Photo Credit: Jewish Press

I like to buy alstroemerias for Shabbos. Besides the fact that they come in an assortment of beautiful colors, alstroemerias last long. You see, I prefer to avoid buying new flowers every week for Shabbos. I’ve thought about why that is. Is it stinginess? Laziness? Possibly a little of the former. But I think there’s more to it.

When you buy a fresh bunch of flowers for Shabbos – let’s say tulips, one of my favorite flowers – those flowers are at their height of perfection. You put them in your vase with a sense of satisfaction and a hope that they’re going to grace your table the whole week long. But with tulips, it’s all downhill. They shoot up awkwardly after being under the blaze of your dining room table lights for 24 hours and soon lose their color, shape, and glory. They begin to die. And then they smell and shed all over the place. So to me, the quickly dying Shabbos flower is a loss of hope, beauty, and life. Why would I want to be reminded of death and dashed dreams weekly? No thank you.


Sometimes my alstroemerias last for three Shabbosos. That brings me even more Shabbos joy. L’chaim!

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Alexandra Fleksher holds a M.S. in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and a B.A. in English Communications from Stern College for Women. Her essays on contemporary Jewish issues have been published in various blogs and publications. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband and four children.