The Adams Street Shul

Congregation Agudas Achim Anshei Sfard

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2015 beer tasting tiny Twenty-five people participated in our second annual Pre-Purim Melavah Malkah and Beer-Tasting Contest, which was held February 28, 2015.

Rabbi Norbert Weinberg welcomed everyone, and then Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe delivered eight lessons, one to introduce each beer.  Each of his topics was inspired by the location of the brewery or of the origin of that style of beer.  

    The videos below include the following presentations:

  • Rabbi Weinberg Introduces Rabbi Yaffe
  • Italy and the Jews
  • Pachad Yitzchak and the Wages of Drunkenness
  • Russia and the Jews
  • The New World in Jewish Thought
  • Germany and Jewish Mysticism
  • Britain and the Jews
  • The Kabbalah of Beer
  • Beer, Hops, and Bitterness as a Mystical Metaphor




Here is the Source Text for The Kabbalah of Beer:

Tanya Chapter 27:

It is concerning this that Job said, "Thou hast created wicked men"— not that they shall actually be wicked, G-d forbid, but that they shall share the temptations of the wicked in their thoughts and meditations alone and that they shall eternally wage war to avert their minds from them in order to subdue the sitra achra;  yet they would not be able to annihilate it completely, for that is accomplished by the tzaddikim.

For there are two kinds of gratification before Him, blessed be He: 

one, from the complete annihilation of the sitra achra and the conversion of bitter to sweet and of darkness to light, by the tzaddikim

the second, when the sitra achra is subdued whilst it is still at its strongest and most powerful and soars like an eagle, whence the Lord brings her down through the effort of the benonim below.

This is indicated in the verse, "And make me delicacies such as I love."  The word ma-ta'amim ("delicacies") is in the plural, to indicate two kinds of gratification, and the words are those of the Shechinah to her children, the community of Israel, as explained in the Tikunim

The analogy is to material food, where there are two kinds of relishes: one of sweet and luscious foods, and the other of tart or sour articles of food which have been well spiced and garnished so that they are made into delicacies to quicken the soul.

This is what is alluded to in the verse, "The Lord hath made everything for His sake; also the wicked unto the day of evil," meaning that the wicked man shall repent of his evil and turn his evil into "day" and light above, when the sitra achra is subdued and the glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, is brought forth on high.