("Let's table the discussion" is a new Adath Israel Shul initiative where a story or thought is presented in order to stimulate exciting and constructive discussion around our Shabbos table or among friends and children. Dedicated to the Refush Sheleima of Shalva Adina Bas Sarah Chana)
Brian Bristles was an artistic kind of a boy. He looked at everything as though it were a beautiful painting, and, in the blink of an eye, he could paint anything at all, filling it with magic and color.
One day, Brian and his grandfather went to spend a weekend at the palace of the Marquis of Castling. The Marquis was an old friend of Brian's grandfather; and was a very famous chess player. When they arrived, Brian went into a large room and found a lovely chess set, totally hand carved, and with its own marble table which acted as the board. This chess set caught Brian's artistic eye. However, he felt that these pieces were too uniform. Along with the blacks and whites of the board, it amounted to rather a bland set.
So, that night, - paint box in hand - he tiptoed from his room to the chess room. There he spent the night painting each piece in the most colorful way. When the pieces were done, he painted a beautiful scene on the marble chessboard. Brian hoped to use his art to really surprise his grandfather and the Marquis.
However, the next morning, when the Marquis discovered that his pieces had been covered in a thousand colors, instead of being pleased, he was very angry. That afternoon he had a very important match to play. However lovely all those colours were, it would be impossible to play chess without being able to know which pieces were which; and even more difficult now that the squares of the board were covered with a painting.
Brian's grandfather explained to him that even the loveliest, most colorful things need some sense of order to them. The boy felt very hurt, remembering how many times his paintings had annoyed people...
But Brian Bristles was a true artist, and he wasn't about to give up easily.
A little while later he went to his grandfather and the Marquis, and asked their permission to rectify what he had done to the chess set. Knowing how ingeniously artistic the boy was, they decided to give him a chance, so Brian went off and spent hours alone with his paints.
When he was finished, shortly before the match was about to begin, he called for the two men and showed them his work. What a beautiful chess set it now was! Now there were two perfectly recognizable teams; that of night and that of day. On one side, the board and the pieces had been decorated with dozens of stars and moons of all sizes and colors. On the other side the decorations were suns, clouds, and rainbows. It was done so well that the whole set had an unmatchable sense of order and harmony.
Brian understood that a little order had been missing, but he had now managed to impose some without giving up any color. The two grown-ups looked at the paintings and smiled. It was obvious that Brian Bristles would become a great artist. (story from Pedro Sacristan)
When Moshe set about to tell Betzalel how to organize and build the Mishkan, he first told Betzalel about the magnificent Keilim (vessels) that would be necessary and only thereafter, did he tell him how to make the structure of the Mishkan. Betzalel set about to build the structure of the Mishkan first, noting that in life we do not first build furniture and then a home. Rather, first we build the home in order to have a place for the furniture. Moshe later concurred with his logic.
Rav Yechezkel Levenstein ztl. pointed out that Betzalel’s exchange with Moshe highlights an important idea in successful Yiddishkiet – that of order. In order for a person to ascend spiritual heights s/he must first be orderly in the way s/he conducts himself in the world. The more order one structures himself to in this world, the more room for spiritual growth within that structure.
What can YOU do to better order YOUR life?
How can the orderliness help YOUR spiritual Growth?
Let’s “table” the discussion – by discussing it with our children, spouses, families and guests and open an exciting discussion into our homes and community.