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My broken charging cable

Friday, 6 September, 2019 - 4:13 pm

 

Ask anyone what is the monetary value of a quarter and they’ll look at you as you fell off the moon. Every kindergartener knows that it’s worth twenty-five cents.

In reality, sometimes a quarter can be worth a lot more than twenty-five cents. Picture yourself frantically driving in a big city’s downtown, terribly late to a meeting and when you finally find an empty parking space you realize you don’t have a quarter to feed the meter. How much would you pay for a quarter at that very moment? Go back 15-20 years and imagine you’re in the airport and mom is an hour late to pick you up, but you don’t have a quarter for the payphone. How much is a quarter worth at that point?

“Do not scorn any man, and do not discount any thing; for there is no man who has not his hour, and no thing that has not its place” says the Talmudist. In a certain time and a certain place the non-valuable item can become invaluable.

Think of your phone’s charging cable. It’s not worth much. Your phone can be worth hundreds of dollars and the power in the outlet is awesome, but without the cheap wire connecting the two, you would quickly find yourself totally non-functional.

I know this first hand. Yesterday I was in NY City, spending a day fundraising for our Shul after dropping off out three high-schoolers in the East Coast. Suddenly I realized the connector on my charging cable was bent out of shape and my phone was no longer charging. Strangely, none of the stores I searched on Seventh Avenue or Broadway had only iPhone cables for sale and my frustration was rising with each battery percentage my android was losing. How will I keep up with my appointments and how will I have a phone for the flight home? After a little while, it occurred to me to pop into my good friends at Lifeworks Technology as their office was right  around the corner. "Surely they can spare one cable”, I thought to myself, ”they make them by the truckload”. It wasn’t long before I was ‘connected’ again and as my phone was finally charging up I realized that never before had I appreciated that cable so much.

Man is a very powerful machine and G-d is an endless source of energy and power and the connection between the two is absolutely vital. Like our phones, we have a charging cable connecting us and there are 613 spiritual ones that connect our soul to its source of power – Hashem, resembling the many thin copper wires that compose our charging cable . Each of those thin wires is called a Mitzvah; together they’re called Mitzvot – Commandments. When we fulfill just one, we have a 1-wire-thin charging cable; but the more we do the thicker our cable becomes and the faster our battery charges.

So, the next time you wrap Tefillin, eat kosher, observe Shabbos, lights the candles on Friday evening or put a coin the charity box, you are doing a lot more than a good deed, you’re ‘plugging in’ your soul.

Here’s to full batteries.

Gut Shabbos,

Rabbi Mendel Greisman

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