R.E.L.A.T.E Part one cont. - RESPECTING THE CHALLAH
by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
When we make the Friday night Kiddush the two Challot are covered. One of the reasons for this practice is about the treatment of the Challah. During the week if we have a meal with both bread and wine, Jewish law dictates that we first make the blessing over the bread and then the wine. But on Shabbos we reverse the order as we are not permitted to eat anything before reciting Kiddush. So in order not to embarrass the Challot by putting them in second place, we keep them covered while we let the wine go first this time.
Obviously bread doesn't have emotions or a fragile self-esteem that needs upgrading. This practice is more for us than it is for the challah. If we are to respect those that are close in intense relationships, we need firstly to ensure that we have an overall respectful disposition. We need to work to develop a sensitive personality that is caring and concerned about the dignity of others. Making sure not to embarrass the challah is just one small part of this character building process.
Respect exercise no 2:
In order to ensure respectful relationships it is essential to conduct "personality audit". We need to evaluate the strength of our respectful behaviour in our everyday small interactions.
To achieve this we can begin by asking ourselves a few questions:
How do we speak to and treat people whom we have little to do with like the postman, the plumber or the garbage collector? Do we greet them warmly and show gratitude when they complete their service? In a restaurant, if the food takes too long or wasn't prepared to our liking, how do we speak to the waiter? We even need to reflect on how we might speak to the telemarketer on the phone (this is a hard one). They may be extremely annoying but they are still human beings deserving of respect and dignity. Do we politely and assertively tell them we are not interested or do we abuse them and slam down the phone?
Practicing respect in our daily interactions builds a respectful personality critical for relationship building.