Minute 766:Home-Grown Tomatoes
The barbecue filled the yard with the tempting aroma of grilled beef and lamb as the extended family and a few close friends arrived to celebrate Helen’s graduation. Helen’s mom exited the French doors onto the patio. “Everyone, you must taste these tomatoes!” she announced. “They are beyond description — and I grew them in our garden!”
Amidst the chatter and noshing on hors d’oeuvres, no one really paid much attention to the excited invitation to partake of tomatoes. “You all don’t know what you’re missing,” Helen’s mom said, a little more loudly.
“Does she really think someone will pass up these baked and grilled delights to have a tomato?” Mr. Toller asked. “What’s all the excitement about a tomato?”
The Gemara says (Bava Metzia 38a): “A person prefers one measure of his own produce to even nine times that amount from his friend.” Rashi explains that the effort put into growing a fruit creates a bond between the grower and the produce. When a person invests time and effort into any endeavor, the result is a love for the product of one’s work.
In today’s hectic, multi-faceted lifestyle, people don’t find time for their children or spouse. Day care, babysitters and tutors fill the responsibilities once fulfilled by parents. The educational result may be as good, yet the love that develops from investing toil in one’s children is lost forever. One who takes shortcuts to keep up with a “yomi” learning schedule with no time to work on understanding or to review won’t develop the love of Torah that toil produces.
Slow down and work hard on the ones and the things you love and you’ll nurture strong bonds with the things that really count.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
The foolish person is like a young child, who relies on his mother for nourishment because his mind isn’t developed. If his mind will develop further, he will know that his mother feeds him because of his father’s money. If it will develop further still, he will know that his father receives money from others. Eventually, he may understand, conceive and accept that his nourishment arrives from G-d. (Rabbeinu Avraham ben HaRambam, The Guide to Serving G-d, p. 283)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.