April 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The Pleasures of a Small Slice

Now that Shavuot has passed, we all get a reprieve until the next group of chagim which will begin with Rosh Hashanah on Sunday evening, September 25.

Much discussion took place last weekend about the pros and cons of a chag beginning at sunset as Shabbat ended. I heard many discussions of when dairy meals would be served. In some families, dairy is served rarely and in others it dominates the menu.

One recurring discussion was about the “amazingly delicious” taste of the Costco cheesecake.

I happen to agree that it is very yummy and I am a person who always baked my own cake.

Not only did the discourse take place about the Costco cake but there were those who found that they had gotten to the store at too late an hour and were unable to grab “the catch.” Another lovely lady shared her horror when she realized that someone in the Costco store in Teterboro had walked off with her wagon in which her “goldene” cake had been placed. She immediately went back to get a cake and restock her wagon only to find out that there were no more cakes! She patiently waited two hours for the baking staff at Costco to bring out a new batch. I remember the days when the Costco cheesecake was $9.99. Apparently on the Sunday prior to Shavuot 2022 it was $14.99 and only two days later it was $16.99.

In many minds it was still worth it as the price of buying and preparing a similar cake of that size would cost as much as the bought cake. We all like to think that our home baked goods taste better but honestly, that Costco cake is pretty darn good!

As I had followed this banter on the Costco kosher food site back and forth, regarding the missing wagon, the freshly baked cakes, the empty refrigerator devoid of cakes etc etc etc, I decided on the morning two days prior to the chag that, although I was going to Costco not for a cheesecake but for other sundry items, I would post and ask if it would be helpful for me to bring back cakes for anyone who wanted one (assuming that they were in stock).

I was pleasantly surprised that I immediately received requests from several lovely ladies taking advantage of my offer. Not only was I able to do a mitzvah for them but at the same time I had the opportunity to meet some lovely ladies and very cute children who came to pick their prizes up from my home. It was such an easy thing for me to do and it was helpful to others.

I have begun to think about what other ways we can, or I can, continue to do these little acts for others, which in no way harm the person who offers and in fact can actually help the person who may not have as much time as I do.

I remember pre-Covid when I was able to visit people at Holy Name through Bikur Cholim and the amazing amount of joy that I felt when I visited with cholim who in many cases did not have visitors. It was a joy that filled me with a sense of satisfaction, doing something that really took little effort on my part. I hope that it will start again soon.

We are all capable of doing little things that cost nothing, take little time or effort, and that we frequently do not realize we are capable of doing. When was the last time that someone visited a neighbor who is alone? Some of us are very good at this and others feel that the person would not appreciate it. One will never know unless one tries.

I now know what it means to be alone. If you know someone who is alone, I behoove you to check in on them even if it is for two minutes. You would be surprised how grateful a person can be and quite honestly if they are not you will at least know that you did the right thing.

How crazy it is that the busiest persons in many instances are the ones who seem to be able to make the time to help out others. Remarks are always made about the amount of chesed that specific people do. There are few who are not capable of doing at least some simple deeds to make others happy and feel less alone. Buying those cheesecakes made me feel sort of giddy, as if I had gotten the catch of the day! Success, which took me literally two minutes out of my way in the store, had the bonus of allowing me to meet others who were truly grateful.

It was an easy slice of life that brought me great pleasure. You should try it (not the cake but the act of helping), either for next Shavuot or any time in between as they do make cheesecakes all year round.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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