Friday, March 7, 2008


Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm told us, the Shluchim at YHSTC, a nice story. So here goes. As everyone knows, the eating of the egg and onion dish on Shabbos is extremely important. The Divrei Chaim of Sanz had an odd custom. When it came time for this special part of the meal, eggs and onions would be brought out, and the Rebbe himself would prepare the dish; cracking, peeling, and mashing the eggs, and peeling, cutting, and dicing the onions, doing all that was necessary to make eggs and onions (I'm not sure what his recipe was exactly, but I assume that he was classy and didn't use mayo).
Once a Misnaged came for Shabbos, and observing this strange performance asked, "Why are you doing this yourself? Aren't you aware that the laws of preparing food on Shabbos are extremely complex? Wouldn't it be better for the kitchen staff to do this?" The Divrei Chaim responded, "That's exactly why I do it myself, to make sure that the preparations are done correctly."
The next week, a Chassidishe guy came to visit, and he too was perplexed by the behavior of the Rebbe. He asked, "Why do you bother yourself to prepare the eggs and onions? Wouldn't it be easier to just have the people in the kitchen do it for you?"
The Rebbe answered, "Do you know of the incredible things that go on in heaven when the eggs and onions are made? I want to do this myself, because it's so great."
The next week a simple Jew came to to town, and he also wondered. Again the Rebbe was asked why he bothered, and this time, he answered, "You know, there's only one way to really make a good egg and onion dish, and I want to make sure that it comes out right, so I do it myself."

What's the point? The Rebbe got the same question three times, and he answered it in three different ways. When a Rebbe does something, and he says a reason, that's not necessarily the only reason. In fact, there are probably many reasons for his behavior. Just because you don't know them, or he didn't tell you, doesn't mean they don't exist. And if you're dumb enough to go against the Rebbe, then you better be prepared to suffer the consequences. (OK, so Rabbi Wilhelm didn't exactly say that last bit, but it was implied).

In response to what happened yesterday in Jerusalem, what can I say? Yeah, it's terrible. Yeah, the Israeli government will do nothing about it. What else is there to say?


e said...

That's a really wise story, with a very wise lesson.

le7 said...

Nice story. Egg and onion. Never experienced it myself. Well a few times at my current landlady but not as a separate course.

Just like a guy said...

If it's yom tov you can just make a nice omelet.