It was not only the best Thanksgiving meal I ever ate, it was the best meal I have ever eaten. The turkey was cooked to perfection. The soup was out of this world. The stuffing was extraordinary. The sweet potatoes were perfect. The desserts, gluten free of course, were better than any I have ever tasted. But something was missing. I can’t blame my wife as she is not American, but there were no marshmallows. How can you celebrate Thanksgiving without some melted marshmallows? Isn’t there some kind of law?
Everyone at the table was horrified when I cried out, “I want more!” Our guests sat in embarrassed silence. Debbie, in a very non-Argentine calm voice asked, “How can you want more than what you already proclaimed the perfect meal?” I didn’t respond, but any American reading this will understand that I was being perfectly reasonable.
It is not only Debbie who responds less than perfectly to demands for more: I invited readers to submit their insights into Shalom Aleichem for a special project this week, honoring all the angels who appear in the Portion of the Week. I received over 40 essays, each, so wonderful that I responded with an email, “I want more!” Perhaps they are all secretly Argentine. Many people wondered how I could follow a thank you with an immediate demand for more.
Everyone sings Shalom Aleichem, and many even know the Talmudic tale on which it is based. Few people ever think about it and I wanted to challenge our readers to remember that the goal of The Foundation Stone™ is to find meaning in everything we do. Many people responded that they had never even thought about it despite singing it every Shabbat for many years. Some even thanked me for sparking their interest. Is it any wonder that I want more?
The difference between Esau and Jacob is symbolized by the former’s insistence on having “Rav,” a lot, even more than he needs, and the latter, Jacob, being satisfied with having “Kol,” everything that he needs, and no more. Is my cry for “More!” an Esau response? Would Jacob have responded well to my demand for more? He wasn’t Argentine.
I actually believe that Jacob would have been on my side. There is only one “Kol,” everything, for me: The sense that Torah is infinite. There is always more. The sense of Infinite is Kol, everything. There is nothing else.
So, as one of Jacob’s grandchildren, I thank “Kol,” all who participated in the Shalom Aleichem project, and I demand “More!”
Wishing you all an Infinite Shabbat, beginning with singing Shalom Aleichem, that will never be the same, and that will lead to “More and More and More and…” ad infinitum.
My good friend Rabbi Stephen Baars of GetBliss.com responded to my demand for more by inaugurating a new column on relationships. How To Talk So Your Spouse Will Always Listen, ( He forgot to add:even if you are asking for more. He’s British, so you understand.) Perhaps it will help me get marshmallows next Thanksgiving.
Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg