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The Shalom Bayit Kugel

The Shalom Bayit Kugel

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A husband and wife came to Rabbi Israel of Koznitz (the “Koznitzer Maggid,” 1737–1814). They’d had a big fight and wanted a divorce.

“My wife,” complained the man, “every week she makes for Shabbat a delicious kugel. I love that kugel! All week I work and shlep, just for that kugel! When I just think of that kugel, my mouth starts watering . . . But what does this foolish woman do to me? She torments me! After I recite the kiddush, do I get the kugel? No-o-o-o. First she serves the gefilte fish. Then the soup. Then the chicken. And the potatoes. Then a couple of other dishes, and then I’m full, I can’t possibly take one more bite. Then she brings in the kugel! Now shouldn’t I divorce her?” And he said a lot more that people normally don’t say in front of a rabbi.

The wife explained that in her parents’ home it was always done this way. She wouldn’t budge.

So the Koznitzer Maggid decided that from now on she should make two kugels. One to be eaten right after kiddush, and one to serve after the fish and the soup and the chicken and the potatoes. The couple left, reconciled.

From that day on, the Koznitzer Maggid always had two kugels at his Shabbat table—one right after kiddush, and another one after the main course. They called it the Shalom Bayit Kugel (“harmony in the home kugel”).

Text and image by chassidic artist Shoshannah Brombacher. To view or purchase Ms. Brombacher's art, click here.
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Discussion (5)
February 22, 2011
Q
why did maggid started to have 2 kugels? did he try to fix his Sholom Bayis with his own 'know how' solution?
Eli G
Brooklyn, NY
February 22, 2011
and another one
This one is a little modern Kugel Story. One of the boropark or Williamsburg rabeim was always recommending his followers to go to certain bakery after work before going home and order special kugel. He was insisting that they sell 'Sholom Bayis Kugel' and its a must for any family.

When later he was asked about this minhag he explained the following:

When husband comes back from work at the end of the day, he most definitely hungry and tired, and this mood is perfect for his yetzer to start fights and arguments when he gets home. And its totally different case if he gets home after a nice piece of that 'Sholom Bayis Kugel'
Eli G
Brooklyn, NY
November 24, 2005
Shoshannah Brombacher
These are the most beautiful lessons I have ever read. The artistry took my breath away. I have told all my friends about this remarkable artist. Thank-you for bringing this to me.
Best Regards,
linda ferris
manchester, nh
November 22, 2005
wonderfull
aviva friedman
lubavitchfinland.com
November 22, 2005
Another kugel story
Love the story. While we are on kugel stories, I will tell you another on I read in Dr. Twerski's book Generation to Generation (highly recommend it). Anyway, I don't remember which Rebbe it was but the wife did not like the shmaltz in kugel. So the Rebbe knew when she davened she did not notice much. So when he saw her davening he quickly stole her keys and added smaltz to the kugel.On Shabbos he would say the kugel is blessed because on my good deeds and her davening.
Enjoy your site very much.
Rivka Burde
Brooklyn, NY
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