Warning: proceed with caution if you become easily queasy. Although this also includes the writer of this article, as the story happened to me, I decided to use it as an opportunity to strengthen my stomach tolerance.
Much can be learned from a bag of wormy food. Here’s my story from last Friday:
Shortly after returning home from the market, I noticed two squiggly little white worms hanging from the top of the popcorn kernel bag. As there was also a bag of questionable cashews to return, I decided to hop back out to the market. Prior to leaving the house, my wife reminded me to get some avocados, and off I went.
I showed the evidence of the worms to the cashier, then told her that I also had something to buy. Not being careful to buy more or less than the returned items as we have an account there, I grabbed six avocados, but returned one thinking six was too much. When I went back to the cashier, remarkably, upon weighing them on the scale, the price of the avocados was exactly the same as the returned kernels and cashews!
Walking back home, I thought to myself that God must be laughing happily at this moment. Even though I didn’t know what the article would be about at the time, on Thursday night I had just written about the importance of being sensitive to Divine Providence. And now, the very next morning, God was sending me another new opportunity to put this idea into practice.
There are two lessons I took from what happened. The first was that while the price of the cashews/kernels and avocados where exactly the same, they were worlds apart in terms of edibility. The second lesson was that if I had purchased that sixth avocado, there would have been no story. The price of the avocados would have exceeded the credit of the return, and the balance would have been added to our bill.
Upon thinking over what happened, I realized that the story is a most fitting metaphor for what America is now trying to “serve” Israel with. America is trying to make the peace plan appear to be fruit. But as it is the nature of a Jewish soul to see beyond the outer peel, the Jewish people are awakening to the fact—more and more—that this peace plan is in truth a swarm of worms.
When I was growing up, I would watch an animated cartoon series short called “How to Eat Fried Worms.” In order to complete the task of eating the worm each time, Billy often coated the worms in ketchup, or some other food, to mask the realization of what he was eating. But even though America would happily send a cargo plane full of ketchup to mask the taste, or promise sanctions in Iran, nothing can change the fact that the plan is not “kosher” (i.e., against the Torah).
Peace from Above
The second lesson again was that if I had picked the sixth avocado, there would be no story. So too, there is something profound about having a perfect balance between good and evil. As Maimonides states:
“Every man should view himself as equally balanced: half good and half evil. Likewise, he should see the entire world as half good half evil… So that with a single good deed he will tip the scales for himself, and for the entire world, to the side of good.”1
This is why the singular word “fruit” was chosen for the title instead of “fruits.” The fruitful results, the peace plan that we are all waiting for, will come with the arrival of Mashiach, not from strong-armed political tactics. But like the perfectly good avocado that was put back into the bin, although it is our job to do as many fruits (i.e., good deeds) as possible, the tipping of the scale is up to God, not us.
For more on how being sensitive to Divine Providence helps bring Mashiach, read “Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson: A Lesson in Building the World“
1. Maimonides (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance 3:4).
About the Author: Yonatan Gordon is a student of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and writes on his personal blog at CommunityofReaders.org.
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