Jack woke up as usual, almost sleep-walking over to the coffee machine in the new kitchen. Fumbling for a paper cup and a packet of fresh coffee for the machine he finally totally opened his eyes. He saw the new garden that he had done last fall and was content. Indeed – he thought of this house they lived in and was content with what he had. They had finished adding on two new rooms, besides their new master bedroom and the obligatory security room. Although there were only the two of them, his wife and he, left at home – still they had enough rooms for all the kids to come visit for the weekend… whenever that would happen. "Heck!" he thought, "We got enough rooms as if we're the house in the game of Clue!"

As his wife walked to work Jack drove their new car into Tel Aviv for his daily grind at X.Com. Sure, he made enough to ski in Switzerland in the summer and take the tropical cruise in the winter – but he worked hard at it. Just you try being personal manager at a hi-tech company and see how you'll do having to face the eyes of people being laid off or dismissed!

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During his two-hour lunch break Jack wandered over to the new protest for cheaper housing. He always thought of himself as socially aware. He figured: "I got mine, so I oughta help the poor suckers get theirs, too."


So he moseyed over to the protest tent neighborhood and was astounded by what he saw. "Omg! Omg!" Jack thought, running over to a guy handing out flyers.

"Hey! Wherdyou guys get those great tents??" he pressed urgently.

The activist, suspicious of this well-dressed man with off-topic questions, started to answer: "Look, this is a real spontaneous protest, of real people—"

"Ya sure, I know all those lines, I used to say'em too. I don't mean who's funding, I meant where didja get those tents? What store?"

The activist – recognizing now the Jack's real interest, and in truth understanding the question (he bought one tent for his family also) directed the man to the proper store, where Jack went and promptly bought a new tent that was awesomely better than his old tent.

Jack brought it home (leaving work in the middle of the day for what he termed a "family emergency") to store in the shed, but the problem then arose: no room left in the shed! What to do? Leaving the packaged tent near his shed he took a walk, just kicking down the Ackerstein-stones to think. It was then that he spied it! How could he have missed it? Leibovitz has a new shed, bigger and better than Jack's old shed! It being the middle of the day and no one home – Jack made his way stealthily (he thought, but old Mrs. Goldberg saw him from her kitchen window, happy for the bit of gossip this she would serve up for afternoon tea with her friends) to Leibovitz's yard to get a better look at the new shed. Jack thought "Leibovitz is a two-bit lawyer in a nothing firm, and he can afford this?? No way that I ain't gonna get one!"

That's how the "Shed Wars" started on Rose Street – until everyone had bought a new shed just like Leibovitz's. Jack wasn't concerned with the competition, as he thought: "Just wait until these yokels see my new tent in the summer!"

Jack woke up one fine morning a month later, looking blindly for the orange juicer (his wife took the coffee machine away, said he wasn't putting too much sugar in his coffee. Whadshethink anyway? He can't get coffee at the office with as much sugar as he wants? Sheesh!!). Surveying his kingdom he was content… until he suddenly saw it: Leibovitz had put up a brand new-fangled type of weather vane on his shed!!

"No way I ain't gonna get wunuhdoz!" He actually said it out loud.

His wife – who really could be the epitome of stealth… and true modesty – assured him: "We don't need one, dear, whatever it is!"

And he thought: "Ah! What does she know?! She don't understand these things…"

Neither do I. Our sages taught: Be content with your material stuff, but strive for more – morally and spiritually!

Have a great Purim!
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