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 Refuah Sheleima of Shalva Adina Bas Sarah Chana & Eliyahu Aharon Ben Yocheved Yetta Ettel).

It was the “feel good” news story of the month of September.

A Cedar Rapids, Iowa couple Mackenzie and Steve Shultz were celebrating their 6 year wedding anniversary at a Shushi restaurant. They found the service somewhat lacking. After all, it took 20 minutes to get water, 40 for an appetizer and then an additional hour for the entrée. Everyone around them began to make fun or get irate about the service.

The Shultzes chose a different path. When it came time to finish their meal, they left the clearly over worked waiter working on a short-staffed night, a $100 tip on a 66.65 bill. They told him that they knew it wasn’t not his fault and that they appreciated his place, having met while both working in the same industry. They asked him to “pay it forward.”

The results have certainly paid off. Not only has the couple been able to inspire a positive feeling in their server, the story has impacted over 1.5 million others.

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 108b) tells the story of the Orshiner bird who, while living on the Teiva never demanded its food. Noach noticed the bird in its corner and asked it why it was so quiet. The Orshiner explained to Noach that she saw how busy he was feeding the other animals and did not want to be a bother to him. Noach blessed the bird with a Beracha that it should live forever more.

Imagine that – a few moments of waiting and of calm brought Noach to bless the bird with eternal life. Why the full blessing?

Rav Volch explains that when you learn to appreciate the value of each minute of life and can try to make each minute valuable not only to you and your mission but to that of those around you, you use life appropriately and deserve more of it.

We live in times where immediate gratification sometimes can bring us to make unbelievable demands on other around us. Sometimes, even our believable demands need a bit of Savlanut. If we take the time to grant our neighbors and community members a moment’s freedom, it can pay off major dividends for them – and us as well.

How can YOU incorporate the value of  Savlanut into today’s fast paced world?

How can you play it forward?



 Let’s  “table” the discussion – by discussing it with our children, spouses, families and guests and open an exciting  discussion into our homes and communities.