"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

The Pregnant Spoon

by Rabbi Eli Cohen on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 10:01am ·

“You must not add to the word that I command you, nor subtract from it, so as to safeguard the commandments of Hashem” [Deutoronomy 4:2]

 The Dubno Maggid explained this verse by way of a parable:

 An individual went to his neighbor and asked to borrow a spoon. The next day, he returned the spoon he had borrowed together with another small spoon.

 “Why are you giving me two spoons?” asked his neighbor. “I only loaned you one.”

 “That is correct” responded his friend. “But you see, the spoon which you had loaned me was pregnant – and it gave birth.”

 The neighbor realized that his friend’s mind had become unstable, but he nonetheless accepted the two spoons without comment.

 Several days later, the friend returned and asked to borrow a cup. The neighbor lent him the cup and, surely enough, the friend gave back not one but two cups, claiming that the cup had given birth to a smaller version. The neighbor silently accepted the two cups.

 Several days passed, and the neighbor was once again approached by his friend. The time, he requested to borrow a pair of silver candlesticks. The fool, thought the neighbor, will surely give me back four candlesticks. I will happily loan them to him.

 Several days later, when the neighbor saw that his candlesticks had not been returned, he complained to his friend “Where are my silver candlesticks? Why have you not returned them?”

 “I am sorry” responded the friend, “but your candlesticks have passed away.”

 “Passed away?” yelled the neighbor, “who has ever heard of candlesticks passing away?”

 “My dear sir” responded the friend, “who has ever heard of a spoon or a cup that gave birth? Yet when I gave you two spoons, you took them without saying a word. Now if a spoon can give birth, then a candlestick can most certainly pass away.”

 With this, we can understand the aforementioned verse, concluded the Dubno Maggid. An individual must perform Hashem’s commandments with utmost precision, for if he begins to add to the commandments, he will eventually come to subtract from them.

Want to share or print this? Choose how below:
  • Print
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: