Rabbi’s Reflections -Saturday, August 31, 2019
Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,
This whole thing is a Rabbi Trail: I’m so glad we have arrived at another Shabbat. (as my father used to say, “It beats the alternative.”) Let me ask you a question. When you signed up for the RR, did you ever imagine you would be getting a Jewish education as part of the deal?
And not just any Jewish education either; but a good Jewish education. If you’re Jewish, there are things you just know (they don’t have to be taught). For instance, we now know what a MOT is. (Member Of the Tribe, remember, it how one Jewish person asks another Jewish person if they are Jewish, “Are you a MOT?”)
Here is the latest installment in your Jewish education. What is a “Shnorer?” You might be tempted to guess a shnorer is something someone does during a Shabbat nap (called a shnap), but don’t because it isn’t. Literally, a shnorer is a beggar, but not just any beggar. A shnorer is someone who frequently tries to get something for nothing.
I once worked for a very wise woman who told me, “If someone is getting something for nothing, someone else is getting nothing for something.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against benevolence, charity or giving to the poor. I am against enabling irresponsible (sometimes just plain bad) behavior and stupid decisions.
The shnorer mindset is not edifying to God. The shnorer mindset says that God cannot provide so it is necessary to take advantage of every situation to get something for nothing.
Psalm 1:1 Happy is the one who has not walked in the advice of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of scoffers. 2 But his delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and on His Torah he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a planted tree over streams of water, producing its fruit during its season. Its leaf never droops— but in all he does, he succeeds.
What was that last thought? Some translations say, “Everything he does shall prosper.” Prosperity, like success, is not a destination, but a journey. Every day, every decision can bring increase to our walk with the Lord, if we submit to God. My prayer is that we will all be fruit producing in God’s kingdom.
Shabbat Shalom (again), R. Michael.