Toras Avigdor Junior
Sharing Cookies and Mishnayos
“Shimmy, wait up!”
Shimmy turned around to see Pinny running to catch up with him as he headed to the park.
“Oh hi,” smiled Shimmy. “Did you bring the ball?”
“Yep!” said Pinny, holding up the ball in his hand.
When the two boys reached the park, they saw a group of their friends sitting on the grass together.
“Shimmy, Pinny, over here!” called Avrohom Yitzchok Stern, waving to them over two gigantic bags that were next to him.
“What’s in the bags?” asked Pinny.
“Take a seat!” answered Avrohom Yitzchok. “I’ve got a surprise for you!”
Shimmy and Pinny joined their friends on the grass, as Avrohom Yitzchok pulled gigantic pastry boxes out of the bags. Avrohom Yitzchok’s father owned Stern’s Bakery, and they made the absolute best cakes and cookies in town.
Avrohom Yitzchok opened the boxes to reveal the most delectable looking chocolate chip cookies, caramel rugelach, and more. There were even little miniature kokesh cakes oozing with chocolate. It looked amazing!
“Please, take!” said Avrohom Yitzchok as he passed the boxes around to the boys who started making brachos and eating the delicious treats. “My father’s bakery made the desserts for the Horki Dinner later tonight. Every pastry had to be exactly perfect and he had all of the rejected ones left over. See?” Avrohom Yitzchok held up the most perfect-looking chocolate chip cookie they had ever seen. “There’s a tiny nick in the side of this cookie so it’s not perfectly round. So anyway, my father gave me all of these cakes since it was the end of the day and he wasn’t going to be able to sell them anymore.”
“Well they still taste pretty perfect,” said Chezky, who was eating a vanilla danish with sprinkles.
“Yeah,” agreed Yoiny. “You can tell your father that we’ll take his rejected products any day!”
As the boys ate, Avrohom Yitzchok pulled a sefer out of his bag.
“I thought while we’re here we could chazer what we learned today,” he told his friends. “I thought the Mishnayos we learned today were pretty tough.”
Avrohom Yitzchok and his friends spent the next hour enjoying the scrumptious desserts and going over the Mishnayos, before it started getting dark.
“I’ll see you guys tomorrow!” said Avrohom Yitzchok as they got up to leave.
“Thank you so much for the treats!” the boys all responded.
“Wow!” said Rebbi Caplan. “Yesterday I got the impression that we didn’t learn the Mishnayos well enough, but now I see that you all know them so well!”
“Rebbi,” said Shimmy. “It’s all because of Avrohom Yitzchok and his bakery cookies.”
Shimmy quickly explained to their Rebbi about the previous evening.
“You know,” said Rebbi Caplan. “This reminds me of this week’s Parsha.”
The boys looked at each other, horrified. What did they do that reminded the Rebbi of Korach’s machlokes with Moshe Rabbeinu?
“No, not in a bad way,” laughed Rebbe Caplan as he saw the boys’ stricken faces. “But you know, Rav Avigdor Miller asks a question: How was it possible that tzadikim ended up joining Korach against Moshe? And he answers that the Gemara tells us that Korach used to host seudos. And when guests were sitting at his table, he would share his bad opinions about Moshe Rabbeinu.
Now, when you’re sitting with someone and he’s serving you delicious food, you are more likely to be influenced by his opinions. You have to like him! He’s feeding you tasty cholent and good nosh after all! So as they were swallowing down Korach’s food, along with the food Korach’s ideas were also going down. And they started to agree with Korach and get upset at Moshe Rabbeinu just like Korach was.
“Now, Avrohom Yitzchok here did the same thing with you boys, but he did just the opposite of Korach – he used good tasting food to get you to learn Mishnayos. Instead of playing ball you joined Avrohom Yitzchok in the park with his cakes and cookies. And because you were enjoying his treats, you were happy to sit and chazer the Mishnayos with him.
“So you see boys that eating food is a wonderful opportunity to be changed for the better. While you’re eating supper, that’s the best time to think about how much you love your Mommy for cooking for you and feeding you. That’s one of the lessons from this week’s parsha; to become influenced for the better when you’re eating from someone’s food.
And you want to know who’s the One Who’s really giving us tasty food all the time? Hashem! Yes, He’s the best Cook and best Chef and best Baker ever. And that’s why eating is the best time to practice loving Hashem. Don’t just say a bracha and forget about Him. While you’re chewing that delicious piece of watermelon or that tasty piece of bread, think about how kind Hashem is to you by feeding you. And that’s one of the ways a person learns to love Hashem – by loving Him more and more as you eat.
Takeaway: As we eat, we swallow down lessons with our food. Let’s get used to thinking about Hashem and thanking Him while we eat His delicious food.