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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Does this Count?

This week I planned to have an easy Shabbos.
I've been doing a lot of cooking lately so I decided not to overdo it this week.
A no frills, no guests weekend, with a little help from the store.

When I got home from work yesterday I had a call on my answering machine from someone I didn't know asking if I would help out by doing some cooking for a family in town that was sitting shiva. She got my name from the Rabbi (which is fine, I like to be called if someone needs me) but only found out about this family at the last minute and wondered if I could prepare "a few dishes" for them. Ugh. I mean... Great! A chesed opportunity!
I really wasn't in the mood but then I thought that if this family didn't have friends in town willing to voluntarily bring them over food for Shabbos they probably could use a hand and some support so I decided to do it. I called back right away (this mental conversation in my head took all of two minutes.)

"Oh that's so nice of you" the woman on the phone said, "but we already have enough volunteers." "OK" I said, and for lack of a closer I ended with "Call again any time." Which I meant, in spite of my better judgement.

Then I did some kind of a funky end zone dance and gave my husband a high five which probably wasn't really appropriate considering that someone just died and I got out of cooking for their family because I got home from work late.

So the question is: If I was willing, despite my initial reluctance, to go ahead and cook for this family even though I didn't end up doing it does it count for anything or did I throw away all my schar when I hung up the phone and yelled "YES!"

Oh well, I'm sure they'll call again.

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At 12:02 PM, Blogger Shoshana said...

I think you still get the schar for being willing to do it, but you may have lost a portion of that schar for the "yes" at the end. Hey, Jewish standards are higher than the rest of the world!

At 1:11 PM, Blogger SaraK said...

I think you still get s'char.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger ggggg said...

There is no question that "Machshava K'Maaseh" - Good intentions is as if you did it!

The only question is if you forfeited that schar by high fiving your hubby after getting out of it! But, I doubt it. I think you still earned it for your good intentions.

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Ariella's blog said...

Well, when my husband walked about 1 1/5 miles round trip to help make up a minyan that failed to materialize, I suggested, he should at least get schar halicha, for he intended to do the mitzvah

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Elie said...

I definitly believe good intentions count. As for the high five at the end... c'mon, you're only human!

It's funny; something like this happened to us this week too. Debbie got a call from the husband of her friend who was having minor surgery this week. He asked if Debbie could pick up some prepared food for Shabbos for them. She said yes and mentioned that she would drop it off early Friday morning, since she works late Thursday night. A few minutes later the guy called back and asked if she could bring it on Thursday instead. She was hesitating trying to think if we could swing that, and he impatiently just cut off the call and said "never mind, we'll get someone else to do it".

So Debbie tried to do the right thing and ended up feeling rudely pushed aside. I told her the same thing I just told you; intentions do count!

At 2:39 PM, Blogger littlejerseygirl said...

I think it counts because you really would have done it. Of course it's a relief when you don't have to do extra stuff, but you would have been there if they needed you and I think that's what counts.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Eliyahu said...

you get bonus points! why? for being humanly joyful that you didn't have to do what you were willing to do!

At 7:40 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...


At 7:50 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

When it comes down to it, yes - because you really would have been happy to do it, even if you were relieved when you weren't needed. And I bet you'll be happy to do it the next time you're called, too.

At 6:44 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

If your end-zone-dance included spiking the tuperware jello container on the floor, then no, you are no eligable for any schar.


Those are the rules.

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Holy Hyrax said...

sorry, no schar. In fact, I heard God hates football. So you're in deeper sh@t than you thought.

At 12:34 AM, Blogger and so it shall be... said...

once you commit, you get points. if s/t changes you still get points. only they're free!

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Holy Hyrax: He may hate football, but approves of "high fives".

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Orthonomics said...

We took an easy Shabbat this past week too. In fact I made one dish and served it for two meals, hot at night and cold for lunch (don't worry all, we had cholent at shul). Everyone deserves an easy week and I've accepted guests on those week when called. And I have been relieved when one of the more difficult guests cancelled after we got the call. I'd call it human. :)

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Holy Hyrax said...

Holy Hyrax: He may hate football, but approves of "high fives".

He does NOT. And he definetly does not approve of grown men calling themselves "Jameel"

At 1:16 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Holy Hyrax:

He does NOT. And he definetly does not approve of grown men calling themselves "Jameel"

Why do you think HE doesn't have a sense of humor?

HE probably looks at us everyday on his "blogroll of life" to see whats worth reading today. Some get added...some get removed...life sort of stuff.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger DTC said...

As Jameel mentioned, spiking the jello tupperware container would have caused a loss of schar, but signing it first with a sharpie would have gained it all back.

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shifra: I hope you signed it...right?


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