יום שלישי כ"א בחשון תש"פ 19/11/2019
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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Place

  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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In I got It!

Sadducee – style Cuisine: ‘Cholent’ and ‘Borscht’

A traditional Shabbos delicacy; a spicy dish for Pesach: two vital components in the fierce war against the heretic Kariites and Sadducees of centuries ago

N. Leiberman 12/10/2009 09:35

The ancient and mouth-watering dish prepared in honor of Shabbos – known today as ‘Chamin’, or ‘Cholent’, originates from a custom enacted by Sages of previous generations in their valiant attempt to ward off the scourge of the Kariites and Sadducees – deniers of the oral law. Likewise, the custom of preparing ‘Borscht’ (a sour beetroot soup) in honor of Pesach was instated for this very reason.

These and many other customs were introduced as part of the ongoing crusade against the classes of Sadducees and Kariites that plagued the Jewish communities in the earlier centuries. The danger they presented was tenfold, as to all appearances they behaved like regular Jews and there was no outward sign that these were people to be wary of. In this way the Sadducees and their followers succeeded in thrusting their talons deep into the heart of the nation.

Chazal armed themselves for war against these groups by forming a barrier between them and the community at large. This was in the form of customs that diametrically opposed the evil Sadducees’ philosophies, and clearly demarked the fallacy in their reasoning. At the same time they also annulled a number of widely practised customs, which might have been used by the Sadducees as proof that their opinions were correct.

Thus was born the ‘Chamin’, which derives from the word ‘Cham’ – hot. The Sadducees claimed that the verse in Shemos 35:3 “You shall not kindle a fire in all your dwellings on the day of Shabbos”, actually means that it is prohibited to leave a fire burning in one’s home on Shabbos. This is not in fact the true meaning of the Halacha, and the ingenious invention of the ‘Cholent’, which is eaten hot on Shabbos morning, declares loud and clear that a fire was burning throughout Shabbos to keep it warm.

The custom of eating Borscht on Pesach proclaims a similar idea. In this case the evil Sadducees and their cohorts expounded on the verse from Shemos 12:20 – “For seven days leaven may not be found in your homes… all leavened bread (‘machmetzes’) you may not eat”. They claimed that the word ‘machmetzes’ does not refer to Chametz, which is bread that has been left to rise for more than eighteen minutes; rather it means ‘sour’ – and therefore maintained that the consumption of sour foods on Pesach is prohibited.

To counter this distorted reasoning, Chazal enacted the custom of eating Borscht on Pesach, which is a soup made of sour beets. The name ‘Borscht’ derives from the phonetic transliteration of the Russian word for beetroot.