A fundraising event to support the work of Rabbi Drew Kaplan with Southern California Jewish Student Services was held on Sunday to great acclaim. Continuing on the success of October’s “Witches and Whiskies” event, December 9th’s “Torches & Tequilas” featured some interesting in-depth text study accompanied by quality tequilas paired with tasty food. The second such “Spirits & Spirited Discussion” event was designed to engage in some high-level learning while educating Jews about spirits accompanied by food-pairings.
Taking place on the second night of Hanukah, the text-based discussion centered around why we light Hanukah candles. Not a typical text-study on the matter, Rabbi Drew led the group in exploring both texts from late antiquity and on through the medieval era as to why we light Hanukah candles and even discussing why Lubavitcher Hasidim (Chabad) are radically public about their lighting of Hanukah candles. “I had a great time at Torches & Tequila,” said Shaul Faulkner. “The text study was interesting and informative. I learned some interesting historical points about Hanukkah and the development of Rabbinical thought and legal development.”
The tequilas presented that evening , which were a blanco, reposado, and an añejo, were all double-gold winners at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and were delicately paired with food, thanks to the assistance of Guershon Moreno. “I love how Rabbi Drew has paired Jewish learning with an education in alcohol,” said Moreno. “What he had to say on the subject of ‘Why we light candles on Chanukah’, along with the food we paired with the tequilas, made for a truly enjoyable evening.”
“The tequilas were great,” said Faulkner. “It was interesting to go to a tasting to try things I would probably never purchase myself.” Planned future such events are tentatively set to take place in February and April. Moreno’s looking forward: “I can’t wait for the next one.”