Kosher Rock (Seth Kaminsky)

May 17, 2016

     One of my fondest memories at TMR was the summer of 1963 when I was Camp Director at Kunatah. With the Kunatah kitchen strictly kosher we had sympathy for the poor Tenderfoot scout who one night at dinner wandered into the Meat Dishwashery with a Dairy plate. The "event" was unfortunately witnessed by the ever vigilant kashruth rabbi who ordered that to purify everything, two things had to happen. #1....every single plate, utensil, pot and pan had to be re-sterilized. and #2. a symbolic pot had to be placed into a larger pot of boiling water along with a rock and when the rock shattered or split, the kitchen would be purified.  #1 was a big job but with all staff hands working, was accomplished in fairly short order. #2 started at 9 PM with a pot and a cantaloupe size rock sitting in it.  The entire staff and the rabbi watched the pot boiling away for hours. By 2 AM, those same staff members still around realized that this could go on for days. 


     Eventually, the rabbi had to leave the kitchen to pee. One pot boy was a black kid named Rodney. He had absolutely no idea what was going on or why. When the Rabbi left, he  said...."I don't care what crazy religion you guys are ....This is ridiculous".  Rodney proceeded to fish out the rock with a big strainer, took the back of an axe to it and managed to chip off a small piece and threw them both back into the pot.   

     We all screamed "Rabbi, rabbi come look. It's a mitzva, a true miracle has happened...look!" The Rabbi looked in the pot and saw the large rock and the small chipped off piece. There was also some damage to the big rock which looked as though it had just been hit with a hammer. Duh. The Rabbi seemed to ignore that  and just looked upward and gave a small blessing and we were done. I'll always remember that moment and the wisdom of young Rodney.  

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Ten Mile River Scout Museum

1481 County Road 26

Narrowsburg, NY  12764

845-252-2063