This sharp and fiery herring is inspired by the chassidus of Kotzk (Kuh-ts-k). Kotzk, a small town in Poland just out of Lublin was the home of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgenstern (1787 – 1859), the first Rebbe of Kotzk. From his earliest days Reb Menachem Mendel had been very outspoken on the matter of truth. He never refrained from calling people out on their falsehood. The Kotzker, as he is called, said of a particular group of his Chasidim, “They walk around with the worst of thoughts and try to cover it up with a few pages of Talmud.” In Kotzk, only the truth would flourish. Falsehood, pride, money, were worthless in the Fiery enclave of Kotzk. The Kotzker, unlike the rest of the world, did not fear the truth. He was born in the small town of Goraj, Poland. Where even at a young age he become renown for his scholarship and sharp wit. Soon enough he moved on to Lublin to meet the great Chozeh of Lublin, the Seer of Lublin. The Chozeh introduced him to the world of Chassidus, and from there Reb Menachem Mendel became a student of “The Holy Jew – The Yid HaKadosh”. Under the Yid’s watch Reb Menachem reached the higher heights of human perfection, uncovering and remedying even the smallest of faults in his character and service to God. The fault that can be found in any person, that of falsehood, was the greatest focus of the Rebbe of Kotzk, and even though he was know expressly for his devotion to the utmost truth, he constantly worked to improve himself in the aspect of truth regardless. The Kotzkers son in law, Rav Avraham Borenstein of Sochatchov (Suh-ch-atch-ov) said of his holy father in law, “In the days of the Yid Hakadosh they began to teach the path of truth. But in Kotzk they took the path of truth and expanded it into a highway…” The fiery truth and sharp wit of the rebbe of Kotzk is imparted into the sharp kick and fiery spice of this delicious herring.
The mantle of leadership was passed from Reb Menachem Mendel to The first Rebbe of Ger, The Chiddushei HaRim, Reb Yitzchak Meir Alter.