Friday, October 26, 2012


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Lech Lecha
10 Cheshvan 5773/October 27, 2012

Surely you’ve heard of Country-Yossi and the two most famous Shteeble-Hoppers in the world - Kivi and Tuki. Tuki is self-described as “kooky but not a little fluky”, while Kivi ‘knows more Torah than my Morah’.
On their original album, Country Yossi challenges Tuki to tell him about a mitzvah he did that day. After Tuki unsuccessfully tries to convince Country Yossi that reading a Superman comic book is a mitzvah, Tuki says ‘I kissed my Bubby’. Country Yossi replies, “That’s not a mitzvah.” Tuki is surprised, “It’s not?”, to which Country Yossi replies, “It’s nice and everything, but it’s not a mitzvah.”
I have to say that I agree with Tuki on this one. Is kissing your Bubby not a mitzvah? To be fair, I imagine Country Yossi was referring to a mitzvah written explicitly in the Torah, and indeed it never says “Thou shall kiss your Bubby” in the Torah. But as far as the Torah’s unwritten - yet strongly emphasized - demand for mentchichkeit and respect, undoubtedly kissing one’s Bubby is a mitzvah.
Why is there a magical connection between grandparents and grandchildren? I am fond of the late Sam Levenson’s quip that Grandparents and grandchildren get along so well because they share a common enemy. Grandparents see in their grandchildren the fulfillment of their ultimate desire to leave behind a future that will carry out their legacy and remember them. And because every grandparent is blessed with the most perfect, cute, and wonderful grandchildren, that blessing is truly magnified.
The nostalgic memories of visits to the homes of grandparents often leave the strongest indelible memories throughout one’s lifetime. The feeling of complete security where that one can do no wrong is unparalleled anywhere outside of a grandparent’s home.
I have been blessed that I can still kiss my Bubby. She now lives local and I try to see her at least once a week. She is a connection to a forgotten world and I treasure the fact that my children are able to know her. She is the Matriarch of our family and continues to inspire us b’h.
But what wouldn’t I give to be able to kiss my Savta one more time! And what wouldn’t I give to kiss my Zaidy and my Sabbah one more time! Personally, the month of Cheshvan is always a time when I think a lot about my grandparents, because both my Savta’s and Zaidy’s yahrtzeits are during Cheshvan (17 and 27 Cheshvan respectively).
So whether it’s a mitzvah or not, Tuki, give your Bubby a big kiss, and appreciate the incredible gift that you have to kiss a living connection to the past; one who sees in you the fulfillment of the greatest dreams for the future.

Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
   R’ Dani and Chani Staum

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