| Top 5 |

Top 5 Things That Never Seem to Run Out of Space

The things that seem to have no earthly bounds, no constraints, that seem to defy Einstein’s theory of relativity with regard to time and space

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t was the best of times, it was the worst of times… and it may not be over yet. But for now at least, the kids are in summer camp! As we begin the process of putting our homes back together again, taking down chalkboards, unboarding the windows, and bringing the cow, horses and chickens back to the barn, it’s time to ponder the things that seem to have no earthly bounds, no constraints, that seem to defy Einstein’s theory of relativity with regard to time and space. Just like our homes over quarantine expanded like the Beis Hamikdash to fit our familys, here are my top-five picks for things that never seem to run out of space.

1. A YUNGERMAN’S SHIRT POCKET 

Two pens. Three dozen pieces of paper, each torn from something else. A pacifier. Three single dollar bills. A tissue, a plastic card used to underline words in a sefer. Abie Rotenberg’s Joe Dimaggio Card.

While the shirt pocket of a man’s dress shirt is designed to be more a fashion accent than an actual pocket, that doesn’t stop the focused yungerman from stretching this convenient frontal filing cabinet to its fullest extent, running his family’s lives, a side business, and a money gemach from this one pocket. How is it that there’s always room in this pocket of requirement for one more business card, chaburah notes scribbled on the back?

No one really knows… just make sure that pocket is emptied before the shirt hits the wash!

2. THE MUKTZEH DRAWER (AKA “BATTERIES  DEAD OR ALIVE”)

You know that point in every suspense novel, when the heroes are stuck and manage to build a raft or helicopter from whatever is in their pockets? They should’ve packed the muktzeh drawer! Every kosher kitchen has one. Where else can you store all those things you don’t recognize, but just know you’ll need the moment you throw it out?

Pens, school projects, macaroni necklaces, priceless treasures. The scissors with the orange handles to cut everything, from Amazon boxes to freeze pops. The muktzeh drawer is the Mary Poppins drawer of endless space! Surprise guest? Daughter has a date? Just shove everything inside. Of course it will still close, it’s the magical, one-size-fits-all drawer.

3. THE 24-HOUR, ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT, SHABBOS STOMACH 

Have you ever sat down to a meal on a weekday and eaten half a loaf of bread and spreads, two kinds of fish, a bowl of soup with knaidlach, lokshen, veggies, and croutons, and then gotten started on the main course? Normal meals consist of a couple slices of pizza, ten fish sticks from the kids’ school lunch, macaroni straight from the pot, or a ketchup, peanut-butter, egg-salad, and red-onion sandwich. (Just me?)

But Shabbos meals? With that neshamah yeseirah, you’re eating for two. A whole Shabbos day challah, dips, herring and kichel, schnitzel and kugel are just the beginning! Deli roll, cholent, and kishkeh, with a salad thrown in to feed your conscience. An adjustable belt is a must to properly contain the limitless Shabbos stomach. Chocolate pie and ice cream? Yes please.

4. A YESHIVAH BOCHUR’S HAMPER

Kids’ laundry is endless, the linen basket is always full, and you can never get ahead on the shmattes loads. But a bochur’s clothing hamper? It never gets full! “No, no, Mommy, that shirt isn’t dirty, it’s just not clean! Those pants will eventually go to the cleaners. And my tzitzis are magically pure!” Like living in the Midbar, bochurim seem to have special clothing protection. If only this magic extended to the rest of the house.

5. YOUR SHABBOS TABLE  

The epitome of a space without limits, the endless space of your Shabbos table seems to also extend to the food. No matter what, you’ve always got room for one more! Each kid suddenly has a friend when Tatty comes home? No problem! The ordinary constraints of space-time don’t apply here. Care to test the theory? Open your home to someone in need, invite a lonely family, host some bochurim, or the elderly man from shul. You may just find that the limitless brachah extends to you… all week long. Now if only there were unlimited seats next to Tatty and Mommy, we’d have it all worked out.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 822)

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