Sunday, June 18, 2006

Chizuk

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"Chizuk" (m., pl. "Chizukim"); encouragement, derived from the root "chet" "zayin" "kuf," meaning ;" to be strong;" as in "The Torah teacher gave his student ‘chizuk,’ ‘encouragement,’ in his study of Torah."

I was at shul this evening to listen to a dvar Torah given by a congregant at seudat shlishit (the third meal). Afterwards I was talking to another congregant, someone I don't know too well, but whom I enjoy speaking with whenever I'm at shul.

She's friendly, has an "open face" so to speak, is someone to learn from and emulate. Her four children range in age from 16 to 25, so one would think that we don't have much in common, and she is about 8 years older than I. But she is a warm and wonderful person to know. I usually go home and tell my husband about our latest conversation.

In talking to her this evening, she threw back at me almost what I just described about her. She told me how she always enjoys speaking to me, how I'm friendly and open with my thoughts, how she perceives ME to be calm and laid-back about my kids (I straightened her out), how we can talk even though we're of different generations.

I responded: "You know how there are Jewish Mutual Benefit/Benevolent societies? Well, I think we're members of the Mutual Admiration Society!"

She laughed and told me that she goes home and thinks about our conversations, and the greatest compliment she gave me tonight is that she said I give her a tremendous amount of chizuk.

Me? Giving HER chizuk? She's a businesswoman who's done a more-than-fine job, with her husband, of raising 4 children with clever Jewish heads and warm Jewish hearts. She is a fine woman with a good head and heart of her own.

What great pearls (or in my case, pearlies) of wisdom do I offer her that she'd equate it with chizuk?

But you wanna know what the greatest irony of the situation is? With her declaration that I offer her chizuk, she was giving me chizuk right back!

********

I usually don't name names in my posts, but I will. This woman, of which I speak so highly, is named Rosanne Teplitsky. She used to be an art teacher at a local Jewish day school for children with learning disabilities, but not too long ago, decided to wear a different hat. The result of that new hat is "Praline." Read the following:

The newest entry into kosher chocolates is Praline Chocolate Creations, at 1118 Centre St. in Thornhill, the first to service the kosher market north of Wilson. It’s no wonder co-owners Rosanne Teplitsky and Eti Kaufman sought to open their doors two months ago in the highest populated Jewish city in Canada.
Teplitsky said, “I was looking for something fun, something that would make people smile.”
She too hasn’t had any previous experience in chocolate making but she does work with a professional chocolatier one day a week. The interior of Praline looks like a jewellery store.
Teplitsky said, “It was designed by my daughter,” complete with glass cases filled with truffles and goodies instead of diamonds and rubies.
Teplitsky added, “Of the 700 square feet I rent, almost 500 is devoted to chocolate making.”
The inventory includes truffles, both dairy and parve, Teplitsky said, adding that “we have glass and leatherwear, which can be filled for gift giving.
“We are the only store selling kosher, parve fudge in North America.”


Rosanne Teplitsky brings her own brand of sweetness to life. Chocolate! Now isn't that a variation on chizuk?

6 comments:

cruisin-mom said...

Wow, that would be a fantasy come true for me...what a way to spend your day...surrounded by chocolate...now if they'd just put a plasma t.v. in there...PERFECT!!!
Pearl, I have no doubt that you deserve the compliments she bestowed upon you.

tuesdaywishes said...

I'll have to manufacture an excuse to get in there!

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Very nice and true. Many times we think we don't offer people anything and we have no idea of the chizuk we give people. We have to give more credit to ourselves.

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Nice. Good people deserve to be named and appreciated.

Wendy said...

Lovely post! And now I have to find out if Praline ships to New Jersey!

torontopearl said...

CM: Of course you'd be happy to just dabble in chocolate! And thank you for the compliment.

TW: Get in there! I only bought something there on Father's Day for the first time, but I've received several gifts of the fine chocolates. Excellent stuff.

SW/FM: You're right in that we don't realize what we say or how we say it, or what we do, can give a tremendous amount of chizuk to someone else, when it might only be routine for us.

Neil: She's a very good person.

Wendy: Thank you. And if you're serious, I'll find out for you if Praline ships to the U.S.