A Novel Interpretation

Shalom Aleichem!

Mazel tov to 2005 alumni Gavi & Tali (nee Silber) Hoffman on the birth of their daughter Yakira Gila. Mazel tov also to big sis Suri! Gavi was the first-ever student President of the Chabad Student Club at QC!

Mazel tov to 2009 alumni Danny & Esther (nee Wertman) Herskowitz on the birth of a baby boy!

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The 7th annual Pink Shabbat this past Friday night was a great success! Students raised money for Sharsheret earlier in the week, and 120 students came together Friday night on campus, enjoying a Chinese buffet. Former NYC Public High School Principal and 1972 QC graduate Moshe (Michael) Kessler was the guest speaker. He gave an inspiring talk about his person battle with cancer, sharing life lessons that he learned.

Thank you to student government President Matthew Louie and the QC Student Association for sponsoring this amazing evening!

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In this week’s Torah portion of Vayeira, we read about our forefather Abraham’s remarkable hospitality. Allow me to share with you the following story about hospitality.

One winter’s evening about 200 years ago, a group of distinguished rabbis came to visit the rabbi of Viedislav. The rabbi had prepared a generous spread to welcome this learned guests, and while they were partaking of the meal, he called in his five-year-old son, Simcha Bunem (who would later become a renowned Chassidic mentor).

“Simcha Bunem!” his father called. “Please prepare us a novel interpretation of the laws of hachnasat orchim (hospitality).”

The boy ran off to work on this task, while his father eagerly awaited to hear what his precocious son would uncover.

A short while later, the boy returned.

Nu, have you thought of something original?” his father queried.

“Yes,” replied the boy. The boy’s father and his guests anticipated hearing a novel interpretation of the legal parameters of hospitality after they concluded their meal.

They then entered another room and saw Simcha Bunem’s novel interpretation: Pillows and blankets neatly in place, he had prepared beds for the guests to sleep in.

The meaning behind the story?

I understand the “novel interpretation” to be that we should not get caught up in “novel interpretations,” but rather, we should ensure that we focus on the practical application of our lofty ideals.

After all, what good is a novel interpretation, when you don’t have a bed to sleep in?

Shabbat Shalom,