Money in the Garbage
Pesach was coming. Rabbi Glasner, who delivered Belev Echad youth classes at Moshav Yishai, had just started teaching his eager students about the laws of chametz.
Moshe, an athletic young body-builder who spent lots of spare time at the gym, approached him after class one day holding a flashily colored bottle.
“Rabbi,” he said, “I just ordered a case of this super-high-level energy drink from America. It cost me $100. There’s no reason I have to worry it has chametz in it, right?”
Rabbi Glasner’s stomach clenched a bit as he took the expensive beverage from Moshe and started reading the ingredients list. Please let me not have to tell him it’s forbidden…
But indeed it was. Rabbi Glasner quickly noticed a few ingredients that made the drink “chametz gamor,” real leaven.
“Well,” he said gently, “It actually looks very much like chametz, Moshe.”
A stormcloud gathered on Moshe’s face. “Alright.” He stuck out his chin. “I’ll leave the case in my backyard over Pesach. I’ll cover it up. If anyone tries to touch it…” he shook his head threateningly.
Rabbi Glasner smiled. “Moshe… it doesn’t work that way. Hiding chametz doesn’t make it okay to keep.” He didn’t press his point any further. He knew his hot-tempered, fiercely independent student well. Moshe was far from ready to hear more, even about doing the work of selling his precious chametz.
When Rabbi Glasner returned to the moshav for his first pre-Pesach class, Moshe accosted him somewhere near the Moshav entrance.
“Rabbi!” he yelled. “I lost $100, and it’s all your fault!”
“What did I do?” Rabbi Glasner blinked.
“My energy drinks!” Moshe shouted. “Right before Pesach, I took the whole case and chucked it into the dumpster!”
Rabbi Glasner’s breath caught. Then he smiled broadly. “Moshe! That’s incredible!”
Mi k’amcha Yisrael, he thought. How great is Your nation Israel! Down to her hotheaded teenage bodybuilders.