In Israel, a favorite in many Israeli coffeehouses, café hafuch (upside down in Hebrew הפןך) is the latte’s milkier cousin.
What is café hafuch? It’s often compared with a latte, but it’s creamier. It’s also made in reverse. In a latte, the milk goes on top of the espresso. A café hafuch uses steamed milk on the bottom, and then a shot of espresso is carefully poured on top of the steamed milk. Finally, it’s topped with milk froth as well as nutmeg or cocoa powder. It can be sweetened or unsweetened, depending on personal taste.
Café hafuch’s popularity may be due to Israelis’ love of pastries. “Really, nothing is better with pastries than a delicious coffee.”
Now we have a situation in Israel and many parts of the rest of the Jewish world, where the world is upside down. We are facing a modern Pandemic and normally the reaction of the great Rabbis is do repentance (chuva in Hebrew תשובה). This means going to synagogue with minions and praying to G-d for forgiveness.
Instead, because over night in Israel, the government recommended maximum group size went from 100 people to 10 people, many synagogues closed up and canceled their prayer services.
Most reformed and conservative Jews seldom go to synagogue and if they do it is usually only on the Sabbath or high holidays. Orthodox Jews pray three daily prayer services and hence go to their usual places three times a day any many have been doing it all their lives. Can you imagine doing this for 80 years and then changing your routine. During wars and attacks and poverty and deaths the only thing consistent was our routine of going to the synagogue.
Now the government says don’t go, and like sheep no one shows up.
Now nearly everyone agrees that we should follow government protocol and keep the big “Virus” from spreading, but I have seen very little creative effort to preserving the minion. The simple solution every one offers is to turn on the computer or phone and do everything virtually, but this has always been shown previously as limited in its scope. This year we were told that we could hear the Megilla by computer, but in previous years everyone agreed this was not the halacha. Suddenly it is?
Further, we know from many sources that G-d loves us much better when we pray with a minion, all of sudden that has changed?
I think we must be much more creative. Unless it is raining outside (still a problem here in Israel for a few more weeks), meet at the synagogue and then move the minion outside where there is no problem. Don’t encourage people to break their life long habits. Believe me, it is very easy to break a good habit like going to a minion every day, but hard to put it back into place.
Let’s have move creative solutions and more chuva, not less.
Love Yehuda Lave
Here is one thing that hasn’t changed:
A Costly Alarm System
Opening his front door, the Rabbi found himself face to face with the local priest. “Rabbi, may I have a few words with you?” asked the priest.
“Of course, Father,” replied the Rabbi somewhat nervously.
“Rabbi,” began the priest, “It must be evident to you that in this town we are plagued by thieves. Scarcely a day passes without one of my flock coming to me bemoaning the fact that his house has been broken into. On the other hand, I have noticed that thieves do not bother you Jews nearly as much.”
“Father, you are correct.”
“Yes, but why is that?” inquired the priest.
“Look at this little box here on the side of my doorpost,” said the Rabbi. “It’s called a mezuzah. We Jews believe that when we put a mezuzah on the entrances to our houses, the Holy One, may His Name be blessed, protects both us and our property.”
“In that case”, replied the priest, “I must have one!”
Not wishing to be the cause of an incipient pogrom, the Rabbi reluctantly handed over a mezuzah to the priest.
Some two weeks later the Rabbi was awakened by the sound of someone pounding violently on his door. Dressing himself hastily, he made his way down the stairs.
“Who’s there?” the Rabbi asked tremulously.
“Open the door! Open the door!” screamed a voice on the other side.
Leaving the door on the latch, the Rabbi cracked the door wide enough to see the priest standing in front of him, his eyes wild with great distraught.
“What happened?” asked the terrified Rabbi. “Were you not protected from robbers?”
“I was! But these people were worse than robbers!” screamed the priest.
“Who?” asked the rabbi.