Thursday, November 02, 2006

A visit bythe Slonimer Rebbe

The Slonimer Rebbe: A man of such a position in the Hasidic world is really treated the same as would have been a king during biblical times
Had a story I wrote about the 500 anniversary of Jewish life in Pinsk picked up by Google yesterday. It is kind of cool when something you write gets sent back to you as an alert. I got two of them actually, one for the article in the Karlin Gazette and the other for the BEING HAD Times.

Made some pumpkin soup today. I don't know what the recipe for normal pumpkin soup is. I suppose I could find out. Just a second…

Yea, a quick look around seems to ask that people buy canned pumpkins which seems awfully silly. I mean, if you want to use canned stuff, why not just buy the canned soup and quit pretending you are cooking?

Anyway, our recipe calls for two small or one medium pumpkin. The first thing you do is to wash the pumpkin and make sure that the outside is clean and then carve away any soft spots or places that look like they have begun to get soft. You then carve the pumpkin into slices the way you would a cantaloupe and cut away the seeds. Make the slices thin enough to run through the juicer and then do so.

Pumpkin juice is pretty tasty on its own really, but I like it mixed with a little blackberry compote. But that's a different deal. Toss three litres into a pot and drop in a few diced potatoes, Brussel's sprouts and while that it heating up, sauté some onions, carrots and a little but of garlic until brown and then toss this into the soup. Add salt, pepper, chilis and whatever you normally spice your food with to taste. At this point, I like to thicken the soup with a little flour but you don't have to. Tanya mashes some potatoes to give it texture or maybe light porridge. In any case, it is absolutely super soup and a great way to get rid of your pumpkins which, like an ass, you grew forty of.

Had the
Slonimer Rebbe
as a guest at the synagogue last night and this morning. The rebbe had come to Pinsk as a stopover on the way to Slonim for the yortzite (memorial) for the original Slonimer Rabbi. The rebbe came along with 28 hasidim and had a tish (a celebratory meal) at the synagogue. Very interesting evening- a man of such a position in the Hasidic world is really treated the same as would have been a king during biblical times. Both his followers and our yeshiva boys hung on every word and action that the rav made. I must say I was also rather caught up in it all and am glad I was as it all turned out to be a rather profound experience.

I think the thing about having an opportunity to be a part of such a thing really raises your level of sensitivity for the world. The rav speaks so softly, but is held at such superhuman levels of respect, that he allows a glimpse at perfection in simply trying to listen to the man speak. As an example, after we ate last night, the rav began to speak about the original rebbe. The room became so quiet that every breaking of the piece, every opening of a door, every cough became magnifies to ten times its usual depth. But at the same time, because I had to concentrate to hard just to hear the man speak (forget that my lack of vocabulary for Yiddish and Hebrew made it all that much harder), for some reason I felt I could actually follow the stories he was telling. I could understand only a handful of words of course, but because I was focusing so hard, I could read every minor inflection of mood and so could gather moods. Wonderful experience really just as was praying amongst his followers.

In any case they are on the road to Slonim today and then will go on down to Ukraine before returning to Israel and the states.


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