Thursday, June 02, 2011
Chocolate, Cream of Tartar, Freemasons and Gibraltar.
Here's an update to yesterday's post Kiruv, 1790s style, about a Moroccan rabbi who moved to Bokhara and revitalized the religious commitment and education of its Jews. The quoted excerpt was from the diaries of the Christian missionary Joseph Wolf. A prolific traveler, his diaries were extremely popular in the 1820s and 30s, and were frequently excerpted in magazines. Because of this, sometimes you will find one version which includes details that had been omitted in another account. This has happened here. Here is a fuller account, where we are also given some pearls of wisdom of Rabbi Joseph Maimon, who unlike the people of his adopted community, had traveled extensively and had some education and experience which they did not. For example, "Chocolate gives strength, and is useful for the propagation of children." "Cremodi Tatar is a very powerful medicine!" The wisdom of the Farmasoon (Free Masons) has been taught by Solomon!" "One meditates best in walking about in the room!" "Gibraltar is the greatest fortress in the world!"