Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Real Wealth

Several years ago, while I was in the middle of chemotherapy, a m'shulach knocked at the door.  He was collecting for a two needs, one personal and one for a kollel.  I gave him what I could for each, he thanked me and was on his way.  Later that evening I developed a serious infection and needed to be rushed to the hospital.  As we were heading for the front door we heard a knock.  My wife opened the door only to find the same m'shulach having returned.  He was concerned that he had mixed up the checks and wanted to be sure that he didn't misappropriate the funds.  (We are not talking a lot of money; funds were tight.)  No m'shulach had ever done that before (or since); I was on my way to the hospital and decided that maybe I was lacking in z'chusim and needed one more mitzvah.  I wrote him another check (also not big), told him I couldn't shake his hand because of my condition.  He showered me with brachos for health.

Every year since then, that m'shulach has occupied a special place in our hearts.  Every year he comes and first asks about my health, how the children are doing, etc.  Some years I have not been able to give him more than $18, but he always brightens up our home with divrei torah and brachos.  He gives us the same brachos for health, nachas from the children, and parnassa every time and always with the same enthusiasm.  As soon as my wife (who does not usually accompany me to the door for m'shulachim) hears his voice, she comes out to greet him also.  He asks about the our health and family, then we ask about his.  He was just here and he left us (as usual) with a vort; simple and to the point.  "Eiza hu ashir?  Ha'so'mei'ach b'chelko."  How do you spell "ashir"?  Ayin = einaiyim, Shin = shinayim, Yud = yadayim, Reish = raglayim.  If you have your eyes, teeth, hands, and feet.  Once you learn to appreciate and take joy in the fact that you have eyes, teeth, hands, and feet, then you are wealthy.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…