Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Would you like fries with your lethal injection?"

Parsha for the Table
Vol 2 Issue 9
פרשת וישב

"Before lethal injection, does it really matter what your last meal is?"

Apparently to some, it does.

"On November 6th 2006, John Schmitt was executed for the murder of a guard during a bank robbery. Schmitt shot the victim to death during the Feb. 17, 1999, robbery of a NationsBank branch in Bon Air. John Schmitt, 33, had a final meal request of cheese pizza, a cheese omelet with sausage, green peppers and onions, and white cake with white icing."

I personally don't think I would care whether or not I would be eating milchig or fleishig for my last meal. There are just some situations that are so bad that no matter what pleasantries are available, you could care less. For example, if my brother would ignore my pleading and sell me to a wandering band of Arabs. That would probably upset me to the point of not caring about how bad the cargo the caravan is carrying smells.
Yet Hashem does focus on just that.(Breishis 37,25 Rashi). When Yosef is sold, Hashem sees to it that his buyers aren't carrying their usual smelly goods, only nice-smelling spices and together with other pleasant fragrances. Why should Yosef care about the smell? His brothers think he is evil; so evil that he deserves to be killed; and he is being sold down the river to who knows where.
There is a lesson here. (By now you should know there is always a lesson.) Even in the worst of times, Hashem sends a message "I haven't forgotten you; I am still thinking of you. I am still with you." That realization gives strength, knowing that behind all the chaos is a master plan being executed by the Master Planner.

Have a great Shabbos,
Rabbi Bader

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