web analytics
January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Breakfast And Happiness (Part I)

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch

The power of the printed word.

It never ceases to amaze me how I can write a column at my humble desk in Jerusalem and readers all across America – people I have never met – tell me how much they have gained from my words. I am touched and humbled by your kind words and especially grateful to The Jewish Press for the platform. I am equally grateful to be associated with The Jewish Press, a publication that has been guiding and enlightening American Jewry since 1960. Needless to say, thanks to the Almighty as well.

After having written this column for so many years, and covering so many topics, I am (finally) bowing to the numerous requests to write about our blessed family. More specifically, I shall commit to paper everyone’s favorite routine: the scene at our breakfast table.

The problem is that there are so many children, b’li ayin hara, that I cannot get the whole scene down in one column. It is really a pity to break in the middle, but I am allotted only so much space. My strong advice is to stay for the entire ride. In subsequent columns, please God, I intend to elaborate about what I have learned from serving breakfast to my kids.

We are talking about feeding 15 children (at the time that this incident occurred), with disparate tastes, schedules, levels of being asleep, levels of being awake, intensities of hunger, and desire to participate in this morning ritual – converging at the same table for an expeditious breakfast to be administered by a loving and infinitely patient father (full disclosure: me) overarchingly concerned about each child’s individual taste and opinion.

And to be sure that everyone’s palate is satisfied and gut satiated with the fullest gustatory and culinary detail, a bountiful buffet is displayed each morning – rich in variety and plentiful in abundance. Being the one in charge of this responsibility, no detail is too small and no chore too cumbersome to ensure that my kids are eating properly and getting the right start on their day.

Ooooh, that sounded so good; but so did the Russian constitution!

Our kitchen is barely large enough for a table, and the idea of a buffet is so unrealistic, so removed from my temperament and so distant from my frugal nature, that bouncing a bowling ball would be far more likely. The menu, invariably and consistently, is cornflakes (which I buy by the pallet) and milk (in unequal doses) poured in.

We are not going to discuss who gets the chipped bowl and who gets the cracked bowl, who gets the looks-like-it-was-not-washed bowl, who gets the unwashed bowl and who gets yesterday’s (or earlier, as the possibilities are endless) half-eaten bowl of cornflakes that is now hardened into an orange fist. Why discuss an issue so minor that it would make the Crimean War seem like a love-fest?

Conducting this operation so that a) everyone gets fed; b) the kids are able to depart for school with no bodily or emotional harm; c) the Survival of the Fittest version of musical chairs is not enacted; d) upon departure it does not look like fifteen (!) people ate there; and e) most importantly (as I shall explain) everyone gets off on time, requires a few ground rules.

I have learned these rules after keenly observing my children’s predilections and natures and copiously studying the vast literature of parenting dos and don’ts. Accordingly, I only implement rules that are never autocratic and stifle individual expression. My sole motivation is the efficacy of the goal with no collateral damage en route.

Maybe it is time to invoke the Russian Constitution analogy again.

Factually, my only rule during breakfast is “Thou shall not speak!” And my well-mannered and urbane children, endowed with a rare felicity of politesse, react to this as they do to all of my rules: absolute and total ignore. The breakfast table sounds like the runway at O’Hare.

But that, of course, in no way discourages me from delicately and oh-so lovingly catering to each of my children’s individual tastes and penchants, which earns me an avalanche of appreciation, admiration and, let’s be frank about this, veneration. (Full disclosure: the untrained eye would be hard-pressed to pick up on this.)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Breakfast And Happiness (Part I)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an event held at the International Conference Center in Jerusalem of the Taglit Birthright program, where Netanyahu was the guest speaker. January 14, 2015.
Netanyahu ‘Will Go Anywhere Invited’ to Prevent Iran from Achieving Nuclear Weapons
Latest Judaism Stories
Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

Parshat Bo

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

The-Shmuz

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.

The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”

Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory

Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus

Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.

I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.

Three years of war and the loss of one-tenth of Britain’s men is not too great a price to pay.

More Articles from Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

If we are certain that God is on our side, we can easily become arrogant and even cruel

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Reb Shlomo Zalman could not endure honorifics applied to him because of his enormous humility

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

A humble person who achieves a position of prominence will utilize the standing to benefit others.

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

Thinking about how much we can do in comparison to what we have done serves as a corrective against pride and arrogance.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/chodesh-tov/breakfast-and-happiness-part-i/2013/10/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: