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The Law of the Shopping Bag - 3/17/17

The Law of the Shopping Bag - 3/17/17



In This Issue
Pesach Seder Reservations
The Law of the Shopping Bag
Planned Giving to Chabad RC
Цена радости
On a Lighter Note
Pesach Seder Reservations 
Join us for the 1st Passover Seder @ the luxurious White Hall (formerly IKRA). (The Seder will be led in Russian and English).

When: Monday, April 10th - 6:30 PM
Location: 16850 Collins Ave #106, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

Make your reservations today!
The Law of the Shopping Bag
Somebody mentioned it to me, the new law here in Israel,
about implementing a 10 agorot (2.5 cents) charge for plastic bags at the supermarket. I heard about it, but I didn't really pay attention to it. That is, I didn't pay attention until the first Monday that I went to the supermarket and the cashier asked me, "How many bags?"
"How many bags?"

"Um, I don't know." I looked around at the other customers standing at the other checkout stands. They looked as uncertain and confused by the question as I did.

I glanced at my groceries. How many bags would I actually need? What if I said one number and really needed more? Now that each bag cost money, could I get by with fewer bags than usual?
The cashier looked at me with an expression of, "Nu??!!"
Thank G‑d, it was only Monday and the supermarket was relatively empty. Imagine if I had to make such decisions on a Thursday, when it's full of people buying their groceries for Shabbat. I could just imagine the lines and stares of annoyance as customers waited for each person to decide just how many bags they were going to use.
"How many bags? Hmmm. I'll take 10."

I paid and started to pack my groceries with my 10 bags that totaled one shekel (25 cents), making sure to optimize each bag's capacity to hold and contain my purchased items.

A very interesting thing happened with this new law. The 10 agorot is a nominal fee, but all of a sudden, it made me stop and think-and not just about my bags.

Our sages teach us that that there are no excess words written in the Torah. Every word, even every letter, comes to teach us something.
I started to think about my words. My words. If I had to pay 10 agorot for each word, would I use them more carefully?

With this thought in mind, I watched my children playing. The 18-month-old and the 5-year-old were rolling on the couch tickling each other. It was a very cute site. Then the toddler began to bite his brother, though it was a playful bite. It wasn't out of anger or with any intention to hurt or cause harm, but even in playfulness, a child should not be allowed to bite. I pulled my little one off his brother and was about to open my mouth with: "Shalom, nooooo, we don't bite!"
But then, I stopped myself. Were these the words that I wanted to spend 10 agorot on? Was the message that I wanted to teach: Bite equals Mommy's attention? King Solomon's words ran through my head: "Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24)

I held my little one's hand and said: "Shalom, we kiss Asher [his brother]." And I gave my son a kiss on the cheek. "We do nice." And I stroked Asher gently on his arm. My toddler started to kiss and stroke his brother gently. We (my other children who were watching the scene unfold) all started to clap and say: "Bravo!"

Were these the words that I wanted to purchase with my 10 agorot: Play gently gets Mommy's attention? Yes.

Later in the day, I gave a good look at my home; it was in such a state. I was about to open my mouth and exclaim: "This place is a mess!" But I stopped myself . . . 10 agorot. "Elana, pleasant words are as a honeycomb . . . "

"Wow, I would love it if we could make our home a bit neater!"
"Neater" instead of "mess," "speak quieter" instead of "stop yelling," "Why don't you rest?" instead of "You look so exhausted!"

In Hebrew, the root word of the verb to speak, ledaber is dvar, which also means "thing." We acquire with our speech good things and bad things; we acquire and create things. Words we take for granted, but as the Torah teaches us, they certainly are not priceless. With proper speech, respectful speech, positive speech and holy speech, we purchase greatness that is sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

All this I learned for 10 agorot. What a bargain!
Planned Giving to Chabad RC
Цена радости
Р-н Михаэль Кориц

"Радоваться страданиям" - тема мало кем любимая. Как из суеверия (чур меня), так и из-за ницшианско-советского наследия боязни "рабской морали". Но Тания - основной труд хасидизма Хабад - посвящает этому немало строк.

Ключ к пониманию вопроса - это более тщательное рассмотрение собственного существования. Ведь наша жизнь никогда не состоит из одних успехов, есть постоянный набор негативных ощущений от несоответствия мира и окружающих нас нашим ожиданиям, собственного несовершенства и много другого. Нам хочется эти помехи запихнуть в какие-то уголки подсознания, забыть их, отвлечься от них. Так учит нас современная психология, внедряя в наш мир позитивное мышление. Это замечательно и является одним из достижений современного человека, но иногда оборачивается неумением адекватно встречать трудности и поражения. Есть история про одного хасидского праведника, который воспринял отсутствие еды на привычном месте как испытание.

Поэтому методика "радости от страданий" необходима каждому. Суть ее, излагаемая в Каббале и хасидизме, заключается в раскрытии более высоко света, чем тот, что обычно доступен человеку. Алтер Ребе, автор Тании, подчеркивает, что это раскрытие ступеней мудрости и понимания. То есть отвественное переживание негладких моментов своей жизни несет с собой такое постижение, которое иначе было бы человеку недоступно.

Понимание себя и мира несет с собой большую радость, даже если за него пришлось заплатить немалую цену.
Почему мы влюбляемся?
On a Lighter Note

I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area, so I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up.

She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and I was in good hands.

"Now," she asked me, "has your plane arrived yet?" - click on the picture


Memorial Board Dedication - click here 
This week's kiddush has been generously sponsored by 
Natan Riven 
in honor of this birthday.

Mazal Tov!
If you would like to be a Kiddush sponsor, contact the office (786) 664-7055 or email
Thank you for your support. 
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