Posted by: gruvenreuven | August 3, 2009

A Lesson in Cholent

CholentA story from our Shabbos Tisch last Shabbos:

The Rosh Yeshiva was addressing his graduating class for the last time. For many of them, this would be the last time they would see the Rabbi, and were eager to hear his final address.

Instead of an inspiring lecture, the Rosh Yeshiva pulled out a Crock Pot and informed the class that he was going to teach them one of life’s the most valuable lessons…. How to make Cholent.

(Cholent is a traditional Jewish stew simmered overnight, for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on the Sabbath. Cholent was developed over the centuries to conform with Jewish religious laws that prohibit cooking on the Sabbath. The pot is brought to boil on Friday before candle lighting, and placed in a slow oven or electric crock pot until the following day.)

From under the desk, the Rosh Yeshiva pulled out a bag of chopped potatoes and filled the Crock Pot with them. “So Class”, the Rosh Yeshiva inquired “Is the pot full?”. The class nodded in affirmation. “Lo Nachon!” (Not true) the Rosh Yeshiva announces as he begins to pour 2 cups of Beans between the potatoes in the Crock Pot.

Again the Rosh Yeshiva inquired “Nu, so is the crock pot filled?”. Again, most of the class responds in affirmation. “Lo Nachon!” the Rosh Yeshiva loudly announces banging his fist on the table. The Rosh Yeshiva then proceeded to pour in a couple of cups of Barley and a bottle of Barbeque sauce. “And Now?” he asks the class.

At this point the class sees the clock pot is pretty packed, but not knowing where their Rebbe is going with this lecture remains quite. The Rosh Yeshiva announces again. “Lo! Still not filled” as he fills the crock pot to the brim with water and places the cover on the crock pot. “Now class, is the Cholent Pot filled?” he inquired.

The class is now certain that the pot is filled. “Wrong again!” announces the Rebbe as he turns the crock pot on adding heat.

When we go out into the world each day, we think our lives are brimming to the top with our commitments; Our Jobs, Our Families, the Kids, the bills, our community commitments. We need to learn the lesson of the Cholent pot, and that there is always room in the day to squeeze out for Torah Study & Mitzvot. Not only that, but we need to remember to do so with warmth and kindness. That is the key to a truly tasty & filling life!

Gruven Reuven’s Tasty Cholent Recipe – Serves our family of 4
(Start 3 hours before Shabbos)
1 cup lentil beans
1 cup kidney beans
2 cups partially cooked brown rice (Place in Bag, Sits on top Cholent inside crock pot)
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1-2 Chopped red oniosn
4-6 cubed potatoes
Half a bottle of BBQ sauce
Spices.. yeah, whatever we feel like at the time
5 cups water

Mix thoroughly and cook in crock pot on low until after you get home from Shul.


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