Shalom Aleichem!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 7th annual fundraising raffle. With your help, we raised $19,656! Click here to see the winners!

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Mazel tov to QC alumni Avi & Elisheva Taitz on the birth of a baby boy yesterday!

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Few things are more refreshing on a hot, summer day than a slice of watermelon. When I was studying in yeshiva in Israel, there was a Parisian student who once told me that there is a French saying: When you eat watermelon, you eat, you drink and you wash your face. A story about watermelon, as told by the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn:One time, when Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok was seven years old, his grandmother treated him to some watermelon. He ate it, and shared some with his friends as well. While eating, they sat on a bench opposite the window of his father’s room (his father, Rabbi Shalom Dovber, was the Rebbe at the time). A short while later, his father called for the young Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok.”I noticed that you shared your watermelon with your friends,” said Rabbi Shalom Dovber to his son, “but it doesn’t appear that you did so with a full heart.”He went on to explain what it meant to give with a “good eye” and a “bad eye.”

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok went on to recount that he was so shaken by this conversation, that he cried profusely. He eventually even threw up.

Seeing all that had transpired, his mother said to his father, “What do you want with the boy?”

“Good. I’m glad he took it to heart,” said Rabbi Shalom Dovber.

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I was thinking about this story, and wondering what the lesson is. First, I emailed the story to my son in sleepaway camp (the camp prints emails for the campers, although the boys can’t send back a reply). Perhaps he’ll have some ideas for me the next time we speak.

Then, I asked a few of my friends and Chabad On Campus colleagues, Rabbis Mendel Rubin (Albany) and Moshe Goldman (Waterloo).

A few ideas:

– Sharing should be done wholeheartedly, not begrudgingly.

– Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok was held to a high standard, even though “kids will be kids.” His father had high expectations for him, even when he was  young.

– Perhaps effective education prioritizes long-term character development over short-term discomfort.

That’s all for now. What do you think?

Shabbat Shalom, and praying for the safety of our soldiers in the IDF,