Rachmanism and Macedonian Fruit Salad

Jun 14th, 2009 by admin in Spiritual Growth
Once again I was fooled by a word. I was reading as I waited for my order of Macedonian Fruit Salad and saw the word “rachmanism”. I automatically associated it with the Hebrew “Rachman” – a compassionate person. I was wrong. It means: “The exploitation and intimidation of tenants by landlords.” Once again, something proved to be the opposite of what I expected. At least I had my fruit salad for which to look forward. (In case you are wondering; it was the only selection on the menu that did not have gluten, fish, or vegetables. I am willing to eat fruit under such dire circumstances.) I have never been to Macedonia, but I, as many, associate Macedonia with Philip and his son, Alexander the Great. Hhmmm, what would make a fruit salad Macedonian? I expected large pieces of colorful fruit. There would probably be some strange fruit with potent tastes. The chef would certainly cut the pieces into the shape of swords, spears and shields. Once again, I was wrong. A Macedonian fruit salad is a regular fruit salad with chopped up melons and a few strawberries. They were fortunate that Alexander the Great wasn’t there. He definitely would not have been happy.

We often allow words to pass us by without really considering their meaning. Bitachon is one of the big ones. “I have Bitachon,” is a constant refrain. The problem is that most people have no idea what it means. In fact, Bitachon as a noun does not appear anywhere in the Bible. It is always a verb!

Everybody “knows” that Elijah shows up at a Brit Milah. Does anyone know why?

I recently asked people to list for what they had prayed during Mussaf on Shabbat. (I asked after services were over.) No one knew. They said the words, but they might as well have chanted about rachmanism and Macedonian fruit salad, for all their awareness!

I was having lunch with one of the most aware people I know. I am convinced that he has a holy soul despite his pride in being a heretic. He quickly made it clear that the topic was not for discussion. He listens carefully to the words of Torah and prayer. He treats them with great reverence. This friend, one of the most reliable people in my life, is exactly the type of person for whom I formed The Foundation Stone. I want to rid the world of Rachmanisms and Macedonian Fruit Salads. I want to fill the world with people who pay attention to the words they speak and study. Please join me. Use The Foundation Stone to ask all your questions about Judaism, Torah, Jewish Mysticism, Kabbalah, Customs and laws. Let’s develop a community of people who not only mean what they say but actually know what they are saying.