Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Ki Sisa/Parah
19 Adar 5773/March 1, 2013

Late Purim afternoon, a close friend of ours came to deliver shalach manos to our home with his children. He had that frazzled look many of us have as we try to deliver as many shalach manos as we can, while racing against the fleeting Purim clock, and battling the unmanageable Purim traffic.
My friend noted that he was sure his children’s teachers had convened before Purim to decide when they should each be available on Purim day for their students to come to their homes. “You live in Park Ave, at the southern tip of Monsey, so you should be available from 11:15 a.m. – 11:23 a.m. You live in Wesley Hills, at the northern end of town, so you should be available from 11:25 a.m. – 11:43 a.m. Then you live on Cameo Ridge, in the heart of gridlock-ville, and should avail yourself from 1:50 p.m. until 2:06 p.m….”
It can be quite frustrating and there’s not much recourse. Being that both Chani and I have students, we told our students we would be home after 2 p.m. After I finished laining Megillah in our home at 10 a.m. we packed everyone into the car to make our rounds. Most of our stops were at our children’s rebbes and teachers so that we could express our appreciation to them for all of their hard work. 
When we finally arrived home just before 2 p.m., we had the same sinking feeling we have every year when we find shalach manos at our door. This year among the other packages, there was one package that didn’t have a name on it, and we had no idea who it was from.
According to the Manos Halevi (Rav Shlomo Alkabetz) the main purpose of shalach manos is to foster feelings of friendship between giver and receiver. [It is somewhat ironic that we are trying to build friendship while dealing with the aforementioned frustration of trying to get around town to deliver the shalach manos on Purim. Maybe that’s why Chazal instituted that one drink a lot when he sits down to his seudah after spending the day fighting Purim traffic…]
Since we didn’t know who the giver was, it could have been anyone. It caused us to feel friendlier to every Jew in the world. [In truth, Chani did call one neighbor who we were pretty convinced was the deliverer to thank her. But it wasn’t from her family. It worked out better this way, because we hadn’t given them, and now we didn’t need to feel guilty about it.]
All of this gave us a great idea for next year. We are going to leave anonymous shalach manos all around town. This way no one will know who gave it and everyone will have to love everyone more, because they might have given it. What an idea! Before you know it, there will be such an incredible proliferation of Ahavas Yisroel abounding. What a revolution.
And no, I didn’t write this while I was drunk. 

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

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