A thought...

While preparing a shiur on Davar Charif (Yoreh Deah 96) (Spicy food, combined with the pressure of a knife which renews a dormant taste in the knife, ie: cutting an onion with a meat knife, makes the onion like it was just cooked with meat) I had the following thought...

The Halacha states that it is the pressure of the knife which brings out the taste, and sharpness which makes the food absorb.
Many times we have thoughts and feelings of greatness which lie dormant within our hearts and minds. We need something to renew these thoughts. We need a "knife," whose movement back and forth, which reminds us, Razto Vashov, whether running or returning, whether we feel like life in moving forward, or we're moving backwards, Hashem loves us and wants us to be Jews in whatever situation we find ourselves in. We need a Davar Charif to open our hearts, sharp thought, or vort to renew our thoughts, feelings and yearnings for Kedusha.


Mazal tov!!!

Mazal tov to RRRR members Akiva Ben Canaan and MachineGunFodder for obtaining smicha from a well known orthodox rabbinical seminary! Go forth, ye shepherds, spread the light of the RRRR to our growing flock, and enjoy your newfound parsonage rights!


Field Report: Rebbe Reichman Purim Seuda

The post-seuda-seuda (PSS) began in total, pitch-black darkness.

We warmed things up with the decanting of several bottles of yayin and the ceremonial roasting of a portion of meat. BergMD used his torch to light the candles scattered throughout the apartment. Yitz Shady tuned up our instruments, and we began playing and singing a new Yitz Shady joint set to drop soon on Itunes with the working title "Baruch Ata Hashem" (feat. Danimal). We were soon joined by Cave dweller Basil, Maharuthie, and Professor Lichtenstein, and got things moving with a rousing chorus of Canaan Land which the Frymans told us they could hear from the street. We were clearly off to a good start. At some point during this portion of the seuda, teleconferences were held with Rabbi Machine Gun Fodder at the UMaryland Hillel, and Rabbi Akiva Ben Canaan and the choir of the school-children of the Young Israel of Staten Island (aka Staten "Lion"). On a stop-over on his way from a conference in Vienna to a conference in Finland, highly regarded Professor Benny Von Bennyboy Refa (nee Sgan) Kohanim (Ph.D in Wii Tennis from the University of Heidelberg, currently doing post-graduate work in "creative uses of the Front Guy") was still riding the high from the celebration of his bar mitzvah earlier in the day, at which he lit thirteen candles to celebrate the occasion.

And then a startling, almost shocking thing happened.

In response to last-minute, random text messages and voicemails (in addition to the shining of the Rebbe symbol into the clear night sky from the roof of the Bennett building), on his way from Medzibuzh to Wolffson to Breslov, Rebbe Reichman's purim caravan was able to make a stop at our seuda. Some local residents were recruited to keep the horses well fed with oats, bananas and oranges, and to keep the revolutionary chariot oiled and ready to fight the Amalekites and snags (and any overlap between the two categories), while Rebbe graced us with his presence. After sweeping the apartment for bugs, and being given the "all clear" by Rebbe's advance revolutionary guard detail, we ushered Rebbe into the seuda to a rousing 20 minute (ie- abbreviated) version of the RRRR Victory Niggun, in all three of its glorious parts (the third part having been revealed to Rebbe years after the first two parts). Rebbe promptly took the helm, led us in song, shared some very special purim related teachings, and offered his bracha that we should all meet very soon at the eastern gate of the holy third temple for a meat (korban) breakfast at 10 am, in 30 years from now. All felt touched by his presence. Rebbe's special guest, Rabbi G______ (if you remember his name, please post it in comments), told of his experiences with Reb Shlomo on the Moshav, and drew comparisons between the concepts of Shushan and Shoshan. As shabbos was about to begin, we prayed Kabbalat Shabbat, and also, at Rebbe's request, shook the (already shaky) Bennett building with a 30-40 minute version of Reb Shlomo's harachaman, and the niggun nevo, with YD, Yitz Shady, Chef Lasher and Danimal on guitar, and Bennyboy on Ukelele. As Bennyboy was celebrating his bar mitzvah, lechaim's were made in his honor, and a ceremonial bar mitzvah pen was gifted to him. Dr. Mark the Spark offered brilliant and meandering kabbalistic truths which bypassed the brain and went straight into the heart via the carotid artery. Herr Professor Butler proceeded to (literally) telephone every Michael Shapiro in the phone book in an ambitious and bold effort to cut through the red tape and finally track down the increasingly elusive, little known god of 1970's- 1980's jewish folk music, Michael Shapiro. Herr Prof. Butler's opening line on the telephone: (uttered with a mixture of childlike excitement and fearful trembling) "is this the home of the spiritual master and guru named Michael Shapiro? May we speak with him? May we wish him a good purim?", may not have been the best way to accomplish this goal.

We knew we had attained new levels when Willie, our holy superintendent, breached our first line of defenses (a row of sandbags placed ten meters from the door), and even got past our sentry (BergMD, who, appropriately, due to the high concentration of "high value" revolutionary targets, kept the door chained and bolted at all times). Holy Super Willie told us the ceiling of the apartment under us was caving in, and we must stop our jumping. With renewed zeal and vigor we (politely) sent Willie on his way and continued our seuda as before. Sporadic shouts of "good purim" and "Rebbe Reichman" could be heard throughout the walled city of Washington Heights, from the 34th Precinct (admittedly, a building which several members of the RRRR have had occassion to visit on Purim in years past) all the way to the fine cheese section of Frank's Marketplace. From Cabrini to Amsterdam, from Maitland to Lark Street, from Liget's piet a terre on the French Riviera to Liget's underground "coffee import" plant in the jungles of Nicaragua, shouts of "good purim" could be heard by the populace.

We give thanks to Hashem, and to Rebbe Reichman, and to Rabbi G_______, and to a very holy cast of characters, all friends and associates of the revolution, and several (perhaps unwitting) recruits to the revolution's growing sisterhood. A very partial list of those who made our seuda special: Godfather Dash, Maharuthie, Basil the cave dweller, Yitz Shady, Mark the Spark and Treelana Kurzman, BergMD, Dassi the Rocket Scientist, Type Bee Rivkie, Chad, Elie, Ariela, Guru YB, and many many others we may not have had the mental clarity to make note of.

May the energy of this year's purim take us through to next year's purim in health, happiness, joy, and success in all of our revolutionary endeavours. And may we slay many Amalekites along the way.