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I Love Switzerland

Friday, 11 February, 2011 - 5:22 am

The following is a phone conversation I had this week with a specific Swiss company:

Me: Good morning, I’m calling about…

Representative: I will transfer you immediately to the right department

Lively Music in the background…

Rep: Mr. Schumpli will be happy to assist you

Me: Thank you

Mr. Schumpli: Hello, how can I help you?

Me: Good morning, Mr. Schumpli, how are you? I need some help with…

Mr. S.: Umm… this is a very unusual question

Me: Really?! I just asked “how are you?”, I thought it is a normal thing to do.

Mr. S.: Well, at least in Switzerland it is not usual.

We left it at this and continued to talk business.

I must say that Mr. Schumpli was very nice and helped me with all the things I needed in a patient and friendly way.

Another story comes to mind: 

It was Friday a couple of weeks ago.

Location: entrance to my home.

I meet my new neighbor for the first time. I introduce myself and he introduces himself. A very nice guy. He tells me that they just moved here since he got a new job ect… and tomorrow morning the movers will be coming. I wish him all the best and turn to leave.

Suddenly I realized that tomorrow is Shabbat and we will be having our Shabbat morning program at our home. I felt it was right to let my neighbor know and to excuse the noise in advance, hoping that the coming and going of our guest will not bother the movers.

To my surprise he tells me: “No, no, I am sorry and hope that my movers will not bother your important service. Maybe I should call them and ask if they can come only in the afternoon?”

My conclusion:

Switzerland, I love you! :)

The Talmud says that after a person passes away, he comes to heaven and has to give a detailed report about his doings down on earth. There are a couple of questions which he will be asked, such as: “Did you set aside specific times for Torah study? Did you do business honestly? Ect.”

One of the big rabbis of our generation, on his return from his first visit to Switzerland, where he enjoyed the beautiful sceneries and the courtesy of its inhabitants,  said;  there is surely another question, which the Talmud did not mention, but surely G-d asks this question between the above mentioned questions as well:

Did you visit My Switzerland?

Those of you going away on ski week, I hope you enjoy physically as well as have a good rest spiritually,

Rivky and the children join me in wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Chaim

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