As we left Chapter I, it was ending. Kavika and Enoch were transiting from being children to becoming men. They had to prove themselves to their community by their respective cultural rites of passage.
KAVIKA: Enoch and Kavika were as close as any blood brothers. In fact, they were blood brothers. The ceremony occured in a secret place known as "Skunk Hollow". Neither Enoch or Kavika had a high tolerance for pain. The traditional way of nicking arteries in their wrists held less appeal than a tangelo. Now they had to devise a way to become blood brothers, without actually bleeding.
Enoch was struck with an idea. He jumped to his feet quickly. Enoch became entangled in his robes and fell face first into a birch tree. Blood poured from his nose. Kavika, ever the one to seize an opportunity rubbed his hand across Enoch's nose, depositing blood on his hand. Is this blood type A, asked Kavika? Yes, answered Enoch. Positive (+) queried Kavika. I am pretty sure its A said Enoch.
Kavika was over joyed that the problem was solved. Enoch, with his penchant for details pointed out that there as to be blood from both merging before they could become true blood brothers. He quoted from the Talmudic Mesechet Dahm (Book of Plasma).
Enoch for the second time jumped to his feet, and charged head long into Kavika's nostrils. Blood flowed freely, and they were officially brothers of blood. Now no one could put asunder what hemoglobin had for life conjoined.
With this done, Kavika went out on his Vision Quest. Little did he know that Enoch had a plan of his own, to assist his blood brother in this most important, dignified, and enlightening part of the Native and First American heritage.
Kavika was in the woods for a day when suddenly Enoch and his faithful companion "Sausage Wolf" (a Rez dog breed known only to the Jewish Ojibwe Kosher Rez in the land of Milk and Maize).
Kavika and Enoch agreed the pooch's name should be "Hebrew National". It answered to a higher authority. Certainly, it paid no mind to what Enoch and Kavika told it. Even so, the animal was an apt symbol of the blood brothers relationship. They shared it, doted on it; and it gave them as much grief as joy. Isn't that the way of life?
As Kavika grew very hungry on his Quest, Enoch and Hebrew Nat appeared out of no where. It was the Natster who toted a Frybread and Kosher Winnebagel in a pouch for Kavika to nosh.
Kavika was saved. He was now liberated to pursue his most distinguished and significant quest, thanks to his blood brother and four legged friend. (The four legged friend was the dog, not the blood brother).
ENOCH: The rite of passage for the lost Jewish Tribe on the Rez for young men is called a Bar Mitzvah (Son of the Commandments). Like the Ojibwe "Bear Mitzvah" (the proving of manhood by successfully hunting a bear in the woods) the Bar Mitzvah requires that a boy display the courage and resourcefulness to be considered a man.
The first step in a Bar Mitzvah is to go to Jays Diner and order the Tuesday special. It is mystery meat in a surprise sauce with three starches. Anyone who ever gazed upon this entree knows who ever orders, consumes and survives it will never have anything to prove to anyone else again. Neither about their intestinal fortitude or ability to overcome extreme adversity against all odds.
Most of the Bar Mitzvahs were catered in the banquet hall of the Rez Long House. It is the one seaside along the Minnesota Ocean. Hence the name for the Rez of "Little City by the Bay". The Rez is also called the Big Winnebagel, The City of Lights, The Eternal City. City of Gold, The Wind Chapped City, and for a while Circuitous City.
The banquet manager belongs to the Loyal Order of Shore Line Party Throwers referred to as B'nai Brith - B'nai Chof Yamim (Sons of the Covenant - Sons of Beaches). The moniker "Sons of Beaches" is often heard yelled by parents who get the catering bill from Jays Diner, the principal caterer in the Long House.
Music is most frequently provided by Benyamin the Baritone (the portly fellow with the mellow bellow). His signature song is. Homely on the Range. The refrain is instantly recognizable on the Rez. "I'm a headin fer the prairie, where the kosher laws are dietary. On Passover when a cowpoke never joshes when he's askin his vier kashas" (Four Questions).
At the event, Enoch read from the weekly Haftorah (commentary on the Torah portion of the week) during Sabbath Services. As is customary, he gave a short speech on its meaning and relevance, while members of the Congregation sneezed, coughed, yawned, fidgeted, and texted. You could hear a pin drop, if it were loud and heavy enough.
