Here’s a great story just in time for Thanksgiving.
It’s about Rabbi Israel Salanter, a leading Torah scholar of the 19th century.
… One day, he went to a very elegant restaurant, to meet someone.
He was seated. And asked the waiter for a glass of water. He waited a while, but the man didn’t show up.
The Rabbi decided to leave, and asked for the bill. The waiter brought it. For the astronomical sum of forty francs!
‘Why so much? All I had was a glass of water?’
The waiter’s response?
‘Monsieur, you must realize that you are not merely paying for a simple glass of water.
You pay for the surroundings, the ambiance. The fine furniture, carpeting, and chandeliers.
Not to mention the view.’
… Rabbi Salanter always looked for new lessons in life. And this struck him.
Because, it resolved something that always bothered him.
… According to Jewish tradition, before we drink a glass of water, we say a blessing.
“Blessed are You G-d . . . through Whose word everything came into being.”
And he never really understood: ‘Everything’?
It’s just a glass of water!
Sounds like “overkill”!
… But the waiter in Paris taught him the answer.
It’s not enough to thank G-d for the simple pleasure of a glass of water.
Because while we drink that “simple” glass of water?
We also enjoy incredible ambiance!
We’re surrounded by a beautiful world. And the special people in our lives.
… So in addition to whatever you may do on Thanksgiving?
Here’s a suggestion.
Take a simple glass of water. And before you drink it?
Remember that we need to be thankful even for the “small things”.
(These days if a parent suggests that a child drink “plain water”? The kid may call DCFS!)
Prepare to thank G-d for the water.
Then reflect for a few seconds on the “ambiance” that surrounds you.
Especially the people you love!
And say a Bracha. The blessing.
Here are the words.
“You are blessed, the Lord our G-d, King of the universe, by Whose word everything came into being”.
(Baruch Atoh Adonoy, Eloheynu Melech Haolom, Shehakol Nihyeh Bidvoroh)
… Whether you’re hosting or going out? Bring this along.
Give a “toast” over a glass of water!
And do me a favor.
Drop me an e-mail and tell me you tried it. (And show me that you really read this!)
All the best,