("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)


A father and a son once took a long summertime trip. In anticipation of challenge and fun, they agreed to only purchase foods along the way, choosing to meet and greet people in the local eateries on their travels.


One particular day, their commitment led them to starvation. For throughout the day, they came across no one, and no place to purchase food and provision. Finally, as day turned toward night, they happened on a rest stop in the middle of their lonely desert travel. They rushed into the rest stop’s diner to see what they could eat.


The son glanced at the menu and his mouth began to water as he read the description of all the different spices that they used in making their signature dish – a super savory, spicy burger which was double fried in extra spice.


The father immediately ordered the basics, fruit, vegetables and grains, leaving out the protein. The son asked the father why he was leaving out the most authentic “local” item from his meal. Why not order the signature burger?


The father responded: “There is an important rule in the food world. If too many spices are being used, then the chef is trying to  overcompensate for something. I suspect that the meat is likely spoiled and the extra spice is trying to hide it.”


The Dubno Maggid explains that one of the reasons that a Kohein may not drink wine when entering the Mikdash to perform the Avodah is that the Avoda alone is a spiritual experience. If the Kohein would need to enhance that experience by watering it down, not only would he be dividing his focus spiritually, he would also be losing touch with the “meat and potatoes” of the spiritual experience – namely being in front of Hashem and doing his will.


Today’s Jewish educational and programmatic arms work very hard to enhance the individual’s experience of Judaism. Are these attempts successful at enhancing the Ratzon Hashem or do they subtract from the experience of authentic Torah spirituality?


How do we properly create honest spirituality that enhances and supports Torah Judaism?


  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.