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Why Buy My Wife Flowers?

Why Buy My Wife Flowers?

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Question:

My wife tells me that it is tradition to give the woman in your life flowers before Shabbat. Is this true and, if yes, what is the significance? Secondly, why give something like cut flowers that die, and not a potted plant?

Answer:

Flowers are useless. They are impractical, temporary, and they are not an investment. But that's precisely their power. You buy them for no reason other than because your wife likes them. You do it just for her.

This is the very definition of romance—doing something pointless, just to express love. Nobody needs flowers, they won't be around forever, but someone you love likes them, so you buy them.

You buy them for no reason other than because your wife likes themThat's why our relationship with G‑d is so romantic. He needs nothing from us humans, and we won't be around forever. But He gets immense pleasure out of it when we do a mitzvah, an act that He has commanded. So we do it. Not for what we get out of it, and not for what He gets out of it, but just because He likes it.

The moment we do something that makes no sense to us but makes our loved one happy, we have truly transcended ourselves and connected with someone else.

Stop thinking about yourself and think about her. That's the power of the flower.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
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Steven September 5, 2010

Flowers for wife? Many thanks for the reminder! My wife gets flowers today! Reply

Suzy Southfield, MI USA January 17, 2010

Flowers for Shabbos Awww!
Beautiful little article; love the connection to doing mitzvot, our way of giving flowers to Hashem, so to speak.
Flowers also pretty-up the Shabbos table and make it special. A potted plant would be a problem with moving muktzah on Shabbos, so maybe that's why we give cut flowers? Personally, I don't know any lady who doesn't love flowers, for Shabbos or anytime! Reply

Anonymous Chicago January 14, 2010

Flowers This is the first article from you that I have read & actually agreed w' your answer.
I'm sorry, but I don't usually agree with your thought or opinion, but today you wrote a wonderful, to the point, response to a very serious question. Congratulations. I hope you keep up the good work. Reply

Beth Singer Silver Spring, MD January 14, 2010

better than cut flowers.... Personally, as a wife and an envirommentalist, I would prefer my husband to buy something that can be planted in the ground, so that a reminder of our love for each other and for Shabbos will be visible throughout the year. Just think that if we planted something beautiful for Shabbos that lasted throughout the years, how much more meaningful and beautiful our environment would be, how much of a protective enviroment it could provide for parent fauna to provide to their young. Why go with useless. Let's love and take care of what G-d has made, Reply

Anonymous Bogota, Colombia January 14, 2010

THIS IS THE REAL LOVE!!! It's true what you say...love isn't selfish...love understands and supports all, so this is the best and the "king" of human feelings...
so give love, its the best thing we can do for others.
thanks for all, Reply

Anonymous Johannesburg, SA January 14, 2010

As usual, Rabbi Moss' message is powerful, inspirational and to the point. Reply

Laura January 14, 2010

excellent! thank you, thank you, thank you! I've always struggled with answering certain questions from family and friends that addresses why do/don't do certain things that are inexplicable. For example, I'm asked by family why can't we eat shellfish, and I have to explain because G-d said so, and although he has a reason, it isn't really up to us to figure it out. And now I can use the flower example as well. Brilliant:) Again, thanks! Reply

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