One of the greatest pleasures in life is to say with a big smile on your face and just the right tune, “Aha!” – with the perfect upward sway of the thumb. It’s what you would exclaim with excitement when you suddenly understand or discover something new, as in, “Aha! E = mc2!” or “Aha! משה רבינו (Moshe Rabbeinu) = 613!”
According to the Talmud, when we were in our mother’s womb, an angel would teach us the entire Torah. Everything. And then… just before we were born, that angel would give us a gentle “tap” above our mouths and everything he taught us was immediately POOF! – Forgotten.
So, what’s the point? Why the ultimate control-Z* undo button? Why bother teaching us the whole Torah, only to erase it immediately afterwards?
“A splendiferous Kasha!”
“A thought-provoking, mind-boggling, puzzling question!”
It’s because HaShem wanted, as the Pasuk says here, that the Torah should be “very close to you.” When the angel teaches us and then makes us forget, it’s forgotten, but not completely. When we learn that Torah subject again, here on Planet Earth, we can now exclaim, “Aha! Now I remember!”
*for Windows… On Apple computers, it’s command-Z.
“Kasha” is a Jewish word meaning “question, and in English it’s a food called buckwheat.
BTW: Did you know that buckwheat is not wheat? In fact, it’s not even a grain. It’s a HaAdam fruit, like tomatoes and squash. So why is it called buckwheat? That’s also a good Kasha.
Speaking of Kashas (the “question” type), Why do Jews always answer a Kasha with another Kasha?
Why? Why not?!
Stroll down the aisles of any grocery store and you’ll find a cereal called Kashi, owned by the famous Kellogg company. Kashi? That’s a funny word! Here at Shazak, we figured that it’s called Kashi, because one of the seven grains it contains is buckwheat – kasha (see above Insight). But we were wrong.
Below is how the makers of Kashi explain the name – and believe it or not, Kashi is related to Kosher!!
Question: “We love the taste of Kashi, but was wondering where the name came from? Kashi? Hey, that’s a funny name. What’s that all about?
“Thanks! We like it too. It may sound unusual, but the Kashi name has deep roots. A blended term inspired by “Kashruth,” meaning kosher or pure food, and “Kushi,” from the founder of American macrobiotics, our name stands for wholesome foods made with real nutrition. We later learned Kashi has meanings in other languages: “porridge” in Russian, “happy” in Chinese, and “energy” in Japanese.”