The Longview Ritual (A Story Review of Cornell & Diehl’s Sha’are Orah – Gates of Light Hebraica Series Pipe Tobacco)


You step toward the gates of light, thirsting, searching for some kind of unwarranted truth. What will you find?

Beyond the first gate, there is a pipe, prefilled with some unknown mystery.

A voice booms from the air around you: “Burley and Perique. Two components play off of each other, each filling in where the other one falls short.”

You turn to leave, frightened but there is nowhere to go so you spin back around and continue. The voice speaks up again: “It shows that, in the end, two ingredients with holes in each other’s characteristics can be combined to shine where a perfect singular offering may fail.”

Realizing the tobacco in the pipe may be the key, you put it to your nose and breath deep. There is a spicy, sour swirl of pepper and dried lemons as well as mysterious earthy notes of muddied grass blowing in the wind, which now blows around your ankles as you enter the gate.

Something takes over your body and you can’t move! A kaleidoscope of visions suddenly hit you. A man is standing in busy city intersection staring at his watch. Someone waiting at a window smiling at the way the wind plays in the fields of wheat. Then another person resting at a cliffside admiring the cityscape. Next, you see a man in a room scribbling a note by candlelight. Someone hiking, first the woods, then a mountainside vista. Now the vision is of a soldier embracing a specter. Then a sea captain is swimming with a mermaid in the ocean at dawn. Finally, you see a woman at a crossroads having a battle of words with the devil himself.

Then the vision ends, and someone whispers “SMOKE!”

There is now a burning wick of hemp in your hand, so you bring the match to the bowl and light.


It comes to life, and the cube cut Burley in the pipe’s tobacco chamber swells to a mellow warmth. Notes of bitter charred wood and chocolate and a bit of coffee on the end of a wooden spoon come to mind. You let it stir around in your mouth.

The perique makes itself known in an instant as it burns and offers a taste of aged, stewed harvest produce, forgotten. It yields a piquant smoke and brings the entire darkroom to life with it. You savor the tingle you were not anticipating. It’s as if someone sprinkled white pepper on an old book. Sour notes as well, aged lime rinds.

The Virginias bloom in a barn load of Kentucky memories. Hay and grass and rolling longways down a soft hill. There’s a light sweetness that peaks in like a curious honeybee and touch of a floral note, only enough to cover a bee’s knees, but you notice it.

You enjoy the smoke, drawing it down to the bottom of the bowl until there is nothing left but ash. Satisfying and interesting.

A portal opens in front of you, and you realize there is a book on the floor and you somehow know it is the diary of a lonely man. You pick up the book and step through the portal.

To Be Continued…

Other Tobacco Notes:

Gates of Light is a solid riff on the Burley/Perique with added Virginias and Oriental/Turkish tobaccos which does some interesting things with taste and aroma, as mentioned above.

Strength Notes: As with most PerBurs, Gates of Light has a bit of strength under it, both in nicotine and smoke density.

Cut: A rugged coarse cut with slight humidity that may require a little drying time although I smoked it straight from the tin with no problem.

Nicotine Strength: The nic hit is quite high. Those who are sensitive may want to smoke this after eating a nice meal.

Drink Pairing: I enjoyed this tobacco with a glass of tea.

Smoking Time: Best enjoyed at night after a good meal when you are ready to reflect on your day. It has a medium burn time and took about an hour to smoke in a medium bowl.

Pipes Used: Savinelli 645 Piazza de Spagna. It works well in a medium to large bowl. Otherwise, it will smoke in just about anything.

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin.

3/4 Stars. Open Your Mind and See the Big Picture. Smoke deep!


Similar Blends: Cornell & Diehl – Haunted Bookshop.

Brand Cornell & Diehl
Blended By Rabbi Ira Stone / William Serad
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Burley Based
Contents Burley, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring None
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 2oz Tin
Country US
Production Currently available
All photos are the property of Justin Day at Photography By Day Studio. You can find more of my work here.

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