Monday, June 04, 2007

When a tsadik comes to town...

The new sefer torah
I admit to being more than a little tired right now. Was out at the dacha today and did a credible job of trying to keep the place in order. But the phrase "It's a jungle out there" must have been coined by a Belarusian dachnic.

The thing about large scale gardening is that you have to understand what you are doing and make sure that you plan your actions. As a for instance: planting. You of course need to know when thing go in the ground, but more so, you need to know how they are going to act once they are in the ground. And this not only counts for the stuff you grow, but also the weeds that insist on living alongside what you plant. We have had some freaky weather and this has led to a real abundance of weeds. As a result, today I managed to clean about fifty meters in the first hour and then 10 meters during the next five. The difference being how hard the land had gotten.

In the first area, because we did a pretty good job of digging out the grass ahead of time, all that was necessary to do was to move the stick around, undermining the new growth and soften the top soil and all was fine. And the latter group, the grass had already taken and therefore more serious digging needed to be done with a larger instrument, much harder and less comfortable work and worse, it will be the norm until the end of the year.

Basically we are looking at this year being a rehabilitation year for the land. We are going to use some chemical weed killers, remove a coup[ld of older trees and add some new one (would have done it this year but, surprise surprise, no money. And hopefully next year will be a bit easier.


Mentioned that the Karliner Rebbe came to Pinsk yesterday. I went out to the synagogue and waited a bit for his arrival. When he first came into the synagogue I was on the other side of the room standing next to Mathis Gilbert, the 18-year-old who just raised $50,000 for a new Torah. The rebbe seemed happy to see the both of us which was very nice. All of the boys from the Beis Aharon scchool were on their best behavior and were extremely impressive during Ma'ariv making the Shema like soldiers, the acoustics in the soon to be rebuilt Kirova synagogue making it sound even bigger.

While walking between synagogues, Mattis and I agreed that it is true that a town feels different when a tsadik arrives.

I missed any speeches which were made again because of being out at the dacha. You could probably argue that I had my priorities mixed up and you would probably be right. I shook the Rebbe's hand and apologized that I couldn't be there. He didn't seem to take it hard.

One of the rabbis later asked me why I didn't ask for a blessing from the Rebbe. I asked if it was wrong to simply offer a warm welcome and to wish the man good health. He said that I missed an important chance and should have asked for a blessing for this beinghad enterprise; I should ask for success and recognition. The truth is that the thought never occurred to me that I should. I know I am not the best dacha farmer in the world but obviously I am far worse at orthodox Judaism.

But you know it is true, the town does feel different when a tsadik comes for a visit, no matter how brief a time it is.

Probably you will find a better account of the Rebbe's visit on the Karlin Gazette in a few days.

More soon…