web analytics
July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Glittering Displays

It’s that time of year again. You’re sure to be visually bombarded at every turn of your shopping experience. Malls and department stores are inundated with glittery holiday displays and decorations.


With the objective of buying my six-year-old son, Yisroel, an essential pair of snow boots, we headed out to the stores one Sunday afternoon. His eyes opened wide as he caught sight of an intricately-designed, antique-looking display. Animatedly, he pointed to it while announcing loudly, “Look, Ma!”


“Yes, honey,” I half-heartedly acknowledged, lugging him in the opposite direction, while realizing how incongruous his large yarmulke and flaying tzitzit appeared to the backdrop of his surroundings. “Let’s go and see if we can find a warm pair of boots for you.”


“But look, Ma,” he repeated, this time even louder. A few passersby were beginning to stare at us, as he obstinately tugged me until we were nearly flanking the display.


Pointing at the red-suited, grey bearded figurine, surrounded by several elves riding on reindeers, my young son excitedly announced, “See it, Mommy? It’s Yehudah Hamaccabi! He’s leading the Jewish warriors on their horses in their victory against the Greeks.”


Just that past week in his school, my son had learned in detail about the victory of the small army of Jews, the Hasmoneans, against their Greek captors who had defiled the Temple and attempted to force all Jews to assimilate. Yisroel naturally assumed that the exhibit before him was a visual representation of Chanukah, and, as such, was captivated by it.


We paused in front of the display for a moment longer before Yisroel asked in wonderment, “But Mommy, how did this store owner know about the Maccabi’im?!”


My son’s innocent statement had me reflecting about how we view our circumstances. His cute but naïve



comment awakened within me a new perception of our world.


A child personifies the attitude of “it is for me that our world was created.”


Our sages admire this outlook. They see it not as one of arrogance, but rather for its advocating a sense of responsibility. By seeing our world as created specifically for me, I am inculcating a positive and empowering attitude into how much every one of my actions and attitudes affects my surroundings and my world.



On that Sunday afternoon shopping experience, Yisroel was reminding me of the chassidic idiom that everything we see – indeed, everything we come into contact with – is placed there just for us. In some way, every encounter has within it a means for our personal growth. Even those things in seeming opposition to our values,are placed before us to help us pierce through the coarseness of outer reality and discover some inner worth.




While I’m not suggesting that we look outside of our religion to find any deeper meaning, and while Torah specifically delineates which things are forbidden and must be avoided, this episode reminded me that every encounter – even challenges or obstacles – can bring us to higher levels of devotion.


It may just take the innocent perspective of a child, or our own inner child, that envisions our world as being there for me, allowing us to penetrate through the rough external layers and enabling us to find a message or meaning relevant to our personal growth.


Because it is the pure, unblemished vision of a child that reminds us to look into the coarseness of our world and uncover, a morsel of meaning, we’re able to see beyond the artificialness of our surroundings, discover a point of sincerity and gaze deeper than the falsehood encircling us and find a vision of truth.


Perhaps if each of us would foster this inner child’s positive vision, our world would be transformed into that reality.


And isn’t that the message of Chanukah – to stand strong against the pervasive assimilation surrounding us and remain true and strong to the message of our heritage and our faith?


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 “Glittering Displays”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
investing-in-gold_4548807_lrg
What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa
Latest Sections Stories

Anna Henriques, who hopes to one day head back to Jamaica, says, “Rabbi Raskin must be willing to respect what exists in Jamaica. The way to the future is to gently bring in the traditions of the past and at the same time embrace the idiosyncrasies of the Jamaican people.”

Food-Talk---Eller-logo

The Silver Platter has it all: gorgeous photography, oodles of useful tips and, more importantly, incredible recipes that you will find yourself making again and again.

Emmer-052915-History

It may be that seeking to connect with the past is rooted in the impermanence and impersonality of modern life.

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

Everyone in the kehilla can get involved, she added, and mothers can network with each other.

On her first ever trip to Israel last week, popular radio talk-show personality and clinical psychologist Dr. Joy Browne, whose spirited broadcasts regularly attract millions of listeners across North America, paid a visit to OneFamily headquarters in Jerusalem in order to learn more about the physical and emotional challenges faced by victims of terror in […]

With the famous Touro Synagogue, a variety of mansions, each with its own distinct personality, as well as the beautiful coast, Rhode Island makes for an excellent vacation spot.

To avoid all this waste and unnecessary anxiety, let’s break the task down step by step and tackle each one at a time.

While there are those who insist they need full-color photos to be truly entranced by a recipe, I suggest you get over that particular requirement because the written word here will draw you in and cause you to salivate as you peruse the recipes scattered throughout The Well-Spiced Life (Israel Book Shop).

For those who couldn’t go off base, a personal parcel was priceless in its ability to convey a feeling of home.

More Articles from Chana Weisberg

We’re on one of those really long family road trips. The kind that parenting experts advise will imprint fond memories on your children’s psyche. (How’s that for guilt?) And the kind on which you never leave home without a bottle of Tylenol and your favorite cup of strongly caffeinated, black coffee.

We’re on one of those really long family road trips. The kind that parenting experts advise will imprint fond memories on your children’s psyche. (How’s that for guilt?) And the kind on which you never leave home without a bottle of Tylenol and your favorite cup of strongly caffeinated, black coffee.

Last week, I bought a new brand of detergent.

It promises to remove all stains, even those stubborn, impossible to remove ones–or your money back. Guaranteed.

Last week, I bought a new brand of detergent.

It promises to remove all stains, even those stubborn, impossible to remove ones–or your money back. Guaranteed.

From the great synagogue in Tel Aviv to his performances in the role of Jean Valjean in the hit Broadway show Les Miserables, Dudu Fisher is an international star singer and cantor.

From the great synagogue in Tel Aviv to his performances in the role of Jean Valjean in the hit Broadway show Les Miserables, Dudu Fisher is an international star singer and cantor.

He looks at me with such a wistful expression in his clear blue eyes. His young shoulders are sagging and he appears to be carrying the world’s burdens.

He looks at me with such a wistful expression in his clear blue eyes. His young shoulders are sagging and he appears to be carrying the world’s burdens.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/glittering-displays/2005/12/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: