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Thought for the Day: Living Every Moment

I have a standard mashal I break out whenever I want to make a point about the transience of this world and the importance of setting priorities.  The mashal is to suppose you won the right to have 15 minutes in a shopping mall and you could keep anything you could get out in that 15 minutes.  The obvious answer (to me) is to figure out where all the jewelry stores are and run around like a mad man grabbing as many precious stones as you can carry before they call, "Time up!"  Obviously if you had more time (a whole day, for example) you'd start pacing yourself; planning sleep/rest breaks to be more efficient and not because it was geshmack to sleep.  Yada, yada... the nimshal is obvious.

I was trying to make a point to a colleague at work once and tried the mashal on her.  Her response totally stopped me in my tracks (of thought, that is).  She said she would go try on dresses and take the nicest one.  I said, "But, but.. with all those jewels you could buy all the dresses you want!"  "Uch... such a hassle.  I don't even know how'd I'd go about selling the jewels.  I would just take the dress and be done with it."

I would like to think that I try to be more like the guy grabbing jewels than the lady trying on dresses.  I saw a straightforward halacha in Halichos Shlomo this morning.  As is well known, there complexity with Rosh HaShanah due to the fact that it falls on Rosh Chodesh.  Because of that complexity, it is the only holiday that is universally (ie, even in Eretz Yisrael) celebrates as two days.  In fact, there is even a machlokes about whether the two days of Rosh HaShanah are really only halachically one long day.  One of our practices to mitigate the effect of that confusion is to have a new fruit at the s'uda of the second evening.  That way, if it's one long day then the sh'he'chiyanu goes on the new fruit.  Now the fun starts.

Halichos Shlomo notes that one must have in mind both the Yom Tov and the new fruit when making (or hearing) the sh'he'chiyanu.  If you only have the fruit in mind, then the sh'he'chiyanu is a hefsek between the bracha on the wine and drinking the wine.  (B'di'avad you would not have to repeat the borei pri ha'gafen.)  The rav would then take a taste of the new fruit immediately after drinking the wine to minimize the time betwen the sh'he'chiyanu and eating the fruit in case it really is one long day.  He would also be careful to eat less than a k'zayis to stay out of the machlokes about whether a bracha acharona should be said.  When he used rimon (pomegranate, but rimon sounds more religious), however, he had no qualms about eating an entire berry  (even though some feel that might be considered a ber'ya and also require a bracha acharona).  Oh yes, and they did not eat grapes in R' Shlomo's home on Rosh HaShanah; al pi sohd, according to the G"ra and brought by the Mishna Brura.

So in the time it takes my to pass out the wine and start yelling at everybody "kiddush b'makom s'uda; kiddush b'makom s'uda", R' Shlomo Zalman has klahred several sh'eilos and covered several bases with his actions.  Talk about using every moment.  I need to get to work!

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