Friday, January 03, 2014

Be a Flake

The purpose of this blog is to inspire some unique conversation at your Shabbat table. Please print and share.

 This week's question for your table is an old one, but I'll tell you a story that will wake everyone up at the table.

The question is: Is it true that no two snowflakes are alike?

A kind reader sent me this WSJ link of some stunning snowflake photos by Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov. The photo above is my personal favorite (what's yours?)

Now, regarding the question, the pioneer in snowflake photography was Wilson Bentley, who made thousands of snowflake photos in the 1890s.

(Think of what cameras looked like back then. If he could do it, so could you.)

Judging from the 500 that he donated to the Smithsonian (see some here), it would appear that, indeed, no two snowflakes are alike.

Now for the story.

Did you ever have a dream where you were awkwardly naked in public?

Who hasn't?

Another reader this weekly email found this dream became a reality for him this week.

He's at his local downtown gym before work, having a swim. His valuables are locked up, but not his clothes.

This is a private gym, business community. Not the kind of environment where one expects to find an underwear thief.

But these days of freedom, with marijuana now legal in how many states? who knows what to expect.

So our friend comes out of the pool to find that not only is his towel missing, but also his shirt, pants, shoes, socks, underclothes....

OK, so this doesn't quite equal "naked in public" but it comes a little too close for my comfort, how about yours?

How about if you are a 30 minute drive from home, and it's 25 degrees outside?

Let's just say it's a bit awkward.

(Personally, it puts a different perspective on someone pilfering my shampoo at the JCC this week!)

Question #2 for your table: Why is being undressed in public so uncomfortable?

And while we're at it, what do you suppose this story has to do with snowflakes?

Here's a thought:

When we're undressed, everyone's attention is to our outside.

On the outside we are basically animals and we're all basically the same.

But on the inside, we're like snowflakes, each one of us is unique.

This is why it has always been a Jewish value to dress with dignity and not show off too much skin in public. To do so says, "look at my body" while covering up says, "look at the real me, the snowflake."

Shabbat Shalom

PS - If you missed my musings on snow two weeks ago, click here.

PPS - If you were thinking of launching 2014 with an act of tzedakah, please click here.

PPPS -  Like it, tweet it, or just forward it to someone who might enjoy it.

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