The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 24 September 2005 / 20 Elul 5765

The Kibbutz Bakers Legacy

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

The inscription on the tombstone marking the graves of Yankele Tofor and his wife is hardly what one expects to find on a Jewish monument in Israel. The recording of the dates of birth and death only according to the civil calendar is not too surprising since this couple lived and died in the secular Kibbutz Naan. What is surprising is the "legacy" of this kibbutz baker which his survivors decided to transmit to future generations.

What did they consider the most fitting legacy of a man who had achieved culinary fame for his pastry?

The recipe for "Yankeles Yeast Cake"!

There it is, with the ingredients and measurements for doing it yourself. Tofor family members say they have received a number of calls from people who said they visited the grave and copied the recipe.

But why, they were asked, were there no instructions as to how to use the recipe? Their answer was that anyone who knows anything about baking needs no instructions.

Perhaps they should be told that anyone who erects such a monument for his father does need instructions as to what sort of legacy he expects to be written on his own tombstone.

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