Just A Thought: Flowers For Matan Torah

rosesBy: Aaron Joseph. $57.00. That is the price for a bouquet of a dozen roses in honor of Matan Torah. Next I priced ShopRight, and while roses are the higher end of the bloom, I found that I could get a very nice bouquet of some other beautiful and decorative flowers for just $9.99. I hemmed and hummed the obligation of bedecking my home with blossoms of spring in honor of Shevuous. I could not help but be distracted by the pricey expense of the other important Yom-Tov specialty, cheesecake.
The grand total of the extreme of these two virtual obligations would set me back at least $100.00. Of course, I could downsize on one or the other, or both. I could get cheaper flowers or a smaller cake yet somehow that just does not seem correct. After all, this all is in honor of Yom-Tov.
How much should I spend on Hiddur flowers in honor of Matan Torah?
Thinking back to my own upbringing, my memory took me back to some exciting times of Erev Shevuous. Vivid recollections filled my mind of family outings with our father to some no man’s land, where we would cut down all types of various branches. We would bring them home, where my mother busy as can be in the kitchen, would insist we rinse them off before the freshly cut greenery could cross the threshold of her house. That instigated the second half of our fun, as we soaked one another while doing a thorough job of washing any potential crawling thing away.
On the spur of the moment, I decided to implement my father’s idea of cutting one’s own greenery. My intention however was original. I was not trying to be cheap. I was also not trying to save money to be able to splurge on two different cheesecakes. Rather, I was thinking about a different Yom-Tov’s obligation.
This past Sukkos, I spent much time running about pricing various Esrogim. As we know, they are not cheap. At the end, I decided to save cash knowing that I can get the customary and obligatory requirements for a fraction the price. I simply went to the famous Lakewood “Shook,” and purchased a nice Araba Minim for $35.00, all frills included.
How would it look if I went and spent money today on various sprouts simply to participate in an ever-growing social custom? How would it look in the eyes of Heaven, having gone cheap earlier on in the year regarding a directive from G-d? It just did not sit well with me.
On Erev Shevouos I plan on cutting some beautiful branches on my own. The saved $57.00 of the dozen roses is being set aside now. Not saved, but rather in honor of Matan Torah, of the Torah prescribed mandate of flowers- next year’s Arbah Minim.
Now as for cheesecake….

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  1. It’s the florists who try to convince you that you are being mekayeim a mitzvah d’oraisa by purchasing flowers. We have become so backward. Our priorities are messed up.

  2. Pearl Blau sells flowers each year and I make sure to buy flowers there to give away to someone I owe a debt of gratitude. It’s tzedoko

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