Toras Avigdor Junior
Worthy of Honor
“Totty, Mommy!” said Shimmy excitedly as he walked into the house. “Can I go to Ari Holtzbacher’s house tonight? Please? Please?? Please???”
“Shimmy,” said Mommy. “Don’t you remember that you promised this morning to clean up the 600,000 piece Yetzias Mitzrayim puzzle that you dumped all over your room? It’s a terrible mess – I almost tripped and fell while trying to put away your laundry.”
“Promise?” said Shimmy innocently. “I said bli neder!”
“I need to go to the Holtzbacher’s tonight! They are having a big fancy parlor meeting for Mosdos Horki and Senator Moomer is going to be there as the guest of honor! Can you imagine? A real-life senator from Washington, D.C.! Oh I should put on my Shabbos suit. Totty, do you have a bow tie I could borrow? I don’t think a regular tie is fancy enough. Actually, maybe we should go and buy a new suit for this special occasion…”
“Shimmy, I’m surprised,” said Totty. “Didn’t you just hear what Mommy said? How could you even think about not listening?”
“But Totty,” said Shimmy. “Didn’t you hear? A Senator! That’s soooo choshuv! And didn’t you say that we have to have hakoras hatov to the government? For sure we need to get dressed up all fancy and go – what’s even the shaylah? I’m sure Hashem wants me to do that more than he wants me to spend the rest of the day on the floor crawling after tiny puzzle pieces!”
Totty paused before answering. “Shimmy,” he said. “What if I told you there was an even more important event tonight with even more choshuv guests of honor?”
Shimmy’s eyes opened wide. “More choshuv than a Senator?” he said with surprise. “Like President Carritz??? Wow – what event is that? Yeah I definitely want to go seethe President. I’d much rather go to that event than to the Holtzbachers where there’s just going to be a Senator. A new suit probably isn’t even enough. We should go buy new shoes as well!”
“Well you actually don’t have to go anywhere,” said Totty. “I’m talking about something in our own house.”
Shimmy started jumping up and down with delight. “THE PRESIDENT IS COMING TO OUR HOUSE?!?!?!?” he exclaimed. “We need to go buy new furniture. And a fancy chandelier! And we should probably replace the front door too!”
“Calm down, Shimmy,” said Totty with a smile. “The President is not coming to our house.”
Shimmy stopped jumping, confused. “So who’s coming?” he asked.
“Nobody’s coming,” said Totty. “ But Mommy and I will be here.”
Shimmy blinked. “You and Mommy?” he repeated.
“Exactly,” said Totty. “You know in this week’s Parsha we have the mitzvah of Kibbud Av v’Eim. The mitzvah of honoring your parents is so important that Hashem put it in the Aseres Hadibros! And yes, while we do have to have hakoras hatov for the government since they give us a country to live where we can keep Torah and Mitzvos, but a person needs to have even more hakoras hatov for his parents because they are the ones who brought him into this world!
“Do you know what the Chayei Adam says? He says that a person should see his parents as gedolei ha’aretz – like the most respected people of the land. Whatever kavod a person would give to royalty and nobility, he should respect his parents at least as much as that!”
Shimmy considered this for a minute. “Wow,” he said. “I guess I never thought about it like that.” Then he added “you know what? Every time you and Mommy walk in the house, we’re all going to get dressed up super fancy and treat you like a king and queen. I think I should even get a tuxedo to put on before you walk in the door!”
Mommy smiled. “Shimmy,” she said. “I don’t know how practical that is. We would much rather you keep your Shabbos clothes nice and clean for Shabbos and Yom Tov than put them on every single time one of us walks into the house. And a tuxedo is definitely out of the question. But it is a Mitzvah to stand up when we walk into the room. And if you want to really be mechabed us, you are most welcome to hurry to your room and clean up the puzzle pieces like I asked you.”
Now it was Shimmy’s turn to smile. “Absolutely Mommy – I’ll do it right away!” As he ran to clean his room, he thought to himself “I’m doing one of the biggest Mitzvos in the Torah, and it is more important than welcoming a Senator or even the President!”
Have A Wonderful Shabbos!