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Where Is The Steak That I Ordered?!!

I am very fortunate to learn Torah in a Yeshiva. However, my ultimate goal is not merely to expand my range of knowledge. "Tachlis chochma teshuva u'maasim tovim". The learning must make me a better person. If not - I'm missing the point. That is why I get so excited when I hear a story that sheds new light on how to be an ethical personality [a "baál mussar" in yeshivish].

I heard this story from Rav Zwieg shlita about Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky Shlita [Rosh Yeshiva in Philadelphia]. Rav Kaminetsky was eating at a hotel and constantly thanked the waitress telling her how delicious the food is. Upon being asked why he is complimenting the taste of the food to the waitress who didn't prepare it, he explained that when a person does a favor for you they want to feel like they are doing the greatest possible favor. Therefore he thanked the waitress not only for serving the food but for serving delicious food. This way she feels even better about what she did!!

The story doesn't end here. The next meal he asked the waitress "Where are your glasses?". Wow. As Rav Zwieg pointed out, for most of us a waiter or waitress is just a pair of hands. They only have value insofar as they are serving us. Beyond that, who cares. Rav Shmuel related to her as a person. "Where are your glasses?". [By the way she answered that she was wearing her contacts.]

Rav Yaákov Kaminetsky [R' Shmuel's father] a true Baál Mussar, would be proud.

May we all truly care about each other.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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