Photo Credit: Jewish Press

There is no cuter kid than Motty, and likely none more mischievous either. He is a firstborn boy, and like our bechor at his age (nearly forty years ago!) he is an extremely curious, fearless, and independent three-going-on-fifteen-year-old.

I have been ‘Bubbysitting’ Motty a few hours a week for a couple of years already, and to put it quite mildly, it is never boring! Neither are the occasional Shabbosim that he and his family spend in our home.


On one such Shabbos stay, during one of the final weeks that I was still allowing sleepover guests before the annual pre-Pesach cleaning marathon commenced in earnest, we experienced what I have referred to ever since as “The Shabbos of Broken Glass.”

Purim had been joyously celebrated not long before, and as we have happily noticed over the past number of years, we received some wonderful gifts along with our mishloach manot food baskets. So once the delicacies and treats had been consumed and/or donated, we still had several lovely mementos of Purim to enjoy throughout the coming year or more.

Among our prized recent acquisitions was a beautiful set of twelve gold-toned charger plates that we had received in a magnificently packaged mishloach manot from a few of my husband’s prized former talmidim.

We gratefully used those chargers every (non-Pesach) Shabbos in the two years since, and they greatly enhanced our Shabbos decor. Remarkably, one of my husband’s congregants likewise gifted us with a stunning set of twelve gold-toned napkin rings that coordinated perfectly with those chargers! So I was able to set a gorgeous Shabbos table with virtually no extra effort on my part!

Because the set of chargers was oversized and heavy we ended up storing all twelve of them atop the wooden shoe closet situated opposite the entrance to our apartment. In that way they remained unobtrusively and safely stowed above eye-level, yet totally accessible at the same time. Or so we innocently thought. Until Motty joined us for the aforementioned Shabbos.

It was great having our kids and grandsons spend Shabbos with us, and we thoroughly enjoyed Motty and his baby brother. Motty’s sparkling eyes, endearing smile, and playful antics kept us all enthralled and entertained.

However, during the long Shabbos afternoon hours, Motty became somewhat bored, and he set his sights on some new activities that he had not tried on his previous visits. So, although his mother had vocally warned him against doing so any number of times earlier, it seemed to Motty that the present was as good a time as ever to explore Saba and Savta’s imposing shoe closet.

He subsequently opened one swinging shelf after another, curiously investigating the variety of shoes, sneakers, and slippers stored within each one. He even climbed along the outside of the adjacent staircase in order to reach the higher shelves. Baruch Hashem the little amateur detective remained unscathed while he conducted his painstaking research. It was only after he had checked out the entire footwear collection that he decided to take a break – by sitting inside the door attached to the lower shelf of the shoe closet!

Needless to say, even his relatively insignificant weight was sufficient to topple the entire tall closet! B’chasdei Hashem the handrail of the nearby staircase effectively arrested the closet’s fall, and in true “Shomer pesa’im Hashem” fashion, the little imp emerged without a scratch, although he was obviously pretty shaken up by the unforeseen sound and light show he had inadvertently produced.

Sadly the chargers and sundry other breakable items that had been stored for many months atop the cabinet were not as fortunate! They loudly crashed onto the steps and floor, creating a deafening cacophony of sound and a fair amount of destruction in their wake.

Once the proverbial dust had cleared, there were shards of broken glass from a small blue trinket box, many handfuls of coins from our tzedakah stash, and of course lots of gold-toned hard plastic charger pieces littering the floor and stairs.

All of us who were within earshot converged on the area, and after ascertaining that baruch Hashem Motty was physically fine, the intensive cleanup operation began. Because it was Shabbos, much of the debris was considered muktzeh; nevertheless we had to sweep up and discard the dangerous pieces of glass and sharp plastic.

A post-destruction inventory confirmed that four of the chargers were a total loss while a few others were chipped and/or cracked but still functional in a pinch. Remarkably about half of them remained no worse for wear.

Baruch Hashem the few remaining hours of Shabbos passed relatively uneventfully, and amid continued apologies, Motty and his family set off for home.

After the floor was thoroughly vacuumed, washed (and rewashed!), and deemed reasonably safe (but no going barefoot!), my husband and I concluded that we had blessedly dodged that proverbial bullet with flying colors and minimal damage.

At the same time. after reassessing the fallout (pun intended!) I decided that it made sense to order some additional matching chargers to accommodate our guest roster. To that end, I checked what was available on and selected a matching set with free shipping to Israel. A few clicks later and my set of six chargers was ordered and due to arrive in the coming weeks. Easy enough.

Except of course that the shade of gold was much brighter than our previous set. Plus one of the six arrived slightly cracked, although still usable. I lodged a complaint and requested to exchange one charger.

Within minutes I received my reply. There was no need to return the damaged item, I was told. And rather than an exchange, Amazon offered a free replacement. FOR THE ENTIRE SET OF SIX CHARGERS!

Sure enough, shortly before Pesach, six perfect chargers arrived at my door! So we had a brand new set of twelve sparkling gold chargers to enhance our Yom Tov table, for the price of six, including free shipping.

In fact we enjoyed our new Pesach chargers so much that we decided to pack them away with our other exclusive Passover items and instead purchase some new chargers to supplement our battered collection.

The ones we received with our mishloach manot had stickers on the underside with the name of a local company and the item number still clearly legible on some. So I went back to all-knowing Google once more, and was delighted to discover that the warehouse/supplier was located just a few minutes from my husband’s yeshiva!

Long story short, I placed an online order and my husband stopped by to pick it up several minutes later. We are now the proud owners of twelve chargers for Pesach and another twelve plus for during the year.

So it looks like our adorable Motty is officially off the hook. Until next time!


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