Following the Services, there was a sit down meal served. Of course, Kavika sat at the Shulchan Ha Cavod (Table of Honor).
There was an open bar. Enoch's Uncle Shikker, know to bend an elbow to the breaking point imbibed so much he was thereafter barred from every Mitzvah (forbidden to attend ritual events), and a Mitzvah to every bar (Mixologist's dream).
Enoch's sainted Bubbe (Grandmother) Saftah Sarah Bellum delivered an erudite speech introducing the guest of honor as a boy who this very day is a Man. Enoch arose, and gave the blessing over the bread and wine. So began the meal.
The appetizer was stuffed lake fish, over bibb lettuce, sliced carrot, horseradish sauce and wild rice.
Next there was chicken soup with boiled dough (Knaidelach), and a side of blueberry preserves on braided egg frybread.
The main course was Gedempte Flanken (Boiled Beef), a grill veggie medley of asparagus, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, yams, sweet potatoes, and the three sisters. They are corn, beans and squash.
Enoch is vegan. Kavika is an indirect vegetarian. He only eats the flesh of animals who chew their cud, whether or not their hooves are cloven.
Enoch traded his Gedempte Flanken for Kavika's veggie medley. All during Rez school lunch times the inseparable blood brothers always traded so Kavika could have meat, and Enoch veggies. It is that way with true friends. They work together so each is happy. They jointly respect the bounty of nature. Taking only what they need, they share and neither waste or want for anything.
As dessert was passed around all relatives and friends offered toasts to both Enoch and Kavika. Both are now fully recognized as men.
There were toasts to Enoch from his Tante Vilde Chaiyah, his Saba Ibn-Ribbon, Machatoynim Shnoor's-A-Lot; and his nephews Ilene and Ben Dover. The Grand Rabbi Ovadia, Avimelech, Chederlaomer, Aron Shlymeh Roizenvusvus, the Melamend Hebrew Teacher Ahad Ha Amim, and Rosh Yeshivah the school headmaster Alter Leib Kopfschtim all extolled his virtues.
Accolades for Kavika poured forth from, among others, his Chief Glass Ceiling, and the lovely Bride of the Chief Lucite Ceiling.
In the Native-American community, as in the Jewish one, there is a strong matriarchal presence. Women shine in many roles, including leadership. It makes no sense to either nations to waste half of humanity when they have so much to contribute.
Kavika's family toasted his blood brother and him with pride and warmth. For in both celebrations the family and leaders of each community afford equal status and respect at such joint functions of milestones attained. It is that way with peaceful and friendly nations, as it is with blood brothers. The macrocosm and the microcosm.
Commemorative plaques, marking the events for each young man were furnished affordably from the Rez Wal-Wampum Super Tent. Each was written in the primary language of the respective nation. Both included Sacred symbols and other artistic marks of distinction and identity. The two memorables keepsakes were manufactured in China.
The dessert carts rolled out, to the delight of one and all. One selection is Enoch's favorite, Cadorei Botz (Mud Rounds).
These are devil's food dough soaked over night in sweet cherry wine. When the wine is absorbed, assorted chopped dry roasted unsalted nuts; dried and diced local fruits are infused into the dough. This is for flavor, texture and color. The dough is shaped into round little circles. It is baked until crispy outside, tender and moist inside. Once cooled, they are crowned with a high cocoa melted dark chocolate and orange blossom honey liquid. Once chilled, the final touch are rainbow sprinkles. They are served with piping hot sassafras tea, or a thick espresso like coffee cooked over out door fires in a pot called a Feenjhan.
Attendees ate, drank, and danced well into the night. The morning would bring its daily struggles to address the practicalities of life. For Kavika and Enoch this night is all about the celebration of attaining recognition of their passage from childhood to manhood.
In Chapter III of Kavika and Enoch - Forgettable Memoirs the pair will each relate their encounters with the complimantary gender.
Tonight they are both men. Real men who will make their way in this world.
Adult men find someone to love, to protect, and with whom to build a future.
Who will catch the eyes of the Achim Dahm (Blood Brothers)? Keep reading in the next installment. Chapter III: Of Labor and Love.