Chicago is bracing for what could be the largest snowfall on record with the National Weather Service calling for between 16 inches and 28 inches of snow in Chicago by Wednesday afternoon.
Last week, I received an old joke about what famous personalities might have said about shoveling snow. Some of the personalities were a bit outdated but I did laugh at a few of the comments they might have made.
Rashi - "Snow, this is a form of solid precipitation that clings to one's beard if you remain outside too long in the winter season. (Old French: neige). Shoveling is a Rabbinic precept, based on the verse in Isaiah 1:18 - "If your sins be like scarlet, they will turn as white as snow"
The Late Lubavitcher Rebbe (from an epistle to a disciple) - "Shoveling snow is a distraction from our efforts to bring Moshiach, may He come soon, when in any case there will be no snow to shovel. So leave it and let it melt. If the Messiah does not come by Shavuos, the snow will have miraculously disappeared anyway."
Read full joke: http://www.getamused.com/jokes/jewishguidetoshovelingsnow.html
I decided to add some personalities of our times and to think of what they would say if asked about shoveling snow.
Rabbi P.K. - I am deeply grateful to the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation for inviting me to speak here. And remember, if you help your elderly neighbor shovel the snow from his driveway, you can write about it in your chessed notebook. And now I would like to end with an amazing story.
Rabbi Z.W. - Get off Facebook and you will have time to go outside and help people shovel their yards.
Yeranen Yaak - THE HEAVY NATURE OF THE SNOW WILL MAKE SHOVELING VERY DIFFICULT... AND POTENTIALLY DEADLY. DURING AND IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE BLIZZARD OF 1999 OVER 40 PEOPLE IN THE CHICAGO AREA ALONE LOST THEIR LIVES TO HEART ATTACKS WHILE SHOVELING THE HEAVY SNOWFALL. TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS INDOORS AND DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE TASK AT HAND WHEN SHOVELING.
Israel Matzav - What could go wrong?
Rabbi Boteach - Our character is becoming courrupt as we watch inane television shows. We must reconnect with the family. What better family activity (other than sharing a Shabbos meal) than to shovel snow together with the whole family?
The New York Times explains how you can turn all that snow into money.
Whether Plowing or Serving Hot Chocolate, Some Find a Payday in the Snow
Anyone care to add?
Finally, it is no laughing matter. People are being extremely inconvenienced by the massive snowfall. Let's try to help out, where we can. Light up an elderly neighbor's face by offering to shovel her property. It's a mitzvah.