Hope all is well.
We were learning the Torah portion of Kedoshim. (Leviticus, 19 and 20).
Kedoshim is full of great moral teachings as well as many Jewish rituals.
There’s Shabbat. There’s “Love you neighbor like yourself”. (19:18)
And the very next verse?
A mysterious commandment.
“Do not wear a garment that has both wool and linen”.
In Hebrew, it’s called Shaatnez.
A commandment that seems to defy our understanding.
… Shabbat and Shaatnez have been in the news lately.
In newspapers all over the world!
(Unfortunately “Love your neighbor like yourself” didn’t make it).
… The Nobel Prizes were awarded a few weeks ago in Stockholm, Sweden.
The prize in economics went to in Israeli.
Professor Robert (a.k.a. Yisroel) Aumann of Hebrew University.
Now, a Jew winning a Nobel Prize is not quiet hot news.
Jews have been awarded close to 25% of them!
But Robert Aumann is somewhat unique.
He’s an Orthodox Jew. Totally Torah observant.
And while a Nobel Prize was a life’s dream come true?
A few things had to be taken care of before he would come down to Sweden!
Like Kosher food.
For him, his 35 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren!
Not finished yet.
Then there was Shabbat.
The ceremony was Saturday evening at 4:30. Shabbat in Sweden was over at 3:52!
So they needed a hotel right near the hall.
They had to (literally!) run over as soon as Shabbat was over.
… Ready to roll?
Not so fast.
Because recipients of a Nobel Prize must wear “an official tie and tails uniform”!
And it had to be checked for Shaatnez!
A sample was sent to Israel and tested in a laboratory.
You guessed it!
Luckily, Aumann was able to have it altered in Stockholm just in time!
… The picture was shown all over the world.
Professor Robert Aumann with his long white beard and large yarmulke.
Standing before the king of Sweden.
Robert Aumann showed the world two things.
That a Jew can “make it to the top” without compromising his Torah observance.
And while he was being honored for the highest level of intellectual achievement?
He showed humility.
He showed that that he knows that there are limits to human understanding.
And while he bowed his head before the King of Sweden?
He stood in a “Shaatnez free official tie and tails”.
Because he also bows before a “Higher Authority”.
All the best,