Photo Credit: Jewish Press

“But, kvod harav, you didn’t,” he insisted. “You told me, apart from the energy drinks buy whatever drinks you like. So I assumed the energy drinks were a given, but I could also buy other drinks if I wanted to and, kvod harav, last year when I was in yeshiva katana one of our rebbeim who lived in the neighbourhood used to come over to us in the yeshiva every Leil Shabbos and bring us loads of snacks and drinks and always stressed that it said in the Gemara that we get back all our expenses for Shabbos. So I didn’t think it would matter what I spent for the Oneg Shabbos.”

Well, I couldn’t argue with him about the expenses, but I tried to explain to him that those drinks were just not suitable for an Oneg Shabbos. They’re kosher but can’t you see that they’re past nisht for an Oneg in yeshiva with the rosh yeshiva?


And you know what he said to that: “But kvod harav, I remember once when we went to Har Meron for Shabbos with the yeshiva ketana our rebbe, Rav Sternfeld, specially bought us cans of this energy drink as a special treat, so why would I imagine it was past nisht for Shabbos in yeshiva.”

My brother told me: “I know Rav Sternfeld well and knew he must have had a good reason for buying the boys these drinks. We all know that sometimes you do things out-of-the-box if necessary. I called him and he explained that because of a recent spate of accidents, they had had to cut the trip short and he had to think of some way of compensating the boys and making them feel a bit special. So as a one-time allowance, he had treated them all to this drink.”

“I’m so pleased,” my brother added, “that I didn’t launch into an attack on Shimon straight away but listened to his side of the story. He really did everything be’tmimus, in total innocence.”


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Ann Goldberg and her family made aliyah from the UK over 30 years ago and live in Jerusalem. She is a web content writer and writing coach and runs writing workshops and e-mail courses. For more information visit