Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shabbos Gedempte Hin (boiled shabbat meal)

Here is a recipe for the shabbat brunch meal (seudah shniya)

One whole plump chicken
3 Tblsp olive oil
3 tblsp canola oil
5 medium onions
5 medium potatoes
1 cup kasha
1cup hummus beans (soaked overnight)
4 cloves garlic
black pepper , paprika, cumin

photo by Isramom
1-heat oil in  a large pot

2-cut up 2 onions and fry them until golden, add the garlic chopped

3- brown the chicken in the same pot on all sides- remove the chicken

4-stir in and lightly fry the the kasha

5- stuff the kasha and onion mixture in the cavity of the chicken and sew it closed

6-place excess kasha in the pot and put the chicken in

7-place the hummus beans, potatoes and onions around the chicken

8- add water to cover 2/3 of the chicken

9- bring to a boil then place on a shabbat hotplate to cook slowly overnight

            Feeds six  ( or four kineinhurra good eaters!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Post-Pesach HH

Go visit Frume Sarah's World where she posted the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival and see what's going on in the Israeli/Jewish blogsphere.

Click here.

Remembering Chaim-Memorial Day 5770

I wonder how he would have looked today. Would he be like me, hair grey and thinning, on the heavy side, looking all of his 59 years? Would he have turned out to be a Torah  scholar? A professor? Maybe a doctor?
I'll never know, because 40 years ago Chaim Rosenblum HY"D was killed on the bank of the Suez Canal.

I wish I had a picture of him, but It doesn't matter. I remember him as if we had just seen each other this morning. He was a fresh faced kid just a year out of  yeshiva high school. We had just finished basic training. Since we were in the N. A. CH. AL (Fighting Pioneering Youth) brigade, we were sent to a new settlement in the lower Jordan Valley. Our job was to patrol the border with Jordan and prevent Al Fatah terrorists from infiltrating.  We did a pretty good job along with reserve forces in our sector killing 13 in the first two months, mostly in night ambushes. But this was spring '70 and the real action was in the "war of attrition" with the Egyptians. This was a static war, the two armies dug in on either side of the Suez  Canal. Over 30 soldiers were killed there since the beginning of the year. From June our unit had to send a certain number of men to the Canal to reinforce the reservists who were stationed there. Who would go was determined by lot. When the name  of one of the guys who wasn't in training with us came up, he said that he had a personal problem, that his only sister was getting married the next week and his leave had already been approved. Everyone knew that this didn't matter, all leaves were cancelled for those who were picked to go to the Canal. Then Chaim stood up and said that he would go in his place. Our commanding officer looked at him and asked if he was sure that he wanted to do this. Chaim said that sure, if he could help this guy, why not? Some of us tried to talk him out of it. Why should he put himself in such danger for someone he hardly knew? It wasn't as if we weren't doing our part where we were. I should explain that Chaim was no gung-ho macho type always looking for action, Just the opposite. He was quiet and spent most of his free time learning Torah.  In the end his request was approved and Chaim left the settlement for the Canal.

Our guys were assigned to a lookout built on a bluff above the canal. Their job was to spot the muzzle flashes of the Egyptian artillery and report back so that air strikes could be called in. They were told that if the shells fell within the perimeter of their position they should get down into a fortified dugout called the "rabbit hole" One night soon after he arrived Chaim was in the lookout, manning the telescope when the barrage began. The shells started falling closer but Chaim couldn't see where they were coming from. When the the shells started coming closer the others in the position yelled at Chaim that he should get into the dugout but he said that now he could see the flashes, he had to call them in ! Two minutes later the ground shook as a shell exploded 20 meters from the lookout. When Chaim didn't come into the dugout the others went to the lookout to see what happened to him. They found him unconscious on the floor.a shard of shrapnel had hit him behind the ear and penetrated his brain. He died before he could be evacuated to a hospital.

  I have asked myself many times, why him? Although it might sound like a cliché, he was the best of us. I can only say that his death in defense of Israel makes me look at myself and think: have I, in my life, lived for the things he and all the others died for? We all have a lot to live up to.

So  along with the people of Israel who remember all the thousands who have fallen, I will remember Chaim.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Passover of the generations

There are two different Passovers. One is Pesach Mitzraim, the historical Pesach as described in the torah. The other is Pesach dorot, the Passover of the generations, as celebrated by the Jews to remember that first Passover in Egypt.Until the destruction of the temple the central feature of Passover was the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb and the family feast. Today we have the Seder where we fulfill the mitzvah "And you will tell (vehigaditta) your son on that day saying" and the sages of the Talmud explained, when should you tell him? When the matza and maror are before him.. It is at this time and with these symbols that one generation passes on to the next the story of the Exodus from Egypt.

. Some of the fondest memories of my childhood are of  our family's sedarim. These were family gatherings where all the aunts and uncles and cousins got together for a big feast. The theme was - Pharaoh tried to destroy us, God saved us - LETS EAT! The kids would compete to see who could eat a spoonful of chrain without smoke coming out of his ears, there would be once a year foods like charoset, hard boiled eggs in salt water and knaidlach, and of course "hide the afikoman. Not an uplifting religious experience, more an ethnic festival. Actually one of the things that sticks in my mind is my uncle Max, a staunch Socialist (maybe even a COMMIE, although no one would say it out loud) .He explained to me how the Passover story was really a saga of the struggle of the workers who had been enslaved by the ruling classes. He might have said something about Moses and Lenin but I cant really remember, I was only 8 or 9 at the time.

This year my son Efi decided that it was about time for him to make a Seder of his own. My parents also made the trip from Philadelphia and we all made the trip south to Mitzpeh Ramon. Later as I looked around the table it struck me. Here we were four generations; my father myself, Efi and his son Oz. It also struck me that we were all bechorim, first born sons. Had we been in Egypt the angel of death would have passed over us as he struck down the first born of Egypt. I had the almost palpable feeling that besides the four generations at the table there were other former generations with us.My father in law Abe alav hashalom who passed away ten years ago on the eve of  Pesach had the nachas of his namesake Oz-Avraham asking questions about the Haggadah. And maybe the spirit of David Fenster who I am named after. He was a frimmer Yid and I wonder if in his lifetime he dreamed that his progeny would be sitting around the seder table in the Negev mountains in the Yiddishe medinah singing the same "chad gadya" that he brought over from Europe to America. And over their shoulders all the genereations from a thousand years in Europe and before, back to the second temple and the first exile , and the first temple all the way back to that first Pesach in Egypt.

The cycle of exile and redemption has in this unbroken chain of generations come full circle.On the seventh day of Pesach we had seudat mashiach. He hasn't come yet, but I believe that at the seder we could hear him knocking at the door