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Thought for the Day: An Apple a Day Brings Torah

I was working on an idea for today when HaShem pretty much said, "No, I have a better idea for you."  With davening times being what they are and the work day being what it is, I usually eat after davening so I can ride my bike straight to work.  This morning I had a cheese sandwich and an apple.  Not very exciting, but I am not looking for excitement in my eating experience.  So I was sitting there eating and learning when a chashuv looking Rebbi walked over (leaned over, actually) and then walked away.  By the time I looked up he had already walked, so I went back to eating and learning.  I was wondering a little what had been so interesting to him, but I figured it wasn't all that interesting.  I was so wrong.

It turns out that rebbi was the Stropkover Rebbi, Rabbi Halberstam, shlita, from Eretz Yisrael.  He came back with a masechta brachos and pointing to the first Tosafos on daf 37a.  He started reading (which I will summarize).  The bracha of borei nefashos means as follows: "Who created many living things and what they are lacking" -- "what they are lacking" means things like bread (the Rebbi pointed to my sandwich) and water, without which you cannot live. "those (extra) things created to (improve) life" --- means to say foods that increase the pleasure of eating, like apples (the Rebbi pointed to my apple) and so forth.

He had a big smile on his face, and I said, "So I am being m'kayim a Tosofos?"  "Yes!", he said, "In fact since we are supposed to have oneg/pleasure on Shabbos and since Tosofos specifically mentions apples as a ta'anug/pleasure, I make every effort to have an apple each Shabbos!"  Then he said, "Also, my wife is from England and they have an expression something like 'An apple a day...'", "Keeps the doctor away.", I finished for him.  (He was speaking Hebrew and didn't know the expression so well.)

That's what I call a fulfilling breakfast.


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