Wednesday, November 08, 2006

שתי תפריטות-Two menus: A Hassidic Feast and A Nativ 26 Kibbutz Feast

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in two feasts, one for the soul and the other for the body! This afternoon, in Hassidut class, our teacher Rabbi Dr. Pesach Schindler brought in an exciting Hassidic drash on the beginning of this week’s Parashah of Vayera from the Sfat Emet, a mid 19th century Rabbi of the Ger Hassidim. The reason that I describe this week’s class in particular as a feast is that because of complexity of the particular D’var Torah, Reb Pesach gave us a סדר, or menu of rabbinic texts to help us prepare for the actual d’var Torah. We started with an appetizer of a Midrash from Bereshit (Genesis) Rabbah, which commented on God’s appearance to Abraham immediately following his Brit Milah, and because of this juxtaposition, interprets that the circumcision removed a spiritual barrier between himself and God. For the salad, we read an assortment of verses from Bereshit, Devarim and Iyov (Job) which would later help us in our understanding of the actual d’var torah. As the soup course, we were given a passage from the Zohar (one of the most important Kabbalistic texts, and not the Madonna type). It described the tradition that Avraham was tested ten times and that he passed them because of the great boundless love he held for God. We then finally reached the main course, the Sfat Emet’s drash on Vayera, where he brings the concept described in the Midrash to a new level when he suggests that by going through circumcision, a Jew rises to a higher spiritual level and also emends the first word, Vayera, he appeared to Vayar, he saw, to give a beautiful message that God looks upon the actions of his creations and is always watching over them. For dessert, we sang one of our favourite hassidic niggunim, מהרה ישמע, M’heira Yishama!

Every Tuesday night our kibbutz subgroup of Nativ holds erev Nativ where we participate in an activity as a group in order to bond and spend quality time together. For this week, we had a blast preparing a gourmet dairy dinner for ourselves. We split into 5 groups to make the different courses, and I, along with my friends Emily, Sarah, Yosef and Andy were assigned to prepare a green side dish. To make it even more fun, we were given a few minutes to make up a recipe, and then 70å to buy the ingredients at the SuperSol across the street. We ended up making a vegetable stir fry, and purchased onions, mushrooms, peppers, baby corn, and soy sauce. We got back to Beit Nativ, and hit the kitchen, where with the background of my music collection the five of us started chopping up the vegetables. We then stir-fried them up with some soy-sauce, and it was delicious. At 8:45, the 28 of us sat down to a royal feast of tuna-noodle casserole, salad, vegetable stir-fry, tabouleh, quinoa salad, and brownies for dessert. There’s no better way to bring a group of people together than over cooking and eating, and this was especially true here.


AdamG said...

Hey Gabe, your little bro told me about this blog at the Kadima opening program.

Fall Convention was last weekend. It was fun but your Torah reading prowess was certainly missed.

Enjoy your time in Eretz Yisrael!

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