web analytics
May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 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
What's happened to NYC's Celebrate Israel Parade?
Israel Rejects as ‘False’ UJA Federation’s Claims about Israel Parade ‘Inclusion’
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-logo-NEW

When I complain, she tells me it is retail therapy.

West-Coast-logo

Tal Dimenstein has been selected to present her ELI Talk about Appreciation during this year’s conference in Chicago.

How is it possible that some of our people cannot see what I see, the miracle of the existence of the state of Israel?

Birobidzhan railway station sign is the world’s only one spelling the town’s name in Yiddish letters

She’s seen as a poster child for The Jewish Home’s efforts to reach beyond its Orthodox base.

Girls don’t usually learn Gemara. Everyone knows that.

Mordechai and his men shared a strong mutual loyalty.

“Can I wear tefillin in the bathroom?” That was the question US Private Nuchim Lebensohn wrote to Mike Tress, president of the Agudath Israel Youth Council, in a letter dated November 18, 1942. Lebensohn was not your typical young American GI. Polish by birth, he was forty-three years old and married when he was drafted […]

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

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: