PAGES | 081219 | Everyone is looking for Moses – Page from Ben Elton’s novel Two Brothers.
Moses, there he is again!
I am reading Two Bothers by (my) literary hero Ben Elton. Above a picture I took from a page that struck me. Everyone is looking for Moses resonated the story I was told when in Brooklyn New York last October.
As a participant of an AIRBNB experience, I visited the Hassidic Jewish Community under the wings of rabbi Yoni Katz, who in his passion to unite people showed us his hood, like a prince of bell air. He carried the role of entertainer and matchmaker well, I could see a Hassidic show host in the making.
A community which we normally don’t get to see now opened up to a colourful group of visitors.
We saw a wigmaker’s parlor – amazing slinky goddesses work here, in full make-up and attire, long full wigs, high heeled boots and tight skirts – , a calligrapher’s studio where ancient Thora’s were restored – the little black boxes the men wear when praying a special prayer were made here: it’s a mini library, a petite version of Thora scripture folded inside – , a bakery, a suit maker, a hat maker, past market stalls selling posters of a saint rabbi to the synagoge – known as the 770 Eastern Parkway and it’s radiostation in the back – live from Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters. A famous radioman sat in the back and when his leg was pulled by Yoni, he defended himself proudly with his statement he hadn’t just sat there all these years, he had 8 children and 32 grandchildren. That shut us up 😉
After having warmed up to the community, we were taken to a side street to visit ‘an ordinary home’.
This was the home of Yoni’s mother-in-law and it was obviously a headquarter. A long table in the room, dressed for tea, a gallery of photo’s all around, many portraits of old men looking like rabbi’s. The women were invited into the kitchen which seemed a bit strange at first, but Yoni’s mother-in-law explained the basics of kosher cooking and the need to keep the food separated. So two fridges, two sinks, two ovens, two cookers.
Kosher cooking is strict, there are rules called Laws, food had to be prepared according to a certain ritual. Only then it can be consumed. They have one bin.
“What if you make a mistake?” someone wanted to know.
Then you go back to where you think you went wrong and you can ask Moses.
We didn’t understand.
Turns out there is an online Moses – the biblical figure leading the Jews out of Egypt, setting them free – a place where they can ask for help, in situations like this as well.
I looked it up
What would Moses do? -Askmoses.com
Moses, the Blues Brother.
(It took too long before he came back to me, I shut it down.)