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In this Turkish Cuisine video, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik talks about Turkish cuisine and culture.
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Rabbi Joseph Potasnik Talks about Turkish Cuisine and Culture
Janine Aloisi: We’ll get back to Jennifer’s Kitchen in a moment. Next I’d like you to meet Rabbi Joseph Potasnik who’s a member of the New York Board of Rabbi’s. We had a very meaningful interview with him. And he also spoke some interesting things about Asure in Turkish Culture.
Joseph Potasnik: My name is Joseph Potasnik a rabbi, Executive Vice President of the New York Core of Rabiis, this is the largest we call interdenominational organization of its kind in the Rubinic World which means we have rabbis of all the different branches of Jewish life orthodox, conservative reform, reconstructions and somehow we find vocabulary for all people to part to each other even though there are different approaches religion for example there are those who believe that the Torah, the bible came from God and there are others who believer that came from human beings and regardless of what your belief is we say there has to be a place where people can discuss the differences with one another without destroying each other without denigrating each other and this is that address.
It’s interesting that here you are observing Asure and the word eser in Hebrew is 10, now if you look at the Jewish calendar on the 10th day in the Hebrew month of tishure we have what is called the Day of Atonement, young keeper. There’s a Muslim month on the 10th day you Asure. So again we find a common denominator and another Day of Atonement we understand that we don’t need it, it’s a fast day.
Why do we fast what’s the purpose of it. The purpose it very simple that we talk about helping the hungry and helping the homeless and helping those who are hurting, how do you going to help them if you don’t know how it feels.
So we say you have to suffer that day, you have to know what to use to go without food because that will sensitize you to the suffering of others and if you look at the Asure concept and Noah was one who tried to convince the world to change its ways to withdraw to give up paganism to believe in God, to develop a more ethical kind of value system. He was ridiculed by many and finally he had a retreat and goes to ark and took animals into the ark to save that part of the world so they could start again.
So it’s a day like the Day of Atonement Asure when you have to look at your behavior and you have to say what changes do I have to make in my self to inspire other people to think about how to make this a better world if I can help people. May I should be visiting the sick more often.
Maybe I should be giving more charity but all of us make mistakes and all of us can do better and we often say that a pencil has an eraser because you’re going to make a mistake and we’re going to write everything perfectly and you have to learn to correct those mistakes.
So Day of Atonement Asure stay or reflection today we’re saying what have I done wrong, I know what I have done right, it’s always I always find people remember all the good things they did and they try to forget some of the bad things but let’s remember some of the things that we could have done should have done but maybe this year will correct those mistakes and improve our behavior.
I talk about fasting but also food is important I don’t have to convince of those who are listening but you know you have Ramadan in the Muslim tradition and how people take it so seriously and they will go all day without eating and again that also gets people to improve the relationship to God to one another but t there comes after fasting comes feasting so you have a chance to say look I know where it is to be without food but I also learned how to have food when I say I have to food I see sometimes when people go to sit out and eat. It just grab the food they quickly and run away.
Well after Ramadan after your keeper you sit down and you have a meal with family, with friends, but it’s a meal that is enjoyed with certain appreciation for the fact that you have food or people who don’t have food, appreciation for the people who prepared the food, appreciation for God who give you the ability to eat the food. So it’s not just the matter of a meal, it’s not just a matter of a feast, it’s a matter of a celebration of all the blessings of life because when you’re fasting you realize what you don’t have. When you’re feasting you also have to recognize what you do have.