish people. That being said, always praise, honor and give thanks to the Almighty Lord. Follow the lead of the Holy Spirit so you can receive God’s plan for you with Jesus as your Lord and Savior. May the holy scriptures below enlighten you and empower your faith in the Lord.
Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (TPT)
The Lord has been mindful of us, He will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, He will bless the house of Aaron [the priesthood],
Psalm 115:12 (AMPC)
And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.”
Genesis 35:10-12 (ESV)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)
For God is one, and there is one Mediator between God and the sons of men—the true man, Jesus, the Anointed One.
1 Timothy 2:5 (TPT)
Watch out for more Israel 2023 travel articles here. There is more to come!
